LOS ANGELES – The UCLA track and field team will return to the Dempsey Indoor Facility in Seattle, Wash., for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track and Field Championships. The two-day championship will begin on Friday, Feb. 28, at Noon and conclude with the 4x400m relay on Saturday, March 1 at 2:40 p.m. PT.
“With the recent discontinuation of Last Chance Qualifying meets, the MPSF Championships is our team's last opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships,” UCLA director of track and field Mike Maynard said. “We have a number of athletes who are on the bubble, and must improve their performances this weekend. The focus of this weekend will be moving as many of our team through to the postseason at the NCAA Championships.”
Individually the men have five ranked in the top-25 in their respective events while the women have three. Leading the way for the men is Mike Woepse in the pole vault. Woepse ranks tied for seventh in the nation with a clearance of 18-0.50. In the shot put the men have two ranked as Nick Scarvelis is 17th with a toss of 62-4.50 while Braheme Days closely follows with a 61-11 to rank 21st. Nick Hartle checks in at 20th in the 800m with an altitude adjusted time of 1:49.04 while Alec Faldermeyer is 24th in the weight throw with a mark of 67-8.25.
For the women, Kylie Price paces the Bruins by ranking third in the long jump with a leap of 21-2. Kelsey Smith is sixth in the 3,000m with a time of 9:04.31 while Ida Storm is sixth in the weight throw with a mark of 70-1.50.
The MPSF carries some of the top teams in the country. Heading into the weekend on the women’s side, Oregon is the nation’s No. 1 ranked team while Stanford is ninth, and UCLA checks in at No. 19.
The Oregon men rank fifth nationally, along with Arizona at No. 9 and Stanford at No. 23. The MPSF has a national index rating of No. 2 for the women (only behind the SEC) and No. 3 for the men (only behind the SEC and Big 10).
Last season the UCLA women placed fifth at the event while the men finished seventh. Top returning performers from last season’s meet is Tatum Souza, who won the pentathlon with 4,023 points. Kylie Price placed second in the long jump and third in the 60m while Brea Buchanan finished third in the 60m hurdles. The men’s distance medley relay looks to defend its title while Marcus Nilsson placed second in the heptathlon.
The 2014 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships will be contested March 14 and 15, at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.