LOS ANGELES – The UCLA track and field team will host BYU and TCU in the 12th Annual Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational. The meet will be held on Saturday, April 12, at Drake Stadium with the field events starting at 10 a.m. PT, and the track events slated to begin at 2 p.m.
The meet started in 2003, and salutes two of UCLA’s greatest champions, Rafer Johnson and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Both are Olympic gold medalists and world-record holders. Johnson won the decathlon in 1960 and set three world records in that event between 1955 and 1960. Joyner-Kersee won the Olympic heptathlon in 1988 and 1992 and the long jump in 1988, and set seven heptathlon world records in all, including her still-standing mark of 7,291, set in 1988.
Scoring for the meet will be the traditional 5-3-1 for individual events and 5-0 for relays. There are 163 points available in a total of 19 events with 82 required to secure the win.
Some of tracks finest athletes in the world will be competing on the world-class Mondo surface in Drake Stadium this weekend. Allyson Felix, one of the most recognizable names in the sport will make an appearance in a relay as will Carol Rodriguez and Jeneba Tarmoh. Brigetta Barrett won the silver medal in the high jump at the 2012 Olympic Games in London when she cleared 6-8. Ryan Wilson, the current US National Champion in the 110 hurdles has a personal best of 13.02. Another hurdler, Reggie Wyatt is the current national high school record holder in the 300 hurdles (35.02) and is a silver medalist in the 400 hurdles at the World Youth Championships.
Nia Ali is the world indoor champion in the 60m hurdles and was a NCAA champion in the 100 hurdles. Shevon Stoddart is another Olympian who competed at the 2004 Olympic Games for Jamaica. Former UCLA All-Americans Turquoise Thompson and Allison Koressel will also be competing at the meet.
The UCLA men and BYU have met 10 times with the Bruins holding a 9-1 advantage in the series while the women have met eight times with UCLA earning the win in each meet. The last time the two programs faced off was in 2002.
The UCLA men have faced TCU in three meets but have only kept score in last year’s Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invite, where the Bruins earned a convincing, 120-41 win. The women also won their only scored meet against TCU last season, 112-49.
The Bruins have seven athletes ranked in the top-10 in the country in their respective events. Julian Wruck continues to have a stranglehold on the discus with a season-best of 213-3. Nick Hartle’s season-opening mark in the 800m is the fourth best time in Division I with a 1:47.51.
Kylie Price soared to the fifth best mark in the long jump last weekend in Baton Rouge with a 20-9 while Cody Crampton has cleared 7-2.50 in the high jump to rank sixth in the event. Alexis Walker on the women’s side has cleared 5-11.25 to rank seventh.
Mike Woepse is eighth in the pole vault with a mark of 17-11.25 while Nicholas Scarvelis is eighth in the shot put with a throw of 63-2.75.
The Bruins will compete at the 56th Annual Mt. SAC Relays, which will begin on Thursday, April 17, at the Hilmer Lodge Stadium on the Mt. San Antonio College campus in Walnut, Calif.