Track Signs Ten Athletes to 2013 Class
Feb. 19, 2013
Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Mike Maynard and his coaching staff have officially signed ten athletes to National Letters of Intent since the regular signing period began Feb. 6. This class is a great mix of athletes across the board, bringing something exciting to each facet of the track and field program.
Distance events were the most heavily addressed with these new recruits, as Maynard signed four of California's top distance runners. Between the four of them, Maynard adds athletes with regional and national success, including state titles in cross country and top finishes at national championship events.
However, sprints and throws were also points of emphasis. Sprinter Kendall Baisden won a gold medal last summer at the IAAF World Junior Championships as a member of the USA's 4x400m relay team. Braheme Days Jr. is the no. 1 ranked shot putter in the nation, and currently holds the nation's top result 70'8".
Overall, it has been an outstanding recruiting period for the Bruins and shows the promise of a bright future for UCLA Track & Field.
Below are Coach Maynard's comments and brief bios on the members of the 2013 recruiting class:
Zaybree Haury - Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego, CA
Haury is a throws machine, competing in both the discus throw and shot put, as well as the javelin, at Scripps Ranch High School. She holds a personal best in the javelin of 144'3".
"Zaybree is relatively young to the javelin, and I believe she has a huge upside as far as her potential development goes. We expect her to become a force during her career here at UCLA, and strengthen the women's throws."
John Lawson - Sir Francis Drake High School, San Anselmo, CA
John is another elite distance runner to sign with the Bruins this spring. Lawson placed second in the California State Cross Country Championships, third at the Footlocker West Cross Country Championship and ninth at the Footlocker National Championships. He finished the season ranked 11th in the prestigious XC Nation Super 25 Cross Country Individual poll.
"John was one of the top cross country runners in California, and among the very best in the country this past fall. He has a great future as a Bruin in his own right, and is part of a great distance recruiting class. His development has been demonstrated and accelerated already this year, and we are excited to see what his outdoor season has in store."
Jonte Turner - Indio High School/Riverside CC, Indio, CA
Turner, a Riverside CC standout, will make his way to Westwood for the 2014 track and field season after two successful years at Riverside. His personal records include 51.49 in the 400m hurdles and 14.46 in the 110m hurdles.
"Jonte is a great addition to our sprints and hurdles program. While he is already an accomplished 110 and 400 meter hurdler, he has an exceptional potential for improvement this season. In addition to giving us a presence in both hurdles, Jonte's ability in the open 400 will also bolster our 4x400 team."
Monique Van - Steele Canyon High School, Spring Valley, CA
Van is one of the most versatile athletes in this recruiting class, and will contribute to the heptathlon here at UCLA. In her junior her, Monique won three league titles and qualified for San Diego CIF in four events. She also qualified for California State Championships in the triple jump by posting a personal best 38'2". Van's other personal bests include 2:17 in the 800m, 44.7 in the 400m, 18'2.5" in the long jump and 4,300 points in the heptathlon.
"We are excited to have Monique as a Bruin. She is an extremely talented and versatile athlete who we believe will become a force in the heptathlon. Her wide range of abilities will have a huge impact on the overall strength of our women's team."
Myles Smith - St. John Bosco's High School, Bellflower, CA
Smith has been one of California's top distance since his sophomore year. Last season, Smith was the 2012 Div. 3 Cross Country runner up in the state of California. He holds a personal record of 9:08.21 in the 3,200m and continues to impress the track and field/cross country community.
"We are all excited that Myles has followed through with his commitment to become a Bruin," said Maynard. "His addition to UCLA adds strength and further depth to an already strong distance crew, and to our current recruiting class."
Kendall Baisden - Detroit Country Day School, Detroit, MI
Kendall won a gold medal last year at the IAAF World Junior Championships as a member of the USA's 4x400m relay team. At the Detroit Country Day School, she set personal bests of 52.59 in the 400m and 23.42 in the 200m.
"I had the opportunity to watch Kendall run in Barcelona last summer at the World Juniors," said Maynard. "She is not only exceptionally talented, but her personal poise and effort level shine through as a competitor. I believe that Kendall will add to the fine legacy of her Bruin predecessors in the 200m and 400m here at UCLA."
Braheme Days Jr. - Bridgeton High School, Bridgetown, NJ
Days Jr. is the no. 1 returning high school shot putter in the nation. He has thrown a nation-leading 70 feet, 8 inches and 69-0 as a high school junior. Maynard was also attracted to his elite discus throwing, as he hold a personal best of 192'.
"Braheme is really a great fit for our program. He's very bright, and a total student of the throwing events," said Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Mike Maynard. "He seemed like a member of the team from the time he stepped on campus. I believe he adds an immediate and added NCAA scoring potential to an already strong throws squad."
Morgan Simon - Loyola High School, Los Angeles, CA
Simon boasts personal bests of 10.53 in the 100m and 21.15 in the 200m while running track at Loyola High School.
"Morgan's addition to the team will bolster both our quality and depth in the sprints," said Maynard. "Coach Bolden and Coach Greene both feel that he will develop into one of the nation's top sprinters, and in the NCAA in future years. We are expecting Morgan to be a key player in continuing our dominance in the 4 x 100m relay."
Daniel De La Torre - La Salle High School, Pasadena, CA
As a junior, De La Torre was one of the top milers and two milers in California and placed fourth in the 3200m and ninth in the mile at the California CIF State Track and Field Championships. In 2012, he was the Division 4 California CIF State Cross Country Champion. De La Torre boasts personal bests of 4:10.74 in the 1600m and 9:05 in the 3200m.
"Daniel brings a combination of an extremely high level of motivation and raw talent to the table as a runner," added Maynard. "His attitude and future potential make him a perfect fit to our young and talented middle distance and distance group."
Paige Tennison - Newport Harbor High School, Newport Beach, CA
One of the top distance runners in California this year, Paige registered a personal best of 10:31.15 in the 3200m. As a Junior, she finished eighth in the 3200m at the California State Track and Field meet. She also placed fourth in Division 2 at the California State Cross Country meet.
"Paige is a great talent and is an exciting addition to our women's distance squad," said Maynard. "I feel that she has a great opportunity to develop as one of the top young distance runners and excel to the highest levels of NCAA competition, and beyond."
Be sure to check back here for more updates on the latest NLI signings for the UCLA track and field class of 2013.
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