Bruins Win 17th Pac-10 Title, Score 143 Points in Victory
May 15, 2004
The UCLA Bruins won the 2004 Pac-10 Championships with 143 points. It is UCLA's 17th Pac-10 Title and the first under head coach Art Venegas. UCLA last won the Pac-10 Championships in 1998, when the Bruins scored 130.5 points for the victory. In the team standings, Oregon finished second with 130 points, followed by Arizona State (third, 120 points), USC (fourth, 95 points) and Arizona (fifth, 93 points). Stanford finished sixth (76 points), followed by Cal (seventh, 75 points), Washington (eighth, 45 points) and Washington State (ninth, 41 points).
In the final day of the championships, UCLA racked up four individual titles. Senior co-captain Dan Ames kicked things off, winning the hammer throw with a mark of 210-8 (64.21m, RQ). Later in the day, he completed the Pac-10 Championship trifecta by winning the discus throw (185-11, 56.67m). Ames is the first athlete in the history of the throwing events to win three individual titles at one Pac-10 Championship meet.
Junior Ben Aragon won the first individual title on the track. Aragon won the 800m in a personal best 1:48.45. And, true freshman Brandon Johnson won the 400m hurdles in a world leading and personal best time of 48.85.
"I feel that our seniors, in particular, had an awesome meet," said Venegas. "Ames won three events and Armon took charge in the long jump to win. Our middle distance crew showed that they belong amongst the top of the conference. Our sprinters were phenomenal. I can't say enough about Brandon Johnson. Tonight, he showed everybody what he was really capable of doing.
"I am very impressed with Jonathan Williams. He came back after a difficult 110m hurdles race to run a personal best in the 400m hurdles and scored critical points for the team.
"I'm thrilled with our staff. I work with some of the finest coaches. They prepared the athletes well and, even when things weren't going our way, we fought back.
This championship shows that UCLA is going to be a contender for a long time to come."
Final Team Standings
Hammer Throw - Senior Dan Ames won his second individual title of the 2004 Pac-10 Championships, throwing 210-8 (64.21m, RQ). Ames also scored 10 points for the Bruins. Sophomore Jake Knight finished seventh overall, throwing a personal best 191-8 (58.42m, RQ). He scored two points for the Bruins. And, redshirt freshman Brian Ruziecki finished 13th with a throw of 161-6 (49.22m).
High Jump - Sophomore David Murphy no heighted. Cal's Teak Wilburn won, clearing 7-3.25 (2.22m).
Discus - Ames completed the throwing trifecta, winning the discus with a throw of 185-11 (56.67m, 10 points, RQ). Sophomore Jeremy Silverman was seventh with a throw of 167-9 (51.14m, two points). And, Ruziecki was eighth with a throw of 161-8 (49.28m, one point).
Ames on winning the discus - "I feel really good about the win. The other throwers and I are satisfied that we did our part since this is such a close team race. Now, we can sit back, relax and cheer on our teammates."
On being the first athlete in Pac-10 history to win three individual throwing titles at one championship meet - "It feels great to win the trifecta. Coach Venegas told me that I could do it. I started to believe in what he was saying more and more, and believe in my ability to accomplish it."
Triple Jump - Sophomore Demetre Howard advanced to the triple jump final, placing ninth overall with a jump of 48-4.50 (14.74m, w: 0.0). Juaune Armon, who won the long jump title yesterday, was 12th overall with a jump of 47-8 (14.53m, w: 0.0). And, freshman Chris Merriweather was 13th with a jump of 47-7.75 (14.52m, w: 0.0). USC's Allen Simms won with a jump of 53-3.
1,500m - The Bruins went three-four in the 1500m run, scoring 11 points. Junior Ben Aragon finished third in 3:44.16 (six points, RQ). Fellow junior Jon Rankin was fourth in 3:44.53 (five points, RQ). Arizona's Robert Cheseret, last night's winner of the 10,000m, won in 3:43.50.
110m Hurdles - Juniors Tony Golston and Jonathan Williams competed in the 110m hurdles final. Golston finished second in 13.79 (w: +0.4, RQ), scoring eight points. Williams finished ninth after falling in 19.54. Oregon's Eric Mitchum won in 13.62.
400m - Sophomore Craig Everhart finished third in the 400m in a personal best 45.19 (six points, RQ). Everhart's improvement of .2 seconds off his personal best 45.39 remains eighth best in school history. Junior Denye' Versher finished ninth in a personal best 46.58 (RQ). Arizona State's Lewis Banda won in 44.58.
100m - Sophomore Matt Bruno was eighth in the 100m dash, finishing in 10.54 (w: +0.8, one point). Washington State's Anthony Buchanan won in 10.21.
800m - Juniors Ben Aragon and Jon Rankin, competing in their second event of the day, went one-two in the 800m run. Aragon won in a personal best 1:48.45 (10 points, RQ). Rankin finished second in a personal best 1:48.77 (eight points, RQ).
Aragon on winning the 800m title - "This is a great win for the team since the team competition is so close and we're trying to win the team title. Our one-two finish in the 800m is definitely an upswing. It looks good for us as a team. It is an awesome feeling to win tonight. It is great for our program and for Coach Peterson. It's nice to show off our talent at a big meet."
400m Hurdles - True freshman Brandon Johnson won the 400m hurdles title in a world leading time and personal best of 48.85 (10 points, RQ). Junior Jonathan Williams finished second in a personal best 50.22 (eight points, RQ). Sophomore Matt Willis finished ninth in 56.41. Johnson's time is fourth all-time in UCLA history behind former Bruin great Wayne Collette's 48.84. Williams' time is eighth all-time in school history.
Johnson on winning the 400m hurdles - "Before the race, I was scared. I had been thinking about this race all day. I listened to my teammate Craig Everhart, who told me to pray about it and go out and run my race. I don't usually run fast in the beginning of a race, but I knew that in order to compete I had to come out fast. Before the race, Jonathan, Matt and I got together. We knew that we all needed to score for the team."
200m - Sophomore Matt Bruno, competing in his third event of the day, finished eighth in 21.58 (w: 0.0, one point). USC's Wes Felix won in 20.43.
5,000m - No entries.
4x400m Relay - The Bruin squad of Craig Everhart, Brandon Johnson, Mario Bassani and Denye' Versher finished third in a season best 3:03.79 (six points, RQ). Arizona State won in a meet record 3:01.26.
RQ - NCAA Regional Qualifying Mark
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