Darnesha Griffith Wins NCAA High Jump Title
May 30, 2002
2002 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
High Jump-senior Darnesha Griffith, who won the NCAA Indoor high jump title in March, claimed the Outdoor crown as well, winning the event with a leap of 6-0. She picked up 10 team points for the Bruin women. She becomes the fifth woman in NCAA history to win the high jump at both the Outdoor and Indoor in the same season (the last athlete to do it was Texas' Erin Aldrich in 1998; UCLA great Amy Acuff also did it in 1995). Griffith entered the meet with the No. 2 collegiate mark (6-0 ¾).
"I wanted to win and help our team," said Griffith. "That was my goal, to help our team as much as possible." Griffith's aunt is the late Bruin great Florence Griffith-Joyner and her coach (Al Joyner) was Flo Jo's husband. Al Joyner's sister is Bruin great Jackie Joyner Kersee, who is married to former Bruin women's head track and field coach Bob Kersee.
Long Jump-senior, Bunmi Ogunleye, who placed fourth in this event at the Pac-10, was 11th (20-1).
100m Hurdles-sophomore Sheena Johnson, who yesterday qualified in the 400m hurdles, also today qualified in the 100m hurdles and advanced to Friday's semifinals. Johnson, who placed second in this race at the Pac-10 meet, was fifth in heat two with a qualifying mark of 13.36 (personal-best, No. 7 in school history).
400m-freshman Monique Henderson, the national prep record holder in this event (50.74), placed second in her heat (52.36) and advances to Saturday's final. At the Pac-10 meet, Henderson was second in the 200m (she did not run in this event at the Pac-10 meet). Sophomore Adia McKinnon ran in heat two, placed fifth (54.21) and did not advance to Saturday's final.
1500m-sophomore Lena Nilsson, the national collegiate leader in this event (4:14.11), won her heat (4:23.42) and advances to Saturday's final. Her time was the second fastest of the day (behind Arkansas' Christin Wurth). At the Pac-10 meet, Nilsson won both the 800m and 1500m (she's only running the 1500m at the NCAA).
4 x 400m relay-Ogunleye, McKinnon, Johnson, Henderson, won heat one, in a time of 3:28.58, it was the top time of the day and a new UCLA school record, besting the old time of 3:29.41, set at the 1999 NCAA Outdoor.
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