UCLA Track and Field Shows Strong Performance
April 18, 2019
The UCLA outdoor track & field team continued a strong 2019 season with some stellar performances at the 17th annual Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational on Saturday at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA.
The Bruins, currently ranked in the top 25 in both the men’s and women’s national rankings, were led by sophomore Alyssa Wilson, who won three field events on Saturday. The invitational, which honors two of the greatest track & field athletes in Bruin and Olympic history, was highlighted by Wilson’s hat trick in the field events.
Wilson won the women’s discus, shot put and hammer throw competitions, setting a Drake stadium record and personal best of 231 feet, 8 inches in the hammer throw. Wilson ranks No. 2 in collegiate track right now in the hammer throw, behind a 234-4 by Arizona State’s Beatice Llano.
Wilson was not alone in her achievements for UCLA. Tyler Janes won the 1,500 meters in 3:46.92, edging Oklahoma’s Luke George, who ran a 3:46.96. Meleni Rodney won the woman’s 400-meter dash for UCLA in 53.01.
Nyree Brown won the 400-meter hurdles in 1:01.99. Alyssa Bautista of UCLA won the women’s 3,000 meter run in 10:07.46, edging UCLA teammate Annabelle Werner, who ran the race in 10:07.95.
The Oklahoma Sooners had a very good day as well on Saturday, with 15 event victories and 9 second place finishes. Among the highlights for Oklahoma were victories in both the men’s and women’s 100-meter dash. Jackson Webb won the men’s race in 10.6, in a race that had two false starts.
Amanda Van Buren, from San Diego, earned her first collegiate individual outdoor win, taking the women's 100-meter dash title in 12.10. Oklahoma also had an impressive 1-2-3 sweep of the men’s 200-meter dash, with Joseph Sheffield winning the event in a time of 20.89. Oklahoma’s Haley Herberg, from nearby Mission Viejo, won the woman’s 1,500 meter in 4:25.01.
There were also some outstanding performances in track & field events from local area college athletes. Lesha Hamm of Cal State Fullerton won the woman’s high jump at 5 feet, 8 inches. Solomon Demeku-Ousman of LMU won the men’s 3,000-meter Steeplechase in 9:27.40. Charles Kelly of Cal State Fullerton won the men’s 400-meter hurdles in 52.65.
UCLA will meet crosstown rival USC in a dual meet on Sunday, April 28th at Loker Stadium on the campus of USC. The Bruins will bring the #20th ranked men’s outdoor track & field team in the nation to USC. USC will counter with the #1 ranked woman’s track & field team in the nation. It should be an entertaining meet between the two rivals.