After a strong showing at the Boise State Team Invitational and Husky Classic two weeks ago, the UCLA men’s track team looks to build on its positive beginnings to the indoor season this weekend at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championships in Seattle. The University of Washington hosts the invitational at Dempsey Indoor, the site of several previous meets this season.

After capturing the team title at last year’s meet, the Bruins aim to repeat and add to their list of individual provisional NCAA qualifiers. Ideally, UCLA athletes will push for NCAA automatic qualifying marks this weekend to enhance their chance at competing late in the season.

Six Bruins have already hit NCAA provisional marks, including senior Marlon Patterson, who almost broke the four-minute mile barrier at the Husky Classic, with 4:00.45. The indoor mile school record is in reach for Patterson this weekend if he can shed eight hundredths of a second off his time.

With an NCAA provisional qualifying mark already secure in the triple jump at 51 feet, 1.75 inches, junior Jonathan Clark can improve on his second-place finish at The Boise State Team Invitational, as he enters the MPSF Indoor Championships with the top seed in his event.

Redshirt Senior Kevin Craddock enters the meet with the top seed in the 60 meter hurdles, resulting from his dominating victory at the Boise State event with the winning time of 7.85 seconds. Since he already has hit the NCAA provisional qualifying mark, Craddock can use this opportunity to gain momentum entering the indoor season’s final weeks.

UCLA displayed its depth at the Boise State competition with strong team finishes in various events. Maxwell Dyce, Randall Carroll and Stan Griffin placed second, third and fourth, respectively, in the 200 meter, while Jamal Alston, Carroll and Karlton Rolle finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 60 meter dash. In addition, some field events also proved successful for UCLA, as Casey DiCesare, Mark DiCesare, and Eric White swept the pole vault.

As the indoor season winds down, this weekend’s MPSF competition will provide UCLA athletes with one of their final chances to extend their season onto the national level.

Compiled by Derek Groom, Bruins sports contributor.