Thursday, September 21

UCLA men’s track and field falls to Oregon in dual meet

Although the Bruins were unable to upset Oregon at Hayward Field on Saturday, the dual meet served as an indicator of an unyielding team mentality against adversity.

The No. 3 Ducks defeated the Bruins, 92-71, in front of a large crowd, but coach Mike Maynard was proud of his team for its unrelenting efforts.

“The great thing about this team is that we did not give up and still went after the Ducks,” Maynard said. “I am very proud of them for fighting all the way through.”

Amidst this strong competitive spirit, a number of Bruins delivered impressive individual performances.

Coming off a big win in the mile last weekend, redshirt junior Alex Crabill won the 5000 meters with a lifetime best, 14:11.57. Maynard felt that Crabill ran a gutsy race, as he took control in the last kilometer. Crabill commented on how the race unfolded.

“Oregon’s (Daniel) Mercado was right behind us and we traded off the lead, but at one kilometer to go I made a move and moved well the last two laps. It was fun doing a victory lap at Hayward Field.”

Also in the distance events, juniors Dylan and Spencer Knight and redshirt freshman David McDonald swept the 3000-meter steeple chase. Dylan Knight ran a lifetime best, 8:48.84, which is the third fastest time in the NCAA this season.

Maynard was especially impressed by freshman David Klarer’s surprise victory in the 400 meter hurdles. He ran a season best, 53.15, and Maynard was very pleased by the effort that Klarer put out.

“David showed a lot of heart in his first collegiate win,” Maynard said.

Heading into the Oregon dual meet, Maynard felt the 4×100-meter relay was a vital event to win, and the squad responded by winning the race with a season best, 40.02. Sophomore Jamal Alston, senior Stan Griffen, freshman Maxwell Dyce, and senior Brandon Smith edged out the Ducks, and they proved that they are a reliable source of points for future meets.

The throwing squad also had a promising day, as it swept both the discus and the shot put. Redshirt junior Bo Taylor won the discus with a throw of 173 feet, 4 inches, while he also placed second in the shot put at 54 feet, 9.5 inches. Redshirt freshman Nigel Davies won the shot put with a throw of 55 feet, 2.25 inches. Even though impressed by these exceptional individual performances, Maynard still places focus on an overall team effort in the dual meets.

“There are so many ways you can win or lose a meet. It takes the whole team to win because you need every point,” he said.

Stemming from the positive attitude the Bruins maintained throughout the Oregon meet, Maynard hopes that his team will come out of this week hungry for the annual dual meet with rival USC in two weeks.

Crabill also feels that his performance on Saturday will give him momentum entering the heart of the season, especially for the USC meet.

“I like to keep building, so I will go into the USC meet with more confidence and help the team get a win,” Crabill said.

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