UCLA women’s track and field to split up for the weekend


Freshman pole vaulter Karlye Marshall competes during the Bruins' Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational on April 9. Marshall and the Bruins will head to Eagle Rock Saturday for the Occidental Invitational.

Freshman pole vaulter Karlye Marshall competes during the Bruins' Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational on April 9. Marshall and the Bruins will head to Eagle Rock Saturday for the Occidental Invitational. Corrina Hui


It is a strange time of the year for the UCLA women’s track and field team. After competing in arguably the most exciting meet of the year last Saturday against USC, the Bruins would like to carry the extra “oomph” they had gained over to their next competition.

But they won’t get that opportunity this weekend.

Instead, they will have to endure the calm before the storm because only a few Bruins will head to Occidental College to compete in the Oxy Invitational on Saturday.

The storm that awaits them is the pressure and competition of the Pac-10 Championships that is looming next weekend.

But for now, UCLA coach Jeanette Bolden wants her team to stay healthy and to focus on the task at hand.

“This is more of a tuner meet for us,” Bolden said. “It allows them an opportunity to work on things to make adjustments for the Pac-10.”

But while the Bruins may be focusing on tuning up, the athletes who will have to make adjustments will be in top form to compete this weekend.

“It’s an invitational but there are schools coming from all over,” Bolden said. “(The meet) has a reputation of having good collegiate world class athletes. Some of them are turning into shape for their nationals … it’s a good quality meet.”

Among the UCLA headliners competing in the meet will be the pole vaulters.

“This is a good meet for (the pole vaulters),” Bolden said. “They can work on a couple things that they didn’t get a chance to work on (last week) … the vaulters are getting themselves going.”

That may be an understatement, as it seems the vaulters have been in top form for the past few months. Seniors Tori Pena and Katy Viuf have been dominant with several event wins under each of their belts this season. Last week at Drake Stadium, Pena and Viuf finished in second and third place, respectively.

There is one Bruin, however, who will not be going to the Occidental meet and will not be staying home to train with everyone else. Sophomore heptathlete Ryann Krais will represent the team in the Pac-10 Multi-Event Championships today and Saturday in Berkeley.

Although Krais has not competed in a full heptathlon this season, she seems to be rounding into form in all seven events. Last week against USC, Krais put on a clinic in front of the hometown crowd. She threw a lifetime best 132-10 in the javelin. She went sub-14 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles by running 13.86 seconds, a season best, and rounded out her day with another season best 5-7 1/4 in the high jump.

“She’s really doing well,” Bolden said. “She just ran a season-best last week. … Her high jump is being really consistent. We are looking for her to show up and compete. Right now she is really strong and confident.”

The team will be divided: There are those who will compete and those who will get some time to rest this weekend. With the exception of Krais competing in the Pac-10s, it seems this downtime will be the last the team gets before heading into the pressure-packed postseason.

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