Thursday, September 21

UCLA men’s track and field ties for 4th at Pac-10 Championships

While coach Mike Maynard desired a top-three finish for his team this weekend at the Pac-10 Championships in Berkeley, the Bruins responded with a tie for fourth place and several solid individual performances.

The team tied with Arizona State, as both squads finished with 85 points. Oregon won the meet with 168.5 points while USC came in second with 156 points.

Maynard was impressed by the team’s overall performance, since athletes contributed important points throughout many events.

“Today on the track we had finalists in all of the events we needed points in, so we got good point production out of the whole team,” Maynard said. “There were no spectacular performances, but there were good performances around the board.”

Entering the meet with high expectations, the 4×100-meter relay team successfully defended its 2009 Pac-10 title and won the race in a season-best time of 39.66 seconds. Sophomore Jamal Alston, sophomore Karlton Rolle, freshman Maxwell Dyce, and senior Brandon Smith edged out their USC rivals for the victory, as the Trojans ran a time of 39.88 seconds.

“We have a great cohesive group (in the relay team), and I believe that they can run 39 seconds flat or sub-39 seconds at regionals and the NCAA Championships,” Maynard said.

Junior Cory Primm was one of the favorites to win the 800 meters on Sunday, but Oregon’s Andrew Wheating stole the show with a time of 1:47.77 for the victory. Primm finished fourth with a time of 1:48.99 after running the fastest qualifying time on Saturday in 1:47.93. He entered the Pac-10 Championships as the fastest 800m runner in the NCAA with a time of 1:46.63, so he still has the potential and opportunities to improve his performance in the next few weeks.

“Cory (Primm) went out and there was jostling and elbows thrown by another team, but he and Scott (Crawford) fought really hard,” Maynard said.

“I truly believe that Cory can run 1:45 or lower. His mindset and race strategy have been improving week by week, and he can be right there.”

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