The UCLA women’s track and field team opened its indoor season at the UW Invitational in Seattle on Saturday with many noteworthy performances.
“Pretty much, everyone that stepped on the track (set a personal record),” said assistant coach Johnny Gray, who is the middle distance coach for both the men’s and women’s teams.
These impressive displays included freshman distance runner Melissa Skiba’s personal-best performance of 9:38.36 in the 3,000 meters, good for ninth overall in the race.
Also setting a personal record was senior sprinter Ashlea McLaughlin in the 800m with a time of 2:10.09 and a ninth-place finish. Redshirt freshman distance runner Allie Lopez achieved two personal bests with times of 2:14.09 and 5:00.00 in the 800m and the mile, respectively.
Other notable performances included those from the members of the 4×400m relay team, which consisted of senior hurdler Lindsay Rowe, freshman distance runners Tiffany LaMar and Paisley Pettway, and junior sprinter Yasmin Woodruff. Altogether, they finished second overall with a time of 3:39.37. Rowe’s mark of 8.26 in the 60m hurdles was .01 shy of her personal best, placing her second overall in the meet.
Senior sprinter Joy Eaton continued the Bruins’ powerful showing by placing 10th in the 200m with a personal best of 25.39 while seizing first place in the 400m with a time of 54.58.
This was just the first meet of the indoor season for the Bruins, but they asserted themselves as a dominant force.
“We were just using this meet to let people see where they are with their shape,” Gray said. “In practice, I let them know they were in exceptional shape, and this weekend they proved it.”
“We all came out and did really well this meet; we’re all in a very good spot in our training right now,” Lopez added. “We have a lot more we can do, but as a first meet we all came out and did the best we could with a lot of personal records for indoors.”
Indeed, the Bruins have jumped off the blocks on a promising footing, with things looking to get only better as the season progresses.
“These athletes are young and are looking forward to being world-class athletes,” Gray said. “This is how it starts.”