Saturday, October 21

UCLA women's track and field aims to send more Bruins to NCAA

Bruins continue to break records as they hope to send more teammates to national championships

Lindsay Rowe outdid herself yet again.

Already having notched two personal bests before the meet Friday, the senior hurdler did not disappoint, topping her own record again in the 60-meter hurdles.

The UCLA women’s track and field team was in action again over the weekend. While Rowe and most of the team competed in the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., a small squad was in Seattle for the Husky Classic.

But as many career bests continue to be shattered for the Bruins, it may not be enough to make a splash in the NCAA indoor championships held in March, according to coach Jeanette Bolden.

“In order to get into the NCAA’s we need a few more people to qualify, we need a little more depth,” she said. “We’re doing well individually, but we have to have more bodies in the NCAA’s to really make some noise. We’re trying to really get as many people qualified for NCAA as we can, but this is certainly a great start for us.”

Rowe and senior sprinter Ashlea McLaughlin highlighted the Bruins’ performance in Fayetteville. Rowe notched another lifetime best, finishing second in the 60m hurdle finals with a time of 8.18 seconds. That time struck in the top 10 nationally this year, and was just 0.04 seconds beyond the auto-qualifying standard for the NCAA indoor tournament.

“Whatever it takes, in order for her to get in there and make some noise, to get into the top three in NCAA, she’s got to put together a good performance, and she’s starting to do that now,” Bolden said of Rowe.

“She’s getting pretty close to the automatic qualifier at 8.14 (seconds). … She’s strong, she’s fast, she’s going to do well.”

Though Rowe has high expectations of herself, she was all about the team Saturday night.

“We just need a couple more good performances and a couple more teammates to go to the national championships, and I think they will do really well,” Rowe said.

McLaughlin marked quite the personal-best in the 800 meters, beating her previous time by almost five seconds. She finished fifth at the meet, her time of 2:07.66 good for a top-20 mark in the NCAA this season. Good performances also came from junior jumper Ke’Nyia Richardson (triple jump) and freshman thrower Ida Storm (20-pound weight throw) ““ both won their respective events.

Individual performances might be many, but the Bruins’ cohesion is undeniable and should come in handy in the team’s ongoing search for more NCAA qualifiers.

“It’s amazing how close we are. At the end of the day there might be little groups, but in the end we’re like a little family,” McLaughlin said.

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