The UCLA women’s track and field team finished its final meet before NCAA Indoor Championships with a fourth trip to Seattle.
The Bruins once again competed well. The UW Final Qualifier was an opportunity for the Bruins to meet automatic qualifying times for the NCAA Championships next week.
Senior hurdler Lindsay Rowe set yet another personal best this season in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.16 seconds, just .02 shy of eclipsing the automatic qualifying time of 8.14. That mark placed her second overall at the meet and at No. 10 in the NCAA this season, meaning her chances at having a lane on the track at the NCAA Championships are good.
“Lindsay Rowe had a nice personal record but still has a lot of room for improvement, and that’s good because she set a personal record but still knows she has more to offer,” coach Jeanette Bolden said.
Senior sprinter Ashlea McLaughlin didn’t rain on the parade in Seattle, setting her own personal record in the 800m race with a time of 2:06.73. This personal record was the sixth fastest at the meet but good for just No. 25 in the NCAA this season, falling short of the automatic qualifying time and leaving McLaughlin’s chances of competing in the NCAAs slim.
The Bruins continued their strong showing in the 200m race, as senior sprinter Joy Eaton finished first overall with a time of 24.99 seconds, one that was more than a second over the automatic qualifying time.
Sophomore Turquoise Thompson also won her respective event, the 400m, with a time of 54.59 seconds.
Freshman distance runners Tamara Purpura and Paisley Pettway rounded out UCLA’s triumphs. Purpura posted a time of 2:10.32 in the 800m, finishing ninth overall, while Pettway finished 10th in the same race with a season-best time of 2:10.95.
There was a damper on the day for the Bruins, as freshman sprinter Breyonna Hunter suffered from dehydration before the race. The 4×400m relay team could not race without its third runner and therefore had to pull out of the competition.
“I’m glad that everyone who went there ran really, really well, but I’m also sad that one of my athletes in the relay unfortunately couldn’t compete,” Bolden said. “We knew going into this season that unless we have a lot of depth going into the NCAA Championships, it’s very, very hard to get into those top spots.
“Our team is still young and had a good season last year and has had a good one so far.”