The UCLA men’s track and field team appears to be hitting its stride.
In the last few weeks, UCLA has started the outdoor season with a barrage of team wins, first-place finishes and personal records, and has shown no signs of slowing down.
The No. 21 Bruins continue their home stand this weekend as they prepare to host the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational at Drake Stadium.
The meet begins today with decathlon and heptathlon competitions, followed by an open on Friday and an invitational competition on Saturday.
A large contingent of schools will compete over the weekend, including Michigan, Cal State Northridge, Loyola Marymount, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Hawai’i and San Diego State, among others.
In addition to student-athletes, the Bruins will also welcome a number of professional athletes who have been invited to compete at the invitational.
UCLA will look to improve on its dominating performance against Tennessee on Saturday, when it blew out the Volunteers 111-50 in a scored dual meet.
Key performances for the Bruins came from senior distance runner Cory Primm, redshirt senior pole vaulter Greg Woepse and freshman thrower Alec Faldermeyer, who all won their respective events and earned points for the team.
This weekend’s meet will be the first this season in which the Bruins will compete in the decathlon and heptathlon on their home turf.
Junior Trent Perez, along with sophomores David Thomas and Dominic Giovannoni, will represent the Bruins in the decathlon.
The crowd that assembled to cheer on the Bruins last weekend at Drake Stadium was a definite factor in the result of the meet, according to coach Mike Maynard, who said he hopes the support from the fans will continue as the season goes on.
Following this weekend’s meet, UCLA will compete at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays on April 14 and again at home on April 17 against Pac-10 foe Oregon, which has been climbing the national ranks and is seated at No. 10.
The competition against Oregon should serve as a benchmark for the Bruins to see how they will stack up against other top programs.
Compiled by Eric Peck, Bruin Sports contributor.