With some of the world’s best track and field athletes gathering at this year’s Mt. San Antonio College Relays, UCLA proved it belongs in the same elite group.
The 55th annual Mt. SAC Relays gave individual Bruins an opportunity to shine at a highly touted event. The Bruins took full advantage of the track, which is believed to have performance-favorable conditions.
Many UCLA athletes broke personal records this weekend, peaking at what seems to be the perfect time with the season nearing its conclusion. Everyone is trying to post top marks to improve their rankings, hoping to make the cut for the NCAA preliminaries.
Amidst the new personal records set, two Bruin women stood out. Sophomore distance runner Kelsey Smith ran the 5,000 meter in a time that tied for sixth-best in UCLA history. The final day of competition ended with a new school record, set by junior hammer thrower Ida Storm on Saturday.
With such stiff competition this weekend, only junior discus thrower Julian Wruck placed first overall. However, many Bruins placed near the top in their events including second-place senior pole-vaulter Liz Goodrich and third-place freshman runner Nick Hartle in the 800m.
As the Mt. SAC Relays were an invitational and not a dual meet, the main focus of the weekend was individual marks instead of the placing results in each event. In that aspect, the Bruins accomplished what they were hoping for with many personal records and strong individual showings.
The season is winding down with a big meet next week with rival USC, one players and coaches have had their eyes on for quite some time now. Competing against the Trojans will be the Bruins’ final preparation before Pac-12 and NCAA championships.
Compiled by Derrek Li, Bruin Sports contributor.