Last year, the Bruins started off their season at the Armory Track and Field Center in New York. This year, New York served as the setting for its second meet of the year – though this one was the first one to be officially scored.
UCLA went up against athletes from Oregon, Ohio State and a host of unattached athletes representing teams like Nike and Adidas at the Columbia Invitational.
It was then-sophomore Rai Benjamin who was making a trip back home to the East Coast. He took home two top-five finishes in both the 200 meter and 60 meter races.
This year, however, freshman thrower Alyssa Wilson was the Bruin who was headed back to familiar territory. Coincidentally, she also finished in the top five twice.
The freshman finished fifth in the women’s weight throw Friday with a mark of 18.73 meters.
Wilson set a personal record in the shot put Saturday. Her throw of 16.75 meters was enough for an event win. She was followed closely by redshirt junior Ashlie Blake who came in second with a throw of 16.62 meters.
After this one competition, Wilson sits at seventh on UCLA’s all-time list for women’s indoor weight throw and eighth all-time for indoor women’s shot put.
The throwers didn’t stop there, however.
Junior Justin Stafford continued his winning streak and topped the men’s weight throw with a mark of 19.41 meters. The throw moved Stafford into seventh all-time in the event.
Senior Idrees Bernard placed fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 15.40 meters and sophomore Isaiah Holmes finished sixth overall in long jump with a leap of 7.16 meters.
The field events accounted for nearly every single one of the Bruins’ overall top-five finishes at the Armory this weekend. However, when taking unattached runners – who cannot score points – out of the finishing order, the Bruins come away with one top-five finish in track events.
Sophomore Riley Kelly finished 16th overall, but fifth among collegiate runners in the men’s 800 meters. He ran a personal best time of 1 minute, 51.83 seconds.
The quartet of sophomores John Carter Blunt, sophomore Logen Casavant, senior Scott Snow and Kelly combined for a sixth place finish in the men’s distance medley relay.
Junior sprinter Meleni Rodney logged the women’s highest finish in a non-field event – 11th place in the 400 meters with a time of 55.18 seconds. It was the transfer’s debut meet as a Bruin.
Just one sprinter competed for the Bruins on the men’s side. Redshirt senior Darnell Roberson placed 22nd in the 60 meter dash and 23rd in the 200 meter dash.
The Bruins will have two weeks to prepare for their next meet – the Don Kirby Invitational.