Saturday, April 4

Track and field debuts throwers, claims two first-place finishes

Just five Bruins went to the Pomona-Pitzer Track and Field invitational, and three made their 2018 debuts. But all of them found success, as not one of them placed lower than fourth among collegiate competitors. (Daily Bruin file photo)

There was a slight change of plans for the UCLA track and field team this weekend.

While the Bruins originally planned to compete the Jim Click Multi’s on Thursday and Friday, track and field director Avery Anderson said the team changed plans and decided to rest senior pentathlete Kendall Gustafson and give some throwers the chance for a season debut.

Five throwers competed at the Pomona-Pitzer Track and Field Invitational on Saturday.

Despite the small group, the Bruins stood out among the competition. UCLA took home a pair of victories, and all five throwers finished in the top five.

Junior Justin Stafford was responsible for one of those victories, taking first in the men’s hammer throw with a mark of 60.56 meters. The event win continued his season-long streak of high finishes. Stafford has taken first or second in at least one event at every meet this season.

In the women’s discus, freshman Alyssa Wilson took second among collegiate competitors with a mark of 44.22 meters, her third consecutive top-three finish in the event. Wilson also competed in the women’s hammer throw, but scratched on all four of her attempts.

The other three Bruins competed in the men’s javelin. Sophomore Simon Litzell, appearing at his first meet of the season, took first with a throw of 67.89 meters.

Sophomore Marian Spannowsky – who also debuted Saturday – was right behind Litzell, throwing 66.29 meters for second place among collegiate competitors. Spannowky’s mark was more than 12 meters farther than the third-place finisher.

Sophomore Connor Deverian rounded out the javelin team, throwing 53.92 meters to take fourth overall among collegiate competitors.

The rest of the team will return to action Saturday, at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational.

Sports staff

Kenney is currently a Sports staff writer on the softball beat. He was previously a contributor on the baseball, men's soccer, women's soccer, track and field and cross country beats.

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