Women’s track and field gets early postseason start boosted by multi-event athletes
Redshirt junior Christina Chenault finished third in the women’s multi-events Pac-12 championship. Chenault set personal records in the 100-meter hurdles, 800m long jump and javelin at the Bryan Clay Invitational in mid-April and finished in first place. (Daily Bruin file photo)
May 7, 2019 12:49 a.m.
Two Bruin multi-event athletes opened the track and field postseason this weekend.
Redshirt junior Christina Chenault and sophomore Isa Videler placed third and ninth, respectively, in the Pac-12 Multi-Events Championships in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday and Sunday. The duo scored six early points for the UCLA women’s team in the overall Pac-12 championship tally.
“I’m pretty happy (with my performance); my day one helped set me up pretty well for my day two,” Chenault said. “I knew that not everything was going to go absolutely perfect, but I still feel very good about being able to score for the team and get close to my (personal record).”
Chenault was in third after Saturday’s events, finishing fifth in the 100-meter hurdles, third in the high jump, fourth in the shot put and fifth in the 200m dash. She closed out the meet Sunday with a second-place finish in the long jump, 11th in the javelin, and second in the 800m run – maintaining her third-place standing among the field.
“I always knew that if (Chenault) could stay healthy that she could do great things,” said volunteer coach Kendall Gustafson. “She has definitely matured a lot, both physically and mentally, and I think she can do some really wonderful things.”
Chenault said patience and diligence have been her focus this season after spending the majority of the 2018 outdoor season fighting injuries.
“Things are starting to really come together now, which is really perfect,” Chenault said. “My focus during indoor season was staying healthy and (focusing on) getting stronger; throughout spring I’ve been able to hone in the technique and get more reps in which has helped a lot in my muscle memory.”
Videler competed in the first multi-event meet of her career this weekend. She posted the 12th-best 100m hurdle time and a trifecta of 11th-place finishes in the high jump, shot put and 200m dash Saturday.
Videler closing out the meet Sunday with ninth-place finishes in the long jump and javelin throw and a fourth-place finish in the 800m run to finish ninth overall for the weekend.
“Coming back from an injury, my performances weren’t the best, but they’re okay for now,” Videler said. “I think both me and my coach went into the meet thinking about enjoying the experience and being competitive and that’s what I did, so I’m definitely happy with that.”
Videler transferred to UCLA from Missouri State this year and said training with Gustafson and Chenault has helped make her adjustment to multis and her new surroundings easier.
“(Gustafson) and (Chenault) have really helped me improve myself because they both push me a lot which helps me; we’ve formed a really good bond this year,” Videler said. “It was a little tough coming from Missouri State in the beginning. I’d never been to LA before so I didn’t know what to expect, but things have definitely worked out really well.”
UCLA is currently in third place in the women’s point standings for the Pac-12 championship. The rest of the Bruins will travel to Tuscon to compete in the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships on Saturday and Sunday.