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Track and field athletes set personal bests, school records at West Coast Classic

Coming off her second Pac-12 Women’s Track Athlete of the Week award of the season, redshirt junior sprinter Shae Anderson ran a career-best 22.96 in the 200-meter at the West Coast Classic, sprinting her way into seventh place all-time in UCLA track and field history. (Courtesy of Mike Mattina/Arizona Athletics)

By Ricardo Garcia

April 20, 2021 2:50 p.m.

The milestones keep coming for the Bruins this season.

UCLA track and field took part in a split-squad edition of the West Coast Classic, sending its distance runners and throwers to Eugene, and its jumpers, pole vaulters and sprinters to Tucson. The Bruins set 15 personal bests and six top-10 program marks over the weekend.

The women’s split squad finished in fourth place out of a seven-team field, while the men came in seventh. However, in Tucson, both split squads took second place.

Junior sprinter Kenroy Higgins II earned a personal best 10.33 seconds in the 100-meter, shaving 13-tenths of a second off his previous best of 10.46 from 2019. Sophomore sprinter Chinyere Okoro notched a career-best 11.57 in the women’s 100m event.

On the throws, redshirt junior thrower Alyssa Wilson finished in second place with a throw of 69.58m (228-03), her best of the season and second best in the country this season. Senior thrower Ilaria Casarotto won the javelin on the first throw, posting a mark of 49.93m (163-09).

Shae Anderson – recently named Pac-12 Women’s Track Athlete of the Week for the second time this season – continued her impressive run with team wins in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays, while also taking home first place in the 200m. The redshirt junior sprinter set a new career best with 22.96 in the 200m, becoming the 14th athlete to eclipse 23 seconds this season, while also putting her at seventh place on UCLA’s all-time performance list in the event.

“Last year, I was feeling pretty good, but you know, (COVID-19) and then the year before that I was injured,” Anderson said. “I always knew I was capable of these performances. I never really had the time to actually perform though, if that makes sense. So I’m just happy that I’m healthy and that all the training I’ve been putting in and, everything’s just going to plan, so I’m really happy about that.”

Harrison Schrage also continued to climb up the UCLA record books as well. The senior sprinter and jumper was part of a second-place finish in the men’s 4x100m relay with the mark of 39.29, good for eighth on UCLA’s all-time performance list in the event.

With a career-best 7.97m (26-01.75) in the long jump, Schrage is now tied for sixth best on the UCLA all-time list, while also posting the sixth-best national result this season.

“I didn’t know that until after my jumps my coach told me, he’s like, ‘You know, that puts you on the all-time list,'” Schrage said. “That was pretty hard for me to grasp because there’s a pretty strong history of track and field here at UCLA. It is truly an honor. And really, I don’t know, it doesn’t feel right.”

Sprint coach Curtis Allen said he was impressed with how many milestones the Bruins were achieving as the season progressed, despite their normal training regimens being altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We started late. We’re behind schedule,” Allen said. “So we can’t help but get better. All these SEC schools and all these other schools, even ‘SC, they trained all fall. We didn’t have that luxury. So we’re actually like five months behind.”

USC will serve as the final regular-season opponent, and only dual meet, for UCLA on the schedule before outdoor postseason competition begins.

The two crosstown rivals are scheduled to compete at Drake Stadium on May 2. In the previous head-to-head meeting in 2019, the men upended the Trojans 102-60 at Loker Stadium, while the women were defeated 90-69.

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Ricardo Garcia | Sports contributor
Garcia is currently a contributor on the men's water polo and swim & dive beats. He was previously a contributor on the track & field beat.
Garcia is currently a contributor on the men's water polo and swim & dive beats. He was previously a contributor on the track & field beat.
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