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UCLA track and field returns triumphant from NCAA championships

Senior Myles Misener-Daley sprints on the track. Misener-Daley was the only Bruin to earn First and Second Team All-American honors at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. (Amelie Ionescu/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Declan LeDrew

June 12, 2023 2:00 p.m.

The Bruins placed third in the men’s 4×400 at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, with the school’s fastest time at the Championships ever. This was their first time qualifying for this event since 2005 and their highest placement in the event since the schools’ championship in 1999.

The track and field season comes to a close with the Bruins earning All-American honors in 12 events at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. UCLA athletes who qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships competed for national glory in Austin, Texas this past Wednesday through Saturday.

The men’s 4×400 relay team consisting of junior sprinter Antonie Nortje, graduate student sprinter Willington Wright, and senior sprinters Myles Misener-Daley and Cameron Reynolds achieved the highest UCLA finish in any event. Notching a time of 2:59.82, the team earned third place in the nation and earned First Team All-American honors. Misener-Daley was the only Bruin to receive First and Second Team All-American honors, as he also achieved Second Team All-American honors in the 400m sprint. He placed 15th in the country with a time of 45.56.

Misener-Daley reflected on the difference between competing in individual and team events.

“Individual events, I am more so trying to prove myself,” Misnener-Daley said. “When it’s the team environment and the relays, it’s more so you are not wanting to disappoint the rest of my guys. We’ve all worked so hard to get to that point that in the moment you are just doing it for them.”

Junior runner Peter Herold, who also earned Second Team All-American honors, rounded off his record-breaking career at UCLA with a 10th-place finish in the 3000m steeplechase.

The women’s team saw multiple throwers competing in the finals. Graduate student thrower Federica Botter achieved a throwing distance of 55.79m in the javelin event, which earned her seventh place in the nation. In the hammer throw event, graduate student thrower Mayyi Mahama finished 11th with a distance of 64.57m, Mayyi Mahama finished 11th with a distance of 64.57m, which earned her Second Team All-American honors. She is the first UCLA female javelin thrower to achieve First Team All-American honors in 25 years.

Sophomore thrower Lyvante Su’emai saved her best for last this season, achieving a personal-best of 55.69m in the discus throw. This mark helped her achieve 11th place in the country and Second Team All-American honors.

Su’emai said she relied on the support system of the rest of the team back home to energize her nationals run.

“It definitely helped the nerves a lot, and I know my throwing teammates back home were very supportive, made me very emotional,” Su’emai said. “This is bigger than just me, and hopefully we can all make it next year, that’s the goal.”

Junior sprinter Rose Pittman bested her record in the 800 meter sprint, which also improves upon the third fastest mark in UCLA history. With a time of 2:03.77, she placed 16th overall and earned Second Team All-American honors. Senior runner Emma Tavella ran a 9:56.93 minute time in the 3000m steeplechase. She made it to the semifinal round and ended up placing 14th in the country and earning Second Team All-American honors.

Another Bruin squad achieved a new season best in a team event. The women’s 4x400m team, consisting of sophomore sprinter Aly Conyers, sophomore sprinter Makenzy Pierre-Webster, junior sprinter Kate Jendrezak and freshman sprinter Naomi Johnson ran a combined time of 3:30.55 minutes which earned them 12th place and Second Team All-American honors.

Coach Avery Anderson said the Bruins’ performances are a testament to the preparation throughout the season paying off.

“For people that went in and either threw or ran personal bests to claim some of those All-American certificates, I think there is a lot there,” Anderson said. “Obviously, the men’s 4×400 claiming third place was huge.”

Email LeDrew at [email protected].

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Declan LeDrew
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