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UCLA track and field splits to set 10 all-time indoor school records across meets

Senior pole vaulter Ka’Leila Abrille clears the the bar. Abrille cleared 4.40 meters to win gold this past weekend. (Amelie Ionescu/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Rahaf Abumansour

Feb. 13, 2024 12:37 p.m.

Catching flights and podium finishes was the motto for the Bruins.

A year ago, they clinched four indoor school records and made history.

And a year later, the Bruins emulated the same energy at the same events.

UCLA track and field split into four teams, competing in four invitationals across the country.

The Bruins walked away with six all-time indoor school records from the split meets after the first day. They added four more, as well as personal records in the women’s pole vault.

The pole vaulters – who have now secured podium finishes in two consecutive events – were particularly successful over the weekend, with three placing in the top ten.

Sophomore pole vaulter Hunter O’Brien said the mentality differs between the lead-up to the meet and the moment it’s time to jump.

“It’s weird, I think outside of the meet, you see where you are in the NCAA and you’re focusing on it leading up to the meet,” O’Brien said. “Once you get to the meet, you focus on your jumps.”

O’Brien added to the top-10 achievements in the men’s pole vault at the Don Kirby Invitational, clearing a height of 5.42 meters. He earned the seventh-best record in UCLA history and a seventh place finish in the competition.

Podium finishes were also secured by the Bruins in the women’s 800-meter, men’s 800-meter, men’s 400-meter, and women’s unseeded 200-meter events.

Senior pole vaulter Ka’Leila Abrille picked up the top ten spot in the NCAA, clearing 4.40 meters to win gold in the event and tied for eighth in the NCAA in the field event. Her fellow senior Katerina Adamiec took the silver medal and finished on the podium with a new personal record of 5.42 meters, and sophomore pole vaulter Allison Leigh cleared 3.96 meters for the second week in a row.

O’Brien said the training has been consistent since the offseason and it has paid off.

“Over fall, our training has been super intense, no light days,” O’Brien said. “We have been carrying that into the season.”

A the Don Kirby Invitational, redshirt junior sprinter Yanla Ndjip-Nyemeck placed in second in the women’s 60-meter hurdles and the women’s 60-meter, clocking in at 8.12 and 7.55 seconds, respectively.

At the Boston College Eagle Elite Invitational, nine Bruins notched all-time top-10 marks. Senior Kate Jendrezak set the second-fastest UCLA time in the women’s indoor 800-meter race, with a time of 2:03.93, and also clinched bronze in the meet.

Graduate student Angus Harrington claimed second place with a time of 1:47.86 in the men’s 800-meter, propelling him to the third spot on UCLA’s Indoor All-Time Top-10 list.

The women’s 4×400 meter relay came in second place with a time of 3:31.32 seconds. The squad consisting of Jendrezak, junior Aly Conyers, sophomore Naomi Johnson and redshirt Kaylen Fletcher are now third on UCLA’s Indoor All-time Top 10 list.

The men’s 4×400 meter relay also took a slice of the pie as they came in third in the meet and third in UCLA’s Indoor All-time Top-10 list with a time of 3:05.67.

Graduate student sprinter Myles Misener-Daley, who was a part of the men’s relay, also came in 11th overall in the men’s 200-meter with a time of 21.42 seconds.

Daley was joined by senior Antonie Nortje and graduate student Ismail Turner, and all three were part of the team that set the record last year.

O’Brien said as the season progresses, he wants to continue to climb the ranks.

“Right now, I’m tied for 18th in the pole vault and I’m trying to get a higher mark.”

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Rahaf Abumansour
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