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UCLA track and field wraps indoor season in Seattle, heads to NCAA Championships

Graduate student sprinter Cameron Reynolds races on the track. Reynolds earned a second-place finish with the men’s 4×400 meter relay team. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Rahaf Abumansour

Feb. 26, 2024 4:55 p.m.

Just like its namesake implies, this weekend’s tournament offered the Bruins one last chance to make their mark before the indoor season culminates.

UCLA track and field journeyed to Seattle once again to compete in the Ken Shannon Last Chance Invitational. This marked the final meet before the NCAA Indoor Championships and beginning of the the outdoor season.

The Bruins snaffled several top-five finishes on the track.

But just one Bruin topped the podium: sophomore distance runner Conor Gibson in the men’s 5000-meter run. Gibson ran a time of 14:22.93, just under one second ahead of second place.

Gibson said the result was the culmination of a year of consistent training.

“It is really about staying consistent and trusting our fitness and training, trying to improve every week,” Gibson said.

Senior sprinter Kate Jendrezak placed fifth in the women’s 800-meter race, propelling her to second in UCLA’s all-time indoor list.

The men’s and women’s 4×400 meter relay teams achieved second and third place finishes, respectively, as the men clocked in at 3:06.13 and the women at 3:34.76.

Graduate student sprinter Cameron Reynolds of the men’s relay team said the Bruins are working toward competing on the big stage.

“We’re trying to make the Olympic team here and there, and we want to see what everyone can do,” Reynolds said. “Our goal is just to keep getting better and better day by day and see PRs … coming in, however long it takes to make sure they come in.”

On the field, graduate student jumper Asha Fletcher placed fifth in the women’s triple jump with 12.36 meters. Graduate student thrower Natalie Ramirez threw 15.58 meters in the women’s shot put, coming in fourth place overall.

Reynolds said the Bruins remain steadfast in their goals ahead of the outdoor season.

“All in all, we’re still working really hard and getting to where we need to be and getting to the goals that we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season,” Reynolds said.

Selection for the NCAA Indoor Championships will be Feb. 27.

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Rahaf Abumansour
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