Albuquerque, N.M. – UCLA Track and Field completed its first day of competition at the 2023 NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships on Friday.
The first Bruin in competition was hurdler Yanla Ndjip-Nyemeck, and she took to the blocks at 4:55 p.m. inside the Albuquerque Convention Center. After two false starts from competitors in the race, Ndjip-Nyemeck got her shot at the 60m hurdles. The redshirt-sophomore ran a personal-best 8.01 in the race, four hundredths of a second faster than her previous personal record. Ndjip-Nyemeck placed third in her heat, and her time was good for seventh in the prelims. Finishing in the top eight, the hurdler qualified for Saturday’s final.
The women’s distance medley relay team of Gwyn George, Kate Jendrezak, Rose Pittman and Mia Barnett were the next Bruins to run on the red and blue indoor track. The DMR trailed only Stanford going into the final one-mile portion of the race, but Arkansas and Notre Dame made their final pushes in a tight race to squeak by the Bruins. UCLA finished in an impressive 10:59.87 for fourth place in the nation; the Bruins started the meet ranked 10th with their qualifying time.
Ronan McMahon-Staggs took to the track last for UCLA in the first heat of the men’s mile. After a strong start at altitude, the group tightened and more runners got into the mix after five laps on the 200m banked track. The junior made a move around the final turn but the Washington Huskies were overpowering down the final stretch. McMahon-Staggs finished in 4:10.04, which placed him 12th in the meet.
Ndjip-Nyemeck will start things off for UCLA in the women’s 60m hurdles final at 4:40 p.m., followed shortly after by the women’s 4x400m relay. The relay team is slated to start at 5:20 p.m. and consists of Aly Conyers, Kate Jendrezak, Makenzy Pierre-Webster and Naomi Johnson; they qualified with a 3:30.86.
The men’s 4x400m relay will wrap things up for the Bruins – 8:20 p.m is the start time for the relay final.
Saturday’s track events will be broadcast on ESPN+ and can be watched with a paid subscription to the streaming service.
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