UCLA’s Sua Wins Women’s Shot Put
BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Seilalu Sua enabled UCLA to finish the decade the same way it started in the women’s shot put at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Sua, the collegiate leader in the shot put this season, solidified her status Thursday, winning with a heave of 57 feet, 9 inches. She is the fourth shot put champion from UCLA during the 1990s.
Tracie Millett was the Bruins’ first winner of the decade in 1990, and was followed by Dawn Dumble in 1993 and Valeyta Althouse in 1995.
Sua, also winner of the NCAA discus title the past two years, will attempt to become the event’s first three-time winner in Saturday’s final. If she wins again, Sua would complete another bookend success for the Bruins. Millett won the discus in 1990 and Dumble won in 1995.
Sua also is the collegiate leader in the discus this season with a career-best 212-4 and is the prohibitive favorite to take her third consecutive title.
The multitalented Sua also qualified in the hammer throw and javelin, but decided to compete in only two events.
``Why not go for a sure 20 points for my team when I know I can win the shot put and discus?″ she said.
Meanwhile, Arkansas’ Seneca Lassiter and Washington State’s Bernard Lagat provided a preview of Saturday’s men’s 1,500-meter final. The two were paired in the same heat in Thursday’s semifinals, and Lassiter edged Lagat with a late lunge _ 3 minutes, 47.92 seconds to 3:47.96.
It didn’t necessarily matter who won because both qualified for the final, but Lassiter, the two-time defending champion, apparently wanted the psychological advantage by finishing first. Both, however, have great respect for each other.
``Saturday is not going to be easy,″ said Lagat, who beat Lassiter at the NCAA indoors and will run the 5,000 final Friday. ``I’ve got to be ready for whatever happens. He’s a great competitor.″
Lassiter said, ``Bernard is a tough competitor. When the 1,500 rolls around, he’ll be ready.″
Big East champion Yolanda McCray of Miami ran one of the fastest 100-meter hurdles times of the season and set a Bronco Stadium record, winning her preliminary heat at 12.87. Among those joining her in Friday’s semifinals were UCLA’s Joanna Hayes (12.90), Western Athletic Conference champion Miesha McKelvey of San Diego State (12.91) and Atlantic Coast Conference champion Andria King of Georgia Tech (12.98).
Despite the sparkling time, McCray was not satisfied with her race.
``I think I was going too fast because I kept hitting the hurdles ...″ she said. ``I’m going to have to work on getting up close on the hurdles and getting down off them and trying not to hit them.″
NCAA indoor champion Terrence Trammell of South Carolina, the collegiate leader in the men’s 110 hurdles this year, had the fastest time, 13.71, in the preliminaries and led the advance into Friday’ semifinals. The other heat winners were Indiana State’s Aubrey Herring at 13.73 and Central Michigan’s Greg Richardson at 13.78.
Trammell, who has clocked 13.39 this season, was not inclined to run faster in the prelims.
``I didn’t want to press for a time,″ he said. ``If I do that, my mechanics go bad. I worry about running fast and letting the times come to me.″
Finals also were scheduled Thursday in the men’s long jump and decathlon, and the women’s high jump and 10,000 meters.