|Chelsea Johnson (Pole Vault)
was very, very exciting, and at the same time there was a feeling
of relief because we had finally done it,” Bolden says.
“We finally got the monkey off our backs. We’d come
in second so many times, this was like a breath of fresh air.”
The Bruins got exceptional performances from the entire team,
particularly junior Jessica Cosby and senior Cari Soong in the
hammer throw; junior Monique Henderson in the 400m; senior Sheena
Johnson in the 400m hurdles; and Johnson, Henderson, senior Sani
Roseby and senior Adia McKinnon in the 4x400m relay. The relay
team’s fourth-place finish was enough to give the Bruins
a final, one-point victory in the team standings over LSU (68),
Nebraska (58), Texas (42) and Florida (29).
“This year, we had a lot more balance than we’ve
had before. We had key people in almost every event, whereas before,
we would have key people in a couple of events and then do a lot
of hoping and praying,” Bolden says, laughing. “I
think we really showed a togetherness that I hadn’t seen
before. All the girls felt responsible for their own events. They
were tired of being the ‘also-rans.’ ”
No longer the “also-rans,” the Bruin women raced
to victory, bringing UCLA’s 2003-’04 total to four
national championships and the Bruins’ overall total to
94, the most of any university in the country.
UCLA Magazine Senior Editor Wendy
Soderburg writes frequently about Bruin athletics.