Rabbits were in action at the Toyota/ASICS Women's Track and Field Invitational at UC Irvine Saturday. But they weren't used for the standard purpose--to set a fast pace through the early stages of the race.
One, Buffy Rabbitt of UC Irvine, placed fourth in the 1,500-meter race with a time of 4 minutes 21.58 seconds, a personal best and just over a second off the NCAA Division I qualifying time of 4:20.50.
The other rabbit, unnamed and unattached, hopped out on the track just seconds before the race leaders--Jill Harrington of UCI and Ruth Wysocki of Brooks Track Club--charged past with one lap to go.
The furry creature bounded out of the way just in time and scurried under the pole vault pit as the bell sounded the last lap.
Wysocki had kept a step behind Harrington through the first three laps. She and Harrington cruised through the first lap in 70 seconds and passed the 800-meter mark in 2:20.
"Jill is real sharp right now, so I knew not to treat her lightly," said Wysocki, a 1984 U.S. Olympian who occasionally trains with the Anteater women. "I'll be racing in Europe all summer, so I don't want to overdo it too soon."
Wysocki's efforts were cautious until she decided to take control of the race. With 300 yards to go, she passed Harrington, accelerating down the backstretch with a long, smooth stride.
She finished in 4:16.47, Harrington was second in 4:19.16 and Michelle Buchicchio of Gardena was third in 4:20.80.
Track and Field Notes Kim Hagger of Great Britain won the 100-meter hurdles in 13.60 seconds, defeating CeCe Chandler, the 1986 NCAA Division II champion from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Chandler was second in 13.72. Cheryl Allen, 15 and a junior Olympic champion from Edmonton, Canada, won the 400 meters in 55.61. The Los Angeles Track Club had fine performances from many of its world-class members. Regina Jacobs of LATC won the 800 meters in 2:06.52 to set a meet and stadium record, breaking the former time of 2:07.08 by Julie Brown of Cal State Northridge in 1978. Rosalyn Bryant won the 400-meter hurdles in 58.59 and anchored the LATC's 1,600-meter relay team, which won in 3:39.39. Sjondrala Vaughn of UC Irvine set a school record in the 200 meters with a 24.12 clocking. Michelle Kelley was the previous record holder with 24.26, set in 1980. Bonnie Dasse of Coast Athletics won the invitational shotput (60-feet 0-inches) and was second in the invitational discus (183-6).