Lightning and torrential rain prevented the completion of all but one event on the opening day of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Texas' Mike Myers Stadium.
The women's 4x100-meter qualifying was the only event completed before a thunderstorm that dropped more than two inches of rain in a six-hour period postponed all events except for the women's javelin qualifying and the first day of the women's heptathlon.
The women's 4x100, however, could potentially end up deciding the women's team champion as a very tight three-team battle between UCLA, LSU and Texas is expected. Coming into the meet, Track and Field News projected UCLA as a four-point winner over LSU and a six-point winner over Texas.
The Bruins' team-title aspirations, which will depend heavily on the fortunes of Gar-Field High graduate and UCLA senior Sheena Johnson's performance in these championships, were damaged in the 4x100 as their third-seeded team failed to advance to Friday's nine-team final.
UCLA lost ground early in the race as seniors Sani Roseby and Adia McKinnon had trouble on the opening baton exchange. Despite a strong anchor-leg performance by sophomore Monique Henderson, the Bruins missed out on qualifying by six one-thousandths of a second.
Johnson comes into the 2004 NCAA championships as the No. 3 seed in the 100-meter hurdles and as the top seed and defending champion in the 400-meter hurdles. She was supposed to run in the first two rounds of the 100 hurdles Wednesday night, an event in which she finished eighth last year.
She was scheduled to run Thursday in the 400-meter hurdles, for which she holds the world's second fastest time for 2004 (54.32 seconds). Due to the postponement, it's likely that Johnson will have to run both hurdles races on Thursday.