It's UCLA for Methacton's Krais

Posted: November 19, 2007

Ryann Krais has set state records, owns almost every Methacton High track and field record, and has won at the Penn Relays.

Now Krais, one of the most accomplished female track athletes in southeastern Pennsylvania history, will take her considerable skills to UCLA next fall.

The Methacton senior almost singlehandedly won the PIAA Class AAA girls' outdoor track championship last May, accruing 30 of her team's 36 points by winning the 100-meter hurdles (setting a new meet record of 13.73 seconds), 300-meter hurdles (for the third straight year) and the long jump (for the second straight year). She's never lost a 300-meter hurdle race throughout her high school career.

She selected UCLA over Stanford, Virginia Tech, Texas and South Carolina. UCLA always appeared to be a favorite, ever since Krais was spotted last spring at the U.S. Track and Field Junior Nationals in Indianapolis by UCLA head coach Jeanette Bolden and Bob Kersee.

"I guess you can say I always had a thing for UCLA," said Krais, who gave an oral commitment Friday night to Bolden. "Coach Bolden's reaction was a little funny when I told her, because she screamed for a little bit. I can't describe how excited I am about this. I feel I made the right decision, and I can't wait for the future and what that will bring."

Krais is being recruited to compete in the 400-meter hurdles, as well as the heptathlon. UCLA has one of the best multi-event coaches in the world in Kersee, who coached his wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, to become the most accomplished all-around female track and field athlete in history.

Krais is leaning toward majoring in psychology. She will not take the route many stellar high school athletes are doing today and leave early for college. She plans on competing for Methacton this winter in indoor track, and helping the Warriors try to capture the outdoor state championship in the spring.

Krais made her official visit to UCLA in late October, under sunny skies and about 80 degrees. She played laser tag with former West Catholic standout Nicole Leach, the NCAA 400-meter hurdles national champion, and stayed with two freshmen.

"It is definitely a relief to know where I'm going next year, because a lot of friends inside and outside of track still don't where they're going," Krais said. "It's great to have this off my shoulders. I can't be going to a better place. This is a perfect fit for me. I think the main selling point was that if I didn't go to UCLA and I didn't reach my goals, I'd always regret it. I think that going to UCLA will get me to the Olympics some day." *

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