January 22, 2010

UCSD To Host Meet In Honor Of Former Student-Athlete Leon Roach

LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego track and field program will host an open pole vault event on Saturday, February 13 in honor of Leon Roach, a former student-athlete who passed away in September. All proceeds of the Leon T. Roach Vault-A-Thon will go to a memorial fund setup in Roach's name to build a permanent memorial and improve the UCSD pole vault facility.

The event will be open to pole vaulters only and held at the UC San Diego Track and Field Stadium on campus. The women's competition will begin at 10:00 a.m., followed by the men's event at 1:00. There is a pre-entry fee of \$20 and a cost of \$40 on the day of the meet.

"We have had a tremendous response from the pole vault community in regards to the vault-a-thon in Leon's name," head tack and field coach Tony Salerno said. "We've had sponsors such as UCS Spirit make generous donations, so we're feeling very good about the event. This will be a celebration of Leon's life and will hopefully be a big step in helping to support the sport he loved so much."

To enter please visit www.directathletics.com or click here. Donations can also be made directly at www.givetoathletics.ucsd.edu.

Roach was a sophomore Physiology and Neuroscience major in Revelle College and spent one season with the UCSD track and field team. He was injured during a training exercise on September 3 and passed away two days later at Scripps Memorial Hospital.

A native of Huntington Beach, Roach came from a family of successful pole-vaulters. His father, Leon Roach II, cleared 16' 8.75" inches at the University of Hawaii in the 1970s and had aspirations of competing in the Olympics, while his half-brother Curtis Hendrick cleared 15' 4" inches at Marina High School. Roach also hit that mark at Marina, which tied for the second best jump in school history.