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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Sports briefs

    Women’s track continues impressive start

    The men’s and women’s track and field teams continued their strong start to the season at the Dan Dehart Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. this weekend, with several athletes provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

    In his first heptathlon of the 2007 season, senior Jake Arnold beat his own school record with a score of 5,687 to place second overall. The score automatically qualifies him for the Indoor Championships in June and is the No. 2 heptathlon score in the country this year.

    Sophomore Shevell Quinley also improved her own school record in the pentathlon, pushing the record to 3,781 with her fourth-place finish and provisionally qualifying for the Indoor Championships.

    Although team scoring didn’t count officially, the women’s team finished first overall in the meet.

    The women’s freshmen, Elizabeth Patterson and Jasmin Day also provisionally qualified in the high jump, as they finished third and fourth, respectively.

    New Mexico’s 200-meter track is unique because it is banked like the track at the Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark, said UA head coach Fred Harvey.

    “”I’m a little disappointed, and I’m looking forward to going back (to New Mexico) in two weeks now that I’m better prepared for the (banked track),”” said freshman Tifney Reeve, who finished fourth in the 400m with a time of 56.77.

    “”He’s taking (what he learned in football) over to track and running effortlessly. He’s the epitome of a 60m and 100m guy, he’s a power guy.””– Shawn Best, senior track and field thrower on teammate Troy Harris

    The men excelled in the meet, as several athletes bested their personal records.

    “”I feel like a whole different runner this year. I try harder in practice, and I run harder at the meets,”” said senior Troy Harris, whose 6.75-second mark in the 60m preliminary was .01 off the school record and the provisional qualifying mark.

    Harris placed first in the 60m finals with a time of 6.81. Harris, who is also a walk-on wide receiver on the football team, credits his football strength and conditioning training to making him “”physically and mentally stronger.””

    “”He’s taking (what he learned in football) over to track and running effortlessly,”” said senior thrower Shawn Best, an offensive lineman on the football team. “”He’s the epitome of a 60m and 100m guy. He’s a power guy.””

    Best provisionally qualified and set a personal record in the shot put with a throw of 18.73m.


    Distance runners

    The distance contingent participated in the University of Washington Invitational in Seattle this weekend.

    Senior Moses Mpanga was the top team finisher in the mile with a time of 4.10.

    Mpanga’s time was slower than it could have been because he got in a slower heat, said UA associate head coach James Li.

    “”He’s not where we want him to be yet, but it’s a good start,”” Li said.

    The distance team that competed was led by a few veterans but mainly consisted of young athletes, Li said.

    “”We’re trying to prepare everyone to run well for (the outdoor season), and we’re still treating it as training,”” Li said.

    – Justin Adler


    Hill joins Berezowitz in Minnesota

    Strength coach Mark Hill is the second member of the UA football staff to join the Minnesota program this offseason.

    Hill was announced as one of 12 members of new Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster’s staff for next season in a press conference Thursday in Minnesota.

    Hill, 28, had teamed with strength coach Corey Edmond the last three seasons. Hill left Oklahoma for Arizona in January 2004 at the behest of then-new UA head coach Mike Stoops, formerly the Sooners’ defensive coordinator.

    “”When I went out and looked for our strength coach, a guy who I really believe in tremendously told me the best strength coach in the country was Mark Hill,”” Brewster said. “”I wanted a guy who was going to be aggressive and be positive with our players, and we are thrilled to have Mark join us.””

    Also announced among the newcomers was former Arizona director of personnel and research Dan Berezowitz, who resigned from Arizona Jan. 17.

    “”Dan is a great friend and will do an outstanding job for us,”” Brewster said.

    Attempts to reach Hill, Berezowitz, Brewster, Stoops and Edmond for comment were unsuccessful.

    – Tom Knauer


    Men’s golf hosts PING tournament

    The Arizona men’s golf team opens its 2007 season today with the PING-Arizona Intercollegiate tournament at the Arizona National Golf Club.

    The tournament features 16 teams, five of which finished the fall season ranked in the national top 20.

    Last year, Arizona’s Henry Liaw, who has since turned pro, won the individual competition in the tournament, and Brigham Young won the team championship.

    PING is known as one of the finest collegiate tournaments in the country. This year, Arizona will send two squads to compete against No. 12 Tennessee, No. 14UNLV, No. 15 East Tennessee State, No. 17 BYU and No. 20 ASU, as well as other Pacific 10 Conference schools California and Oregon and seven other schools.

    Arizona posted one top-five finish in five events last season.

    Thirty-six of the tournament’s 54 holes will be played today on Arizona National’s 6,785-yard, par-71 layout beginning at 8 a.m. The remaining 18 holes will be played tomorrow at 8 a.m.

    – Mike Ritter


    Icecats lose star forward, drop two to Weber State

    The No. 18 Arizona club hockey team is taking a deep breath after Friday night’s game, when sophomore center Matt Conover hurt his knee in what could be a season-ending injury.

    Conover will undergo tests early this week and could have results back before next weekend’s series in Phoenix against No. 13 ASU, said Icecats head coach Leo Golembiewski.

    Conover hurt his knee early in the first period of Friday night’s 5-3 loss to Weber State, who won again, 7-2, on Saturday behind four power-play goals.

    Weber State “”had a whole organizational change early in the season,”” Golembiewski said, “”and now they’re playing pretty good hockey. They split a series with (No. 4) Oklahoma.””

    With Conover out, the Icecats (13-9-1) lose their points leader (51).

    The Icecats are currently on the postseason bubble, as only the top 16 teams in the ACHA make the national championship tournament Feb. 28-March 4.

    With two rankings left, the Icecats must win three of the next four games to get enough votes to get into the tournament, Golembiewski said.

    Sophomore goaltender Nick Boddy had 36 saves on 41 shots Friday, while forward Robbie Nowinski led the Icecats with three goals over the weekend. Nowinski scored both goals for the Icecats Saturday.

    “”We need to play really well on the road these next four games, both individually and collectively, if we want to see nationals this year,”” Golembiewski said.

    – Savir Punia


    Women’s tennis upset in Colorado

    Last season, the Arizona women’s tennis team only lost to one team ranked below it. Three matches into this season, the No. 34 Wildcats (1-2) have already lost to two.

    The team went 0-2 this weekend, losing to No. 56 Colorado 6-1 on Friday and No. 58 Denver 5-2 on Saturday.

    “”I was disappointed and felt that we took a couple steps back for some unknown reason.””– Brian Ramirez,
    assistant tennis coach

    For the Buffaloes (2-0), the victory marked the team’s first win over an opponent ranked in the top 35 since the 2002-03 season.

    “”There are no words”” to describe the weekend’s matches, said UA assistant coach Brian Ramirez. “”I was disappointed and felt that we took a couple steps back for some unknown reason.””

    After a 6-1 victory over unranked NAU last weekend, the Wildcats managed only three points between the two matches.

    Against Denver (2-1), Danielle Steinberg suffered a upset at the No. 1 singles position. Steinberg played the Pioneers’ Annette Aksdal last season and defeated her 6-0, 6-0.; Saturday, Aksdal pulled off a 6-4, 6-2 straight-set win.

    “”I didn’t play well,”” Steinberg said. “”It wasn’t really about how she played, it was about how I played. I can’t really excuse the loss.””

    The Wildcats managed to pick up two victories from Juliette Mavroleon at the No. 2 singles position and Tina Razloznik at the No. 5 spot.

    Arizona’s lone win against Colorado came from senior Kasia Jakolew, as she defeated Colorado’s Veera Nurmi in three sets, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

    “”I think with Kasia, (the slow start) was a little bit of the altitude and having to find the range of her ball,”” Ramirez said. But “”when she became more in command of the ball she was hitting, she ran right through the girl.””

    One of the few bright moments the Wildcats can appreciate from the weekend is the return of Mavroleon. The junior missed the first match of the season against NAU because of various nagging injuries. Ramirez said she has had issues with her ankle, leg and shoulder that have required her to miss a match here and there to recuperate.

    Nonetheless, she managed to bring in a singles victory against the Pioneers and teamed with Steinberg to snag an 8-3 doubles win at the No. 1 spot against the Buffaloes.

    Mavroleon and Steinberg are ranked No. 40 as a doubles team but still haven’t fully adjusted to playing as a duo, Steinberg said.

    “”We played all right in the first match, but the second match we started kind of slow,”” Steinberg said. “”We just need more time to play together.””

    Arizona is confident it will learn from the losses and be ready for tougher Pacific 10 Conference play later in the season.

    “”We just weren’t hitting enough balls in the court from top to bottom in the lineup,”” Ramirez said. But “”it will definitely improve. We have some tough matches coming up. It certainly doesn’t get any easier for us. We just need to take (the losses) like a man and go down the road.””

    – Bobby Stover

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