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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Track piles up qualifications

    It’s just a few weeks into the 2009 season and the Arizona men’s and women’s track teams are showing just how dangerous they could be during the National Championships.

    For the second-straight week, the team competed in Albuquerque, N.M., and posted a myriad of eye-popping marks.

    Senior thrower Zack Lloyd smashed a school record in the shot put with a toss of 68′ 1.75″” – setting a facility-record in the process – which is the best mark in the country by almost 6 feet.

    “”That’s such a huge, huge throw,”” said UA head coach Fred Harvey. “”You hate to use the term statement performance, but we have in our state the two best shot putters in the country barring none. There’s no question about that with Ryan Whiting up there at ASU and Zack Lloyd.

    “”And Zack coming out and consistently throwing at the level that he’s throwing really sends a message that this is a guy who’s not just going to be there for one meet,”” he added.

    The New Mexico Invitational was different than last weekend’s Cherry and Silver Invitational in the aspect that this weekend’s event featured more distance events and some different field events. The change in events, however, yielded the same results for Arizona, as it earned nine NCAA automatic or provisional qualifications – with five of those being new qualification marks.

    Senior Shevell Quinley made her debut in the heptathlons, and although she placed second behind Mississippi State’s Marrissa Harris, her score of 3,864 earned her a provisional qualification.

    Other first-time qualifiers included redshirt-sophomore Jaci Perryman (12′ 11.5″” in the pole vault), sophomore Korion Morris (58′ 4″” in the shot put), senior Nick Mossberg (17′ 7.75″” in the pole vault), junior Dutch Perryman (17′ 0.75″” in the pole vault) and junior Jasmin Day (5′ 11.75″” in the high jump).

    “”They did an awesome job when you look at the number of qualifying performances that we had,”” Harvey said. “”…You have to be pretty excited about what the folks are doing.””

    The meet wasn’t scored overall as a team event, but the number of NCAA qualification marks that Arizona racked up was a good-enough reason for the Wildcats to return to Tucson with their collective heads held high. But the Arizona team possesses a different trait, which has caught the eye of Harvey and shows him they can continue their success going into next weekend’s Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.

    “”The neat thing about this group is there’s a real good sense of focus with them. Their performances are there,”” he said. “”… If you’re not competing out there to go the (best) you can all the time, and you become content with that, then why are you doing this? That’s just kind of the attitude that this whole group has.””

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