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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Track kicks off outdoor season with 15 qualifications

    The UA men’s and women’s track and field teams kicked off the outdoor season with a bang at their first home meet this past weekend at the Willie Williams Classic.

    With the home crowd at Roy P. Drachman Stadium cheering them on Friday and Saturday, the Wildcats impressed by earning a total of 15 provisional qualifications for the NCAA West Regional Championships in Northridge, Calif., on May 30-31.

    “”We wanted to see a change of attitude with our team (in the outdoor season) and we got it,”” UA head coach Fred Harvey said. “”I believe they finally get what they need to do and the intensity they need to compete with against good teams.””

    The UA standard was set by the athletes competing in field events, who earned all but two of the 15 qualifications.

    The meet also served as the first time this season the UA team performed at home. The university does not have an indoor track and field facility, so all of the meets during the first half of the season were at venues outside of Tucson.

    “”We train on this track all day,”” said junior multi-event athlete Shevell Quinley on competing at home. “”There’s that pride that you have when you’re at home, that you don’t want anyone to beat you.””

    The throwing teams dominated on both sides, with senior Megan Howard sweeping the hammer throw and shot put events with throws of 58.52 meters and 15.08 meters, respectively. Both marks were easily good enough to earn provisional qualifications.

    Junior thrower Nicole Lloyd proved herself to be the definition of consistency, earning provisional qualifications in the discuss, shot put and hammer throw events by placing in the top 10 in all three.

    Sophomore Jacquelyn Perryman also won the women’s pole vault with a height of 3.65 meters.

    The men’s throwing team showed their potential with All-American senior Shawn Best returning to the team. Best finished second in the shot put with a throw of 19.44 meters, easily clearing the 16.80 mark required for a qualification. His throw was just good enough to put him ahead of junior teammate Zack Lloyd, who also earned a qualification with his throw of 19.19m.

    The men’s long jump team also showed its prowess, with all three athletes who competed earning qualifications. Senior Daniel Marshall played the role of crowd pleaser, getting the stands pumped up before each of his jumps in the men’s triple jump event, which he eventually won with a qualifying distance of 15.44 meters.

    Shevell Quinley also qualified in the 100-meter hurdle event with a time of 13.76. Quinley is the women’s heptathlon competitor and looks forward to setting equally good marks in all her events at the Jim Click Shootout two weeks from now.

    “”I know we are one of the top teams in the Pac-10 from a potential standpoint,”” Harvey said. “”But that’s one word I hate – potential – and I need to see them back it up with performance, which I think we did this weekend.””

    Unlike the indoor season, the UA started the outdoor season with a much more difficult schedule and brought in the No. 4 men’s and No. 2 women’s teams from LSU for the Willie Williams Classic.

    “”We are not going to see any better competition from Pac-10 teams than we saw from LSU,”” Harvey said. “”And the athletes saw today that they can compete against the likes of LSU and that’s going to help us down the road.””

    Four UA athletes earn All-American Honors

    UA head coach Fred Harvey had hoped that the NCAA Indoor Championships would serve as a chance for the UA team to redeem themselves after an up and down indoor season, and his athletes did not let him down.

    Junior Shevell Quinley took third place in the women’s pentathlon while also breaking her previous school record with a final score of 4,256 points.

    “”With a high finish like that there’s no going back,”” Quinley said about carrying the momentum towards the outdoor season, “”You’re All-American and you obviously have the total package so you have to be on top of your performance every performance.””

    Senior sprinter Bobby McCoy lived up to Harvey’s prediction that he would surprise everyone in the country in the men’s 400-meter dash. Predicted by many to not even make it past the preliminary heat races, McCoy not only made it to the finals but finished in fourth place with a personal best time of 46.36 seconds.

    Also earning All-American accolades was junior thrower Zack Lloyd who took fifth place in the shot put with a toss of 18.63 meters.

    The final member of the team to crack the top eight in their event and earn All-American status was sophomore high jumper Jasmin Day, who finally hit the six-foot barrier for the first time all season and finished in sixth place.

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