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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wildcats find success in first away outdoor meets

    The No. 5 men’s and unranked women’s Arizona track and field teams saw both success and disappointment during competition in the outdoor season’s first split away meets over the weekend.

    The Wildcats saw only one athlete advance to the final round during Friday and Saturday’s Texas Relays in Austin, Texas.

    In the men’s discus, junior thrower Adam Kuehl led the Wildcats by placing second overall in the competition with his best throw of 59.76 meters.

    The All-American currently has the third-best throw in the NCAA this season at 61.19m.

    Arizona track and field head coach Fred Harvey said Kuehl was remarkable.

    “”He did a great job in the disc, he just couldn’t catch the wind the way that he wanted,”” Harvey said. “”(But at) almost 200 feet you have to be excited for him.””

    In the women’s pole vault, freshman pole vaulter Gabriella Duclos placed ninth in the competition with a height of 3.95m.

    The clearance tied her personal best and is also a regional qualifying height.

    On the running side, junior sprinters Nikki Martin and Maritza Mora along with senior hurdler Jennifer Whitlock and senior sprinter Marquita Taylor placed 12th in the preliminary round of the 4-by-100-meter relay with a time of 45.69 seconds.

    Whitlock said the team, which is currently ranked No. 12 in the nation and placed 17th in the preliminary round of the 100m hurdles, could have done better at the meet overall.

    “”I didn’t perform well individually,”” she said. “”As a relay we didn’t do as good as we would have liked but still managed to get the stick around the track, which was good.””

    This meet just wasn’t for her, Whitlock said.

    “”I would have liked to perform better,”” she said. “”However, some meets are just off ones.””

    Unfortunately, the men’s relay team was not so lucky. Junior sprinter Troy Harris, sophomore Imoh Ekpo and freshmen Marcus Tyus and Xiong Xuehan were all disqualified after passing the baton outside of the zone during the second exchange.

    “”They were running very well,”” Harvey said. “”But Imoh didn’t have the confidence.””

    In the men’s hurdles, senior Jeff Hunter competed in his first outdoor meet of the season and placed 11th in the 110m preliminaries with a regional qualifying time of 14.11 seconds.

    Harvey said the meet was a great way to start the season for Hunter.

    “”It was just great to see him get back on the track,”” Harvey said. “”He did a fabulous job with the hurdles and he just missed making the final cut.””

    Meanwhile, the Wildcats fared well at UCLA’s Rafer Johnson/JJK Invitational on Friday and Saturday, as several athletes recorded personal bests and two posted individual victories.

    Senior thrower Rachel Varner led the pack by winning the women’s discus competition with her best throw of 55.03m. All-American Varner currently ranks No. 3 among discus throwers in the nation.

    In the men’s discus, All-American senior thrower Sean Shields did quite well, placing second in the competition with a toss of 57.17m. Shields currently has the fourth-best throw in the NCAA this year at 61.18m.

    Shields said he felt good about his performance but wished he could have had more practice time during the week.

    On the running side, senior distance runner Jonah Maiyo won the 1,500m in his season-best time of 3:46.59.

    The Wildcat women also excelled in the 1,500m, where many athletes posted huge personal records.

    Freshman distance runner MacKenzie Edwards led the Wildcats by placing fourth in the event with a time of 4:31.98. Sophomore Angelina Cabrera placed seventh with a time of 4:33.99 and freshman Marissa Urban placed eighth with a 4:35.11.

    In the women’s 5,000m, distance sophomore Emily McGregor placed fourth with her personal best time of 17:16.20.

    Overall, Harvey said he was most excited to hear about the women’s performances.

    “”Every one of those young ladies ran huge PRs,”” Harvey said. “”They were the group that we were most concerned about being able to develop for point potential at the Pac-10 level.””

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