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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Track adds one qualifier

    The goal for the Arizona track and field team leading up to the Mt. Sac Relays was to add to its 32 NCAA West Regional qualification marks. At the end of the meet in Walnut Creek, Calif., the Wildcats added just one qualifier, bringing their total to 33 and six shy of last year’s outdoor season total of 39.

    “”Overall, I think we did well. We had a number of people improve upon their previous qualifying marks,”” said UA head coach Fred Harvey. “”Ninety percent of the people did what we needed them to do. Now we have to make sure that we can keep everyone healthy and make sure they have the right mental attitude.””

    Though Arizona only added one new regional qualifier – Hannah Moen, who qualified in the steeplechase – there were seven athletes who improved previous qualifying marks.

    Considering the team has 33 qualifiers after the meet, Harvey predicted three or four more athletes will qualify as the team nears the regional championships on May 29.

    One of the athletes who improved a previous qualifying mark was long jumper Luis Rivera-Morales, who had one of the best performances of any Wildcat in the Mt. Sac Relays. The senior had a jump of 15.97 meters in the triple jump, which was his personal best and third all-time in the event in Arizona history.

    “”I think I did decent in this meet. If I had to give myself a grade on a scale of one to 10 it would definitely have to be a six or seven,”” Rivera- Morales said. “”We don’t want to be satisfied with the marks that we have right now.

    “”I try to compare (my results) to the top guys in the world,”” he added, “”so that keeps me striving to get better and keeps me from getting too satisfied.””

    Redshirt freshman Abdi Hassan also impressed as he set a freshmen record with his performance in the men’s 1,500-meter dash. Hassan won his section with a time of 3:43.54, which was also a personal record. The mark was good enough to give Hassan one of the top-10 times in the nation in that event.

    Senior runner Chris Titsworth also had a good showing, as he posted a better qualifying mark. In the 400m hurdles, his time of 52.26 – the seventh-fastest time in Arizona history – earned him a second-place finish.

    For the women’s team, high jumper Liz Patterson returned to competition and finished fifth in the event. However, the junior continues her quest to repeat as the outdoor champion in the high jump, as she improved on her qualifying mark with a jump of 1.85m.

    Redshirt junior Gabriella Duclos also improved on her outdoor mark in the pole vault as she cleared 4.15m to finish in fifth place.

    Both Patterson and Duclos competed against professional athletes in their respective events.

    With only a few meets remaining until the regional championships in Eugene, Ore., the Wildcats will attempt to add to their new regional qualifiers next week in the Sun Devil Invitational.

    “”It’s the same with every sport – once you hear UA against ASU, you just want to beat them,”” Rivera-Morales said. “”For me, I just go into the meet giving my best every time no matter whom our opponent may be.””

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