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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona track ends season at NCAAs

Gordon+Bates+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0ABridgetta+Barrett%2C+UA+high+jump+junior%2C+does+strength+training+at+Drachman+Stadium+this+Monday+Jan+30.
Gordon Bates / Daily Wildcat
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat Bridgetta Barrett, UA high jump junior, does strength training at Drachman Stadium this Monday Jan 30.

The Arizona men and women’s track and field teams concluded successful seasons this weekend at the NCAA Division I outdoor championships, hosted by Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The men’s team had a strong championship weekend, finishing in seventh place with 27 points, while the women finished in 19th place with 15 points.

“We accomplished some of the goals we set forth for the season,” Arizona head coach Fred Harvey said. “We felt we could have been a top four team on the men’s side. We lost the second best shot putter in the nation (junior Alyssa Hasslen) and the top hurdler in the nation (senior Georganne Moline) to injuries. Put their points together and we would have been third in the women’s championships.”

Participating in the field for the men were sophomore Bozidar Antunovic in shot put, sophomore Lawi Lalang and senior Stephen Sambu manning the distance runs and junior Tyler Johnson in the hammer throw.

Antunovic finished sixth in the men’s shot put, while Lalang placed third in the men’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 13:42.20 to end his second consecutive All-American season.

Sambu took fifth place in the men’s 5,000-meter run and second place in the men’s 10,000-meter run with a time of 28:09.52, capping off his All-American season.

Johnson earned eighth place in the men’s hammer throw with a toss of 63.88 meters.

“It feels pretty good,” Johnson said. “I’ve been working pretty hard the past few years and that was my goal, to be an All-American. Eighth (in the hammer throw) is good but it leaves me wanting to get better next year.“

Arizona’s female participants included junior high jumper Brigetta Barrett, sophomore Elvin Kibet, who participated in the distance runs, and the quartet of sophomores Shapri Romero and Tamara Pridgett, senior Echos Blevins, and Moline (4×400 meter relay).

Barrett completed a successful season with her second consecutive national championship in the women’s high jump, winning the event with a clearance of 1.93 meters.

“It feels really great,” Barrett said. “To say I can come back and win consecutive titles is a blessing. I’m happy to bring back the hardware.”

Kibet concluded her All-American season by taking seventh place in the women’s 10,000-meter run, logging a time of 33:02.04, and the Wildcats’ relay team earned sixth place in the women’s 4×400 meter relay, finishing with a time of 3:31.55.

“Next season, our goal on the men’s side is to be a top six team and if things fall our way, who knows what could actually happen,” Harvey said. “On the women’s side, our goal is to be the national champions next year. We’re going to be a very difficult team to beat next year.”

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