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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona races to Fayetteville for NCAA Championship

For eight Arizona athletes, this weekend’s NCAA Indoor National Championship meet at Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., is the last indoor meet of the season. But for two seniors, it is the last meet of their indoor career.

“”It’s sad that I don’t have any more NCAA competitions, but I really enjoyed my time here,”” said senior Luis Rivera-Morales, who is seeded sixth in the men’s long jump.

However, Luis and his fellow seniors won’t let any emotions ruin the competition.

“”I don’t feel nervous. I’m excited about the competition,”” Rivera-Morales said. “”I feel like I have a really good opportunity to win.””

Senior Liz Patterson, who is seeded first in the women’s high jump, will also be enjoying her last indoor go-around. Freshman Brigetta Barrett finished ahead of Patterson in the high jump the last time the two competed, and the two will face off again this weekend.

“”It’s a competition. She wants to do well, and I want to do well,”” Patterson said. “”We’re both here to do the best we can. It’s always nice to jump with a teammate. You have someone to cheer for.””

Redshirt sophomore Abdi Hassan will represent the Arizona distance squad. Hassan has been to a national championship before and is looking to repeat his success, as he’s ranked fifth in the men’s mile.

Out of the eight Arizona athletes competing, four are freshmen. Barrett, Julie Labonte, Edgar Rivera-Morales and Nick Ross are all out to prove that age doesn’t matter.

“”I don’t feel like a freshman. I feel like an athlete, like anyone else here,”” Barrett said. “”I want to walk away with a PR (personal record). That’s the only way to finish, with your best. I feel like even though I did well last time, right now nothing really matters, except for this weekend.””

Head coach Fred Harvey stressed the importance of having so many youngsters competing in a high level of competition.

“”The more people we can get here at a younger age, the better experience they’ll have going to other championship meets,”” he said. “”It’s like I’ve always said, ‘It’s not an age thing. If you’re good, you’re good.'””

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