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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Patterson is NCAA indoor Champion

Senior high jumper Liz Patterson took first place at her last NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championship, the second of her career, as the women’s track and field team took 15th place at the indoor meet last weekend in Lafayette, Ark.

Pacific 10 Conference foe Oregon won the meet, scoring 61 points. Meanwhile, Arizona’s Patterson jumped a height of 6 feet, 4 inches to win the women’s high jump, adding to the UA team score of 15.5 points and tying the Wildcats with Arkansas.

“”I started off OK,”” Patterson said. “”I was kind of iffy in the beginning, but near the end I got my stride back.””

Patterson might have started off slow, but she certainly found her mojo. Near the final jumps, it became a battle between Patterson and Amber Kaufman from Hawaii.

“”She put pressure on me,”” Patterson said. “”She was with me the whole competition ‘til the last bar.””

Freshman Brigetta Barrett, who competed in the high jump event for the first time at nationals, said she was proud of her elder teammate.

“”I know she could, I like to see people go out with a PR (personal record),”” Barrett said. “”We train together all the time, and it’s good to see her do well.””

Barrett came in third in the women’s high jump overall and had her best clearance of 6 feet, 1/2 inch but feels she could have accomplished more.

“”I felt really good about finishing third, but I wanted to jump a lot higher,”” Barrett said. “”I wanted to show (jumps) coach Sheldon (Blockburger) I can perform at a high level.””

The 15th-place finish was the highest for the Arizona women at the NCAA Indoor Championships since 2002. The Wildcats finished the second highest ranked school, with only national champion Oregon ahead in the rankings of Pac-10 schools.

Meanwhile, the men finished with 5 points for a 35th-place tie.

Freshman Nick Ross and senior Luis Rivera-Morales came in seventh and sixth in the men’s long jump, respectively.

“”I don’t feel like I did my best. That’s why I’m more disappointed than I am happy,”” said Ross. “”My knee had been hurting, and I hadn’t been able to lift for about two weeks … my strength was off.””

Ross had surgery on his knee and will be out for at least four weeks. Rivera-Morales achieved his sixth place finish with a jump of 25 feet, 9 1/4 inches.

Blockburger said he was proud of what his athletes accomplished in the indoor championship.

“”First and third (place) is not bad for the girls,”” he said. “”I was hoping the guys would get fifth and sixth, but they still did all right.””

Outdoor Season begins

The Willie Williams Classic held at Drachman Stadium, marking the beginning of the 2010 outdoor season. While this meet was more of a practice meet, Arizona still showed the same speed and strength from the indoor season.

Echos Blevins ran her usual race, the 4×400-meter, but also ran the 200-m race.

“”It wasn’t a lot for out first outdoor meet out of indoor season, but I know once the season really picks up I’ll have to run way more than that,”” said Blevins.

Junior LaTisha Holden took a break from the high hurdles and ran the second leg of the 4×400-meter relay team.

“”It was cool because Echos Blevins and I got to go head-to-head since we’re both second leg,”” said Holden. “”It’s almost like you’re at practice instead of at a meet.””

Arizona’s ‘A’ relay team would win the event with a time of 3:40. But junior Christina Rodgers had the most impressive time of the day with her split time of 54.12 seconds.

Freshmen, Julie Labonte set her new personal record in the women’s shot put while redshirt junior, Korion Morris came in second in the discus. Senior Brian MacArthur also won the men’s 1500-meter with a time of 3:55.

 

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