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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Decathlon win spurs Arnold to another NCAA honor

    Jake Arnold
    Jake Arnold

    When Jake Arnold decided to attend the University of Arizona, he didn’t know he was going to be a member of the track and field team, let alone a two-time national champion.

    Just four years after joining the squad as a walk-on, Arnold has been named the 2007 NCAA Division I Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year after winning his second consecutive national championship.

    “”Its really hard to explain, but it is just an amazing feeling to be considered the best field athlete in the nation,”” Arnold said. “”It is beyond anything I thought would ever happen. With all of the great athletes I am competing against, it is just an incredible honor.””

    During the NCAA decathlon June 6-9 in Sacramento, Calif., Arnold recorded 8,125 points while setting career highs in the 100- and 400-meter races, 110m hurdles, discus and pole vault.

    Arnold posted the highest winning score since 1992 in the NCAA Championships while becoming only the third player to win in back-to-back years.

    “”He has done a great job all year keeping his focus,”” Arizona head coach Fred Harvey said. “”To come back after winning the national championship his junior year and being the targeted player, he did a fabulous job all year keeping the big picture in mind.””

    Arnold said he chose to attend Arizona because he always liked the Pacific 10 Conference in high school, but when leaving his hometown of Santa Rosa, Calif., for Tucson, it was an academic decision.

    Harvey said there was no way to tell that Arnold would have become this successful, but did acknowledge all the hard work and dedication he put in.

    “”I decided out of the schools that I got accepted to that I was going to come to the University of Arizona for academics and track was secondary,”” Arnold said. “” Track was something I was hoping I could still participate in…. I never could have imagined that I would have come along this far.””

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