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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Track teams open season in Flagstaff

    Usually when a team loses All-Americans to graduation, there is major cause for concern. But that’s not the case for the Arizona men’s and women’s track and field teams, which open season tomorrow in Flagstaff in the Lumberjack Invitational.

    UA head coach Fred Harvey believes that on the men’s side, his team is loaded from top-to-bottom and has a vast amount of depth.

    Harvey will have to go on without Jake Arnold and Sean Shields, two departed senior athletes who played major roles on last year’s squad.

    “”When you lose … guys like that, its gonna impact any team,”” Harvey said.

    Harvey remains confident that his current team can be stronger than last year’s based on the talent level all across the board, from jumpers, sprinters and throwers.

    “”We cover far more bases than we did last year,”” he added.

    Freshman Luke Bryant enters as the Wildcats’ highly touted thrower, as he was the No. 1 high school discus thrower in the country last year, having a personal best throw of 59.84 meters and a best in the shot put (15.44m). He joins junior Zack Lloyd and senior Shawn Best in a group that Harvey said can consistently throw 64 feet.

    Harvey also said the team has three athletes – Luis Rivera, Jordan Powell, and Daniel Marshall – who can legitimately jump 26 feet in the long jump.

    Rivera and Marshall are also expected to be major factors in the triple-jump and bring stability to the team, along with pole vaulter Nick Mossberg.

    The team also returns three members last year’s 4×100 relay All-American team, which Harvey believes can be even better.

    “”That unit is going to be solid for us all year,”” he said.

    The women’s team is mostly made up of underclassmen – 27 of 40 – but don’t let that fool you.

    “”We’re really excited about our women’s team,”” Harvey said. “”With the sprints and hurdles, were gonna play that one by ear, but they are young and they are talented and you never know how they are going to react to this kind of competition.””

    Harvey expects the jumps to be the premiere event for the women’s squad, with the No. 1 and 2 junior champion jumpers returning, in sophomores Jasmine Day and Liz Patterson.

    “”(Patterson) is jumping out of her head right now and we believe that she can be one of the top-10 jumpers in the country.””

    Overall, Harvey expects his team to have early jitters, but still is keeping high expectations.

    “”I want to see real high level competition to see what we have in terms of a level of competitiveness,”” Harvey said.

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