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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Track heads indoors with eyes on March

    They may be poised for the first meet of the 2007 indoor season, but the Arizona track and field teams are already thinking about the NCAA Indoor National Championships in early March.

    The Wildcats compete against NAU and ASU at the Lumberjack Invitational in Flagstaff tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.

    “”I expect a lot of people to (break their personal records) and get NCAA qualifying times,”” said UA head coach Fred Harvey.

    Saturday marks the Wildcat debuts of eight women and two men.

    The team must compensate for the loss of Robert Cheseret, who completed his track eligibility last spring. Cheseret was a two-time Pac-10 Track Athlete of the Yearwon the 10,000m at the 2005 NCAA Indoor National Championship. His accolades also include a number of Pac-10 championships and school records.

    Sean Shields, a senior last season and a three-time All-American in NCAA indoor competition, also leaves a hole to fill.

    Neither of Arizona’s teams were ranked in the Jan. 16 edition of the Trackwire top-25 poll.

    “”We lost a lot of top-ranked people, but our sprinting core is still strong as it’s ever been, and our distance teams always”” excel, Cook said. “”People got to watch out for us because we’re going to be good.””

    Arizona will send 16 women and 11 men to Flagstaff. Senior decathlete Jake Arnold, senior thrower Kelli Burton and sophomore thrower Megan Howard, all of whom competed in the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, will join seven athletes who participated in the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

    UA distance runners will not participate because the high altitude (7,000 feet) would hinder their chances of qualifying for the NCAAs, Harvey said.

    The Wildcats’ goals for the event vary – it depends who you ask.

    “”There’s not very much competition. I’m just trying to start the season better than I did last year,”” said sophomore long-jumper Jordan Powell, who received All-America honors last year. “”I’m going to try to jump well every meet, instead of just when it counts, that way I’ll be even better when (Pacific 10 Conference) competition starts.””

    Powell said he worked out seven days a week during the offseason and continued his routine during vacations to San Antonio and Mexico.

    Senior hurdler Daniel Cook said he prepared for Saturday’s meet and the season as a whole by doing high-altitude training during winter break near his home in Colorado.

    He believes the training will only help him because he is participating in the 60-meter hurdles, a short-distance event which requires frequent jumping through the thin air.

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