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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Track racks up qualifiers

    Sheldon Smith / Arizona Daily Wildcat
    Sheldon Smith
    Sheldon Smith / Arizona Daily Wildcat

    The Arizona track and field team had 12 athletes receive regional qualifications as they teamed up with Washington to finish third at the Jim Click Shootout on Saturday at Drachman Stadium.

    Arizona and Washington represented the Pacific 10 Conference with 485.5 points, Wisconsin and Penn State finished second to represent the Big Ten (474 points), and Kansas and Nebraska finished first to represent the Big 12 (531.5).

    “”We’re just trying to get as many new qualifiers as we can, that’s sort been our new focus,”” said UA head coach Fred Harvey. “”We want to get as many regional qualifiers early, so that they can have time to prepare for the regional championships.””

    All 12 athletes who qualified for the NCAA West regional competed in their first outdoor meet of the season at the Jim Click Shootout.

    Senior Luis Rivera-Morales set an outdoor personal record as he won the long jump with a leap of 7.78 meters and finished third in the triple jump with a mark of 15.28m, both good enough to qualify for regionals.

    “”I just try to focus on my event and improve my form each time as best as I can,”” Rivera-Morales said. “”It’s a good start for me and now we’re going to train to get better in future meets.””

    Also making their first appearances in the outdoor season were junior high jumpers Liz Patterson and Jasmin Day, who both qualified for regionals. Patterson returned to competition for the first time since taking second in the Indoor National Championships on March 13 after going undefeated in all of her indoor competitions.

    “”It should always be your goal to feel that you will win,”” Patterson said of her dominance in the high jump going back to the indoor season. “”Now I’m going to continue to compete to better my mark and get ready for regionals.””

    Sophomore runner Kyle Alston and senior runner Xuehan Xiong finished second and third, respectively, in the 200m event, qualifying both for regionals.

    Junior Gabriella Duclos won the women’s pole vault event, rebounding after a fourth-place finish in the Indoor National Championships. Sophomore runner LaTisha Holden was also impressive, as she came out victorious in 100m high hurdles with a personal record 13.80.

    Sprinter Christopher McSwain had some personal-best times in the 100m and 200m events, but he didn’t qualify for regionals.

    “”He’s a freshman that no one gave a lot of attention to,”” Harvey said, “”and we knew that the kid had some talent.””

    Those athletes who did not qualify will have another opportunity this weekend when the Wildcats head to Tempe to compete in the Sun Angel Classic.

    “”We have some athletes who were so close to the qualifying,”” Harvey said. “”But it’s just a matter of them getting more opportunities to qualify.””

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