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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Track team takes increased competition in stride, dominates invitational”

    Seven athletes earned provisional qualifications for the NCAA National Indoor Championships in March and one other automatically qualified as Arizona men’s and women’s track and field team continued their early season success on Saturday in the Blue and Orange Classic in Nampa, Idaho.

    Facing ranked squads from the Pacific 10 conference for the first time, the UA teams – both unranked – dominated as they combined to win 10 of 28 events and finished in the top-five in all but five events. Stanford, whose men’s and women’s teams were both ranked in the top-10 – won only four events. California and host Boise State took first in five events.

    “”The performances today really boosted (the athlete’s) confidence,”” said UA head coach Fred Harvey. “”They now know that they can compete with these folks from Stanford and Cal and some a lot of these club athletes that are pretty talented.””

    Arguably the best performance of the day came from long jumper Luis Rivera. His jump of 7.84 meters not only earned him a provisional qualification for March, but also shattered the record at the Idaho Sports Center.

    Also on the men’s side, sprinter Bobby McCoy took the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.36. Even more impressive about the victory was that it was the first time McCoy had competed on an indoor track in the event.

    In the men’s shot put, Zack Lloyd took first place with a throw of 18.44 meters. Jarred Sola finished second with a 17.64m throw.

    “”Zack’s a great addition,”” Harvey said, “”You have to value an athlete who can come in and do it week in and week out. Even his sub-par competition was so much better then anyone else’s.””

    In the men’s 4×400 meter relay, UA’s “”A”” squad took second place, finishing just behind California’s team in a race where the top three squads were separated by only 41 seconds.

    The women’s team also enjoyed immense success at Saturday’s meet. High jumper Elizabeth Patterson earned the Wildcats’ only automatic qualification of the day. Her jump of 1.87 meters was good enough to edge teammate and captain Jasmin Day, who jumped 1.78m.

    “”At the end of the day she’s still my competition,”” Day said, “”but we are on the same team and we want each other to do well so we push each other harder in practice. The peer support helps a lot.””

    The women’s team showed off the strength of their distance runners as Marissa Urban dominated the 3,000 meter run with a time of 9:49.21 – nearly 30 seconds faster than her closest competitor. Irine Lagat won the mile with a time of 5:00.63 and Christina Rogers won the 800m with a time of 2:15.64.

    In throws, Megan Howard made her first appearance after missing all of last year after foot surgery and easily won both the shot put and weight throw events.

    “”Whenever you have any of the Pac-10 schools in the competition it gives you the opportunity to see what your team is all about.”” Harvey said. “”Any time you can go out and do what these kids did then it’s pretty impressive.””

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