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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Cheseret wins 1,500m”

    JAKE LACEY/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Track and Field in AZ
    Jake Lacey
    JAKE LACEY/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Track and Field in AZ

    Track and Field Weekend Roundup

    The No. 12 men’s and unranked women’s Arizona track and field teams started the outdoor season with a bang as senior distance runner Robert Cheseret returned to the lineup Saturday to compete in the Wildcat Classic at Roy P. Drachman Stadium.

    The meet, which featured Central Arizona College and Pima College, was simply a tuneup, said Arizona track and field coach Fred Harvey.

    “”That’s why we have the meet,”” Harvey said. “”We want to put our athletes in a number of areas to get them in shape.””

    After being out of the country for almost a week to attend his brother-in-law’s funeral in his native Kenya, the All-American Cheseret didn’t show any signs of rust as he finished first in the 1,500-meters with a time of 3:45.00.

    But Cheseret, who ranks No. 1 in the 3,000m, did not compete in the event for which he is famous because he needed to rest up a bit for next week, Harvey said.

    “”He had such a long travel back from Kenya, (but) we wanted to fit him in to the meet to get him ready for next week’s NCAA Indoor Championships,”” Harvey said.

    Cheseret said he originally was going to compete in the event but found out about the change of plans at the last minute.

    “”They thought it was better that I do something short and quick,”” Cheseret said.

    In the men’s 400m hurdlers, junior Dan Cook finished first with a time of 53.51, while freshman hurdler Chris Titsworth placed second with a time of 54.50. It was the first collegiate race for Titsworth.

    “”He was a little hesitant, but he did well,”” Harvey said.

    Meanwhile, in Seattle, nine athletes were sent to compete in the Washington Last Chance meet for one last shot at improving their NCAA Indoor Championship qualifying marks.

    Among the athletes selected to compete in the event were senior hurdlers Jeff Hunter and Jennifer Whitlock.

    In the men’s 60m hurdles, Hunter posted an Arizona school record and NCAA indoor provisional qualifying time of 7.77.

    Hunter’s time ties him for the fourth place in the NCAA this season. Harvey said he was impressed with Hunter’s performance.

    “”Jeff Hunter was fabulous,”” Harvey said. “”This is just an indicator of what true competitive spirit he has.””

    On the women’s side, Whitlock improved her provisional qualifying time to 8.23 in the 60m hurdles. Whitlock’s time is currently No. 16 in the NCAA this season.

    In the pole vault competition, freshman Gabriella Duclos, however, failed to improve her performance as she finished sixth with a height of 3.81m.

    Still, Harvey said he said he felt the meet was a success.

    “”That was about as good as it gets,”” Harvey said. “”You’d like to see athletes perform at a high level, and that’s where they are at.””

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