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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Sports Briefs

    Six Cats make All-Pac 10 teams

    It appears the Pacific 10 Conference is paying attention to the Arizona football team’s improvement under head coach Mike Stoops.

    Junior cornerback Antoine Cason, redshirt senior punter Nick Folk and senior kickoff returner Syndric Steptoe were named to the All-Pac-10 first team yesterday, as six Wildcats earned conference honors.

    It’s the team’s highest total since 2002, when seven players made the two All-Pac-10 teams, and ties that season for most on the first team. It’s also a vast improvement from Stoops’ first season in 2004, when only safety Darrell Brooks got a nod.

    Arizona went 6-6 in the regular season after consecutive 3-8 campaigns.

    “”The team is getting more respect, and that’s a credit to the coaches as well,”” Cason said in a phone interview yesterday. “”It’s a credit to how much better the team is getting.””

    Cason, who made the All-Pac-10 second team last season, tied for the team lead in interceptions with three.

    His first career interception for a touchdown gave the Wildcats the go-ahead score in a 24-20 upset of then-No. 8 California Nov. 11.

    That performance also helped him become the first Arizona player to garner consecutive Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week awards.

    “”It feels good to be All-Pac-10,”” Cason said. “”It lets you know that you played hard and left it all out on the field. That’s what I’ve tried to do here for the team and the university.””

    Folk, an honorable mention pick last year as a placekicker, went 15-of-20 on field-goal attempts and led the conference in punting with an average of 44.0 yards per kick.

    Steptoe, an honorable mention selection as a receiver in 2005, ranked second in the Pac-10 in total kickoff return yardage and fourth with a return average of 25.6. He also led Arizona with 55 receptions this year.

    Senior safety Michael Johnson and juniors

    defensive end Louis Holmes and linebacker Spencer Larsen made the All-Pac-10 second team.

    Holmes led the Wildcats with four sacks in his first season as a junior-college transfer, while Larsen had a team-high 89 tackles, including 10.5 for loss.

    Junior defensive tackles Yaniv Barnett and Lionel Dotson, junior running back Chris Henry, sophomore wide receiver Mike Thomas and freshman offensive lineman Eben Britton were listed as honorable mentions.

    – Tom Knauer

    V-Ball receives three Pac-10 awards

    Despite a disappointing season, Dominique Lamb, Whitney Dosty and Jacy Norton earned Pacific 10 Conference honors.

    Junior middle blocker Lamb received All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors, freshman outside hitter Dosty was named to the All-Freshman Team and freshman middle blocker Norton earned All-Freshman honorable mention honors for the 13-17 Wildcats.

    Although UA head coach Dave Rubio said it was an honor that his players were recognized, he said he felt that Lamb and Norton should have earned All-Pac-10 honors, not just honorable mention.

    “”I am a little disappointed that Dominique didn’t make the All-Pac-10 team,”” Rubio said. “”I think she was certainly one of the better players, and she should have made that team.””

    Rubio added: “”I think Norton should have made the All-Freshman Team as well, so I am a little disappointed with those selections.””

    Lamb finished second in the Pac-10 in blocks with 1.55 per game. Dosty finished second on the team in kills with 3.39 per game, including a season-high 29 against then-No. 24 Oregon Nov. 9, while Norton finished fifth in the Pac-10 in blocks with 1.48 per game.

    “”It is always a nice honor to be recognized,”” Rubio said. “”It’s a great conference, so to be recognized as one of the top players is an honor.””

    – Ari Wasserman

    Track program signs five

    The Arizona track and field program signed five athletes to national letters of intent during the early signing period, head coach Fred Harvey announced yesterday.

    “”We are very pleased with both the number and the quality of athletes we were able to sign early,”” Harvey said in a press release. “”We feel that they can each come in and have an impact for us right away.””

    Here’s how the recruits break down:

    Kyle Alston, Fresno, Calif.: Runs a 6.9 second 60-meter dash, which is one of the best in the country.

    Luke Bryant, Clearwater, Kan.: Threw a personal best 59.84m in the discus, and is the top returning high school thrower nationally in that event.

    Zack Lloyd, Ely, Nev.: Competed at Utah State during the 2004-05 season and was named the Big West Conference Freshman Athlete of the Year; he was also the best high school thrower in the nation in 2004 in the shot put and the discus.

    Nicole Lloyd, Farmington, Utah: Former Utah state champion in both the shot put and the discus.

    LaTisha Holden, Barstow, Calif.: Placed fourth in the 100m hurdles at the 2006 California State Meet.

    ð- Arizona Daily Wildcat

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