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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Track returns to action after 2 weeks

Arizona’s No. 13 women’s and No. 14 men’s track teams are coming off a two-week break after competing every weekend since the outdoor season started. Forty-six Wildcats are heading to the Mt. SAC Invitational in Walnut, Calif., to compete in all major events.

“These two weeks of training have been really great,” head coach Fred Harvey said. “It’s given us the opportunity to rest and focus on making progress this weekend.”

The distance runners took the first flight out yesterday to compete in the 54th annual Mt. SAC Relay, one of Arizona’s strongest events.

Sophomore runner Lawi Lalang is coming back from his first ever fourth-place finish. Lalang saw his undefeated season end two weeks ago when the team went to California for the Stanford Invitational.

“You know when an outstanding athlete like Lawi gets something less than first place, people start asking, ‘What’s wrong?’” Harvey said. “But Lawi is right on target to where he needs to be. When you’re constantly racing against the best, eventually they target you and that 1,500 (meter) race is just one notch on his belt.”

Lalang will compete in the invitational’s 5k on Saturday while senior Stephen Sambu will participate in the 10,000-meter race on Thursday night. Sophomore Elvin Kibet and junior Jen Bergman will be competing against each other in the 5k women’s race.

“My hope and plan is that we excel at a high level in all of our events,” Harvey said. “Our athletes are all competing at the top collegiate level and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t put up numbers in every event.”

Harvey and his team said they are very optimistic about the weekend as the women climbed a spot in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association rankings. Sambu and junior high jumper Brigetta Barrett also earned Pac-12 Athletes of the Week awards going into their week off and seventeen Wildcats on the squad were recognized for having 3.0 GPAs or higher by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation for the All-Academic teams.

The Wildcats start up the weekend with relays Friday with the rest of the events following all day Saturday and Sunday.

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