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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Track overcomes slow start, earns respectable finish”

    After poor performances Friday, the No. 32 Arizona men’s and No. 18 women’s track and field teams rebounded Saturday to finish respectably at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championships in Seattle.

    The meet – the indoor version of the Pacific 10 Conference Championships – was supposed to feature the UA teams as contenders to win. Instead, a horrendous first day of competition left both teams to work their way up the standings.

    “”I told them at breakfast on (Saturday) that I see a great competition going on around us, and we are not a part of it.”” said UA head coach Fred Harvey.

    Harvey said he believed some his athletes just didn’t want it as much as the other teams and it showed in some of their “”lackadaisical”” performances.

    Both teams responded well, however, and the men’s team – which was in last place through two-thirds of the meet – clawed back to a seventh place finish with 58 points. The women’s team had several strong performances throughout the day and eventually finished sixth with 57.5 points.

    “”The whole attitude and intensity of the team changed on the second day.”” Harvey said. “”It ended up being an incredible meet.””

    One of the big performances of the day came in the men’s triple jump. With the team badly needing points, senior Daniel Marshall and junior Luis Rivera took the top two spots with jumps of 15.93 and 15.79 meters, respectively. Their finishes accounted for 18 total points and arguably saved the team from a last place finish.

    The best individual performance of the day belonged to runner Bobby McCoy, who finished third in the 400-meter dash and fourth in the 200m dash. His time of 46.90 in the 400m qualified him for the NCAA Indoor Championships March 14-15.

    McCoy won his heat race, but the final standings were determined by heat race times, and the first- and second-place finishers were not in the same race as McCoy.

    “”He may have finished third, but he didn’t have a shot at the other guys.”” Harvey said.

    “”I guarantee you that if I put Bobby against any other athlete one-on-one (in the 400m) that if he doesn’t win, he’s going to at least challenge them.””

    Zack Lloyd finished second in the men’s shot put with a throw of 19.6 meters, finishing behind the overall first place thrower in the country, Ryan Whiting from ASU.

    No one on the women’s side won an individual event, but high jumpers Jasmin Day and Liz Patterson finished second and third, respectively, and runner Ashley Gadsen took third in the 200m dash.

    “”Overall, I hope that this meet was a learning experience for the team.”” Harvey said. “”We now know the competition in the Pac-10 and we have to go out and step it up in the outdoor season.””

    No. 12 Oregon won the overall men’s meet with 90 points. The 32-point margin could easily have been made up with some better performances on the first day, Harvey said.

    The No. 2 Sun Devils won the women’s side, dominating the competition with a final score of 154.5 points.

    Some UA athletes will compete next week in the Iowa State Last Chance Meet in Ames, Iowa. The meet offers athletes one last shot to qualify for or better their provisional qualification before the NCAA Indoor Championships the following week in Fayetteville, Ark.

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