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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Big weekend yields ‘good’ results for track

    The UA men’s and No. 16 women’s track and field teams competed in their last meet before the Pacific 10 Conference Championships this weekend, with the two teams splitting between meets in Seattle and Fayetteville, Ark. The teams had several strong individual performances at both meets, but in the end there was a feeling that they did not perform as well as they should have.

    “”I didn’t want the athletes to just do what they’d been doing but to step it up and bring it, if you will,”” said UA head coach Fred Harvey. “”But the reality of it is that we had a good weekend and not a great weekend.””

    While the distance runners were in Seattle, the rest of the team competed in the Tyson Invitational in Arkansas, which was easily the biggest meet in the country for the weekend. Ninety colleges competed and most of the entry lists contained 50 to 100 athletes.

    Despite the large number of entrants, the team enjoyed immense success in the field events. Thrower Zack Lloyd easily handled the competition in the shot put event, with a winning throw of 19.32 meters, more than one meter farther than the closest competitor. Lloyd threw so well that the worst of his six attempts, 18.43 meters, would have been enough to win the event.

    The men’s 400-meter run was marred by a questionable decision in the preliminary heat races Friday. UA sprinter Bobby McCoy won his heat with a time of 46.89 seconds, but was disqualified on claims of a lane violation.

    Video evidence provided by coaches showed that McCoy never stepped out of his lane and won the race cleanly. But NCAA regulations state that only official video can be used to reverse such a ruling and so video provided by any outside source cannot be utilized. The decision was especially painful because the time would have qualified McCoy for the NCAA

    Championships and given him the ninth-fastest time in the country.

    “”It’s a hard pill to swallow when a young man like Bobby runs a big time like he did and gets disqualified when if they had just looked at our video they would have overturned it.”” Harvey said. “”And it’s unfortunate that he ran such a beautiful race and it’s never going to go in the books.””

    On the women’s side, Liz Patterson won the high jump event with a height of 1.82 meters while teammate Jasmin Day finished fourth at 1.78 meters. Their success was made more impressive by the fact that they competed in the Championship Division, an event reserved for only the best jumpers in the country.

    In Seattle, the only top 10 performance came from Christina Rogers, who finished 10th in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:10.43. But Irine Lagat set a new personal record in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:35.35, finishing 12th and giving her the third-best time in the Pac-10.

    Most athletes will have the next weekend off as they prepare for the Pac-10 Championships in Seattle on Feb. 29-March 1.

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