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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA Track coach wears ASU shirt to motivate

    At the Arizona track and field teams’ practices this week, there’s one glaring difference when compared to the rest of the season – head coach Fred Harvey’s shirt. All week Harvey has worn a maroon-and-gold-colored Arizona State University shirt to practice each day.

    Most people’s first reaction might be something along the lines of “”what the heck is he doing wearing the gear of the Wildcats’ in-state rival?””

    “”It’s just to grab the team’s attention and really get them focused, but more than anything it’s a way to get them excited about the meet,”” Harvey said. “”I like rivalries. Most people who are in sports really enjoy a good rivalry. … It’s a way that I get them thinking about it all week.””

    It has become a tradition over the past few years for Harvey to sport an ASU shirt to practice the week prior to the team competing in the dual meet against NAU and ASU. It’s also a meet all three schools take seriously, especially considering that state bragging rights are at stake.

    “”He wears it just to make us mad so we’ll want to go out there and beat them,”” high jumper Liz Patterson laughed about the team’s reaction to Harvey wearing Sun Devils gear. “”I think more hype is put on the team than any other meet, so it ends up being good for all of us.””

    Track being a sport where individuals can reach championship status without the help of their teammates, the team aspect of track can sometimes be overlooked. This weekend’s meet is one that places emphasis on the team aspect more than any other meet during the season.

    “”This meet most definitely brings the team together,”” Harvey said. “”This meet is purely about scoring, so the level of performance that you’re going to get out of the competition is going to be great just because it is a rivalry meet.””

    The Wildcats currently have 34 athletes who have earned regional qualifications and need five more to pass last season’s 39 regional qualification. This weekend’s competition bodes well for Arizona to reach that mark, considering the team’s past success in the dual meet.

    “”This meet itself is a competition where every year you’re going to have more regional qualifying performances than any one given meet,”” Harvey said. “”It’s something the team really gets excited about every year.””

    Though Harvey wears maroon-and-gold throughout the week, the athletes know one thing is certain by the end of the week.

    “”The whole team is going to rip the shirt apart by the end of the week. It’s the only reason he wears it,”” said long jumper Luis Rivera-Morales. “”There is no way that he’s going to be able to wear an ASU shirt and we’re not going to be able to rip it up by the end of the week.””

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