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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Cheseret paces team success

    weekend track recap

    The No. 9 men’s and unranked women’s Arizona track and field teams continued their outdoor season success as senior All-American distance runner Robert Cheseret returned to the track to help the Wildcats dominate the Arizona International meet Saturday.

    The small meet was a great confidence booster, as 10 athletes won their respective events and many more posted personal records, said Arizona track and field head coach Fred Harvey.

    “”It was a sensational performance,”” Harvey said. “”We had so many people step

    up and have a number of PRs, and that’s really great.””

    Cheseret, who skipped last week’s meet in order to rest, led the Wildcats by winning the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:46.55, about one second off his regional championship qualifying time of 3:45.79. This time is the second-best in the NCAA so far this season.

    Harvey, however, said the 3,000m is where Cheseret really dominates.

    “”We know he’s good 1,500-meters, but that’s not his main objective,”” Harvey said.

    The small meet, which featured international athletes as well as athletes from ASU, was a chance to work on training in specific areas, Cheseret said.

    “”It gave me more opportunities to work on my speed,”” Cheseret said. “”I think it was a really good meet for me to start the outdoor season.””

    Senior thrower Sean Shields also added to the mix by dominating the shot put, where he posted a season-best throw of 19.84m. Shields placed second overall in the competition behind ASU alum Vincent Mosca, who competed as an individual and recorded a distance of 20.43m.

    Shields’ performance was remarkable, Harvey said.

    “”It was really great to see him get off a big throw like that this early in the season,”” Harvey said. “”By the time national championships roll around, he’s going to be one of the top throwers.””

    The All-American Shields also placed second in the discus, just behind junior Adam Kuehl. Kuehl’s top mark was 58.89m, while Shields threw his best distance of 58.67m.

    Both athletes currently have the second and third best throws in the NCAA with distances of 61.19m and 61.18m, respectively.

    In order to improve his performance, Shields said he’s going to take each meet one at a time and get into a confident “”mindset.””

    “”I’m trying to take these meets more seriously, and I think it prepares me in the long run,”” Shields said.

    On the women’s side, senior thrower Rachel Varner also placed second in the event with a toss of 53.66m. Varner currently has the longest throw in the NCAAs in the discus with a distance of 56.76m.

    Meanwhile, on the running side, senior sprinter Marquita Taylor and junior sprinter Nikki Martin both dominated the 200m by establishing new personal bests. Taylor won the race with a time of 23.69, while Martin finished second with a time of 23.99.

    Senior hurdler Jennifer Whitlock also made her mark by placing first in the 100m hurdles, just behind Melina Sallins, who competed individually, and scoring a regional qualifying mark with a personal best time of 13.52.

    After coming off last week’s 100m hurdles, in which she was disqualified, Whitlock said she was proud of her performance.

    Whitlock also said having tough competitors like Sallins helped her do even better.

    “”Any time I am competing against people that have potential to run fast, it is always going to be good for me,”” Whitlock said. ÿ

    Harvey also said he was proud of her performance.

    “”She ran a personal best,”” Harvey said. “”That gives a her a tremendous boost going into the difficult Texas Relays next week.””

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