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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Past and present ‘Cats run at nationals

A handful of current and former Arizona athletes competed at the 2015 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships over the weekend in Eugene, Ore.

The meet, held at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, served as a qualifier for both the upcoming IAAF World Championships and Pan-American Junior Championships.

Freshman Bailey Roth had perhaps the best weekend out of all the Wildcats competing, as he won the 3,000-meter steeplechase event at the Junior Championships on Saturday, June 27. Roth won the race with a time of 9:08.70, finishing well ahead the rest of the field.

The first-place finish earned Roth a Team USA spot for the Pan-American Junior Championships, which takes place from July 31 to Aug. 2 in Edmonton, Canada.

Liz Patterson, a former NCAA outdoor national champion in the high jump, also had an impressive outing by taking second place in the high jump event. The 2009 UA graduate cleared a mark of 6-2 (1.88m) to place in the top three.

However, Patterson did not qualify for the World Championships, as she did not meet the minimum 1.94m standard. She now has until Aug. 10 to pass that mark and gain a spot on Team USA.

A testament to Arizona’s program success in the high jump, the UA has had a female athlete medal in the event for the sixth consecutive year.

Another strong showing came from sophomore Wildcat Tiana Bonds in the Junior Heptathlon. Bonds finished in fifth place overall after winning the 100-meter hurdles and setting a new personal best mark in the high jump at 5-4.5 (1.64m).

Along with Roth and Bonds, sophomore Claire Green was the only other current student athlete to compete. Green finished in seventh place in the Junior Championships 800-meter race with a time of 2:12.01.

She came short of qualifying for the Pan-American Junior Championships.

Volunteer assistant coach Jill Camarena Williams finished fourth in the women’s shot put competition, while alumnus Nick Ross placed sixth in the men’s high jump.

Neither athlete earned a spot in the World Championships.

A couple more athletes affiliated with Arizona track and field also struggled over the weekend.

The biggest disappointment came Sunday in the 400-meter hurdles finals race, where former Wildcat and Olympian Georganne Moline failed to finish the event. Moline fell when trying to clear the eighth hurdle. A day prior in the semifinals race, Moline ran her top time of the season in the event at 54.28.

Meanwhile, volunteer assistant coach Bernard Lagat finished in 10th place in the 5,000-meter race. A former four-time Olympian, Lagat was far off from qualifying for the World Championships.

In the men’s pole vault event, former Arizona athlete Nick Mossberg took sixth place after failing to clear a height of 18-4.5 (6.60m). The mark would have tied his personal best.

Another Wildcat alumna, Taylor Bush, fouled on each of her three attempts in the women’s hammer throw event.In total, 13 Track Cats competed at the championships.

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Follow Ezra Amacher on Twitter.

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