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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Track blazing through season

The University of Arizona men and women’s track teams continue to re-write the history books as they climb up the rankings this season.

The men are now ranked No. 9 in the country after being unranked just two weeks ago. The women have steadily risen to No. 7 in the country, following the lead of sophomores Julie Labonte and Brigetta Barrett.

Although the track teams have been very successful at Arizona, it has been rare that both teams experience success at the same time. This is the first time that both the men and women have been in the top 10 since 1989.

Labonte has led the way in the shot put, holding the No. 1 spot in the country. Labonte, who hails from Quebec, Canada, matched the Canadian national record last week with a throw of 58 feet and six inches.

With the throw, she earned her second Pacific 10 Conference field Athlete of the Week award in three weeks.

Like Labonte, Barrett asserts her dominance into the high jump, holding the No. 1 position in the country. The sophomore has already set the high mark this season for the NCAA and the world with a high jump that measured 1.90m.

On the men’s team, Stephen Sambu, a junior, has carried over his cross-country success to track with ease. Sambu is in his first year at Arizona after transferring from Rend Lake, a community college in Illinois, and has not looked back since.

Sambu has the No. 1 time in the country for the 5,000m followed closely by fellow Wildcat, Lawi Lalang. Lalang, a freshman, has the second fastest 5,000m time in the country.

Both the men and women will head to Tempe this Saturday for the Duel in the Desert against ASU and Northern Arizona. With either a win by the men or the women the UA will take home the Territorial Cup for the second consecutive season.

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