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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sports Briefs

    Track attempts to qualify for championships

    It all comes down to one last weekend for three members of the Arizona men’s and women’s track and field teams.

    While most of the team will remain in Tucson training, sprinter Bobby McCoy and runners Christina Rodgers and Irine Lagat will be trying to earn qualifications for the NCAA Indoor Championships next weekend in Fayetteville, Ark.

    Lagat will be in Seattle for the Washington Last Chance meet and compete in the 3,000-meter run. She earned an NCAA provisional qualification with a personal best time of 9:30.85 at last weekend’s Mountain Pacific Sports Championships.

    Only the top 18 times in the country, however, can compete in the Indoor Championships. Lagat will have to shave a little over 10 seconds off her personal best time to get to that mark, which is currently held by Diane Nukuri of Iowa at 9:20.07.

    McCoy and Rodgers will travel to Ames, Iowa for the last chance meet there.

    “”We have to separate them because Seattle has a better track for the distance runners and Iowa State is known for having a fast track for the sprinters,”” said UA head coach Fred Harvey.

    Rodgers is currently ranked No. 27 in the country in the 800-meter run, but as with the 3,000, only 18 athletes will be allowed to compete in Fayetteville. Her best time of 2:08.47, also attained at last week’s MPSC meet, is a little over a second shy of the qualifying mark.

    McCoy is on the outside looking in the 400-meter dash, currently sitting at No. 20 overall. After several heartbreaks this season, McCoy finally earned a provisional time at the MPSF meet at 46.90 seconds.

    “”I really hope they can get me into a fast heat,”” McCoy said, “”I always do better against better competition.””

    Harvey said he hopes to get McCoy into a heat race with the fastest qualifiers, knowing that it’s going to take stiff competition to help push McCoy over the top.

    “”He is always racing to the level of his opponents,”” Harvey said.

    – Jeremy Hawkes

    Men’s golf trying to make final run

    Over the next weekend, the booming casinos and late-night clubs will have to take a halt for the Arizona men’s golf team as it heads to the Southern Highlands Collegiate Tournament in Las Vegas.

    As the Wildcats enter the final stretch of the season, with just four tournaments remaining before the Pacific 10 Conference championships, they will need to be on top of their game, as they barely hang on to a playoff berth. With the new rule instated this season that says a team must have a winning percentage above .500 to be playoff eligible, the Wildcats are going to need a solid showing as they currently sit at .512.

    “”If you can’t play with the best, you shouldn’t be out there,”” senior Creighton Honeck said.

    – Nick Sturiale

    Women’s tennis underdog this weekend

    A tough weekend presents itself to the Arizona women’s tennis team as it prepares to battle two top-10 teams.

    The Wildcats will face No. 6 Stanford today at 1:30 p.m. and No. 8 California tomorrow at noon in the Bay Area.

    Stanford and California each have six singles and two doubles pairs that are nationally ranked. Stanford’s top player is No. 12 Jessica Nguyen and California’s is No. 15 Susie Babos.

    The Wildcats have one ranked singles player, but they don’t seem to be phased by the player rankings.

    “”The teams are obviously really good,”” said sophomore Natalia Toporowska, “”but to me, that just means we have nothing to lose.””

    Similar to the Wildcats’ attitude going into the USC and UCLA matches, they see the stiff weekend as a way to let loose.

    “”All of the pressure is really on their shoulders,”” said team captain Danielle Steinberg. “”We’re going to go out there, have fun, and enjoy ourselves.””

    – Kara Bauman

    Men’s tennis prepares to get rowdy

    The Robson Tennis Center will be a tense zone this weekend – filled with closely ranked teams competing in an effort to one-up each other.

    The No. 36 Arizona men’s tennis team will battle No. 32 Stanford today at 1:30 p.m. and No. 38 California tomorrow at 1 p.m.

    Today’s match will be the third Pacific 10 Conference match for the Wildcats, who are anticipating a more favorable outcome than the first two against No. 6 UCLA and No. 10 USC.

    “”These games are huge. Back in Spain, they know only three universities: Harvard, Stanford and Cal,”” said native Spaniard Andres Carrasco. “”So for me it’s really a special event because my parents and friends all know about them. On top of that, these two games are so important.””

    The Wildcats are expecting a big turnout, but they remain undistracted and know what’s needed for two victories.

    “”We’ve proven that we’re a tough team,”” Hazi said. “”Only if each one of us steps up in his match do we have a big chance to win.””

    – Kara Bauman

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