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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats produce favorable results at NAU dual meet

The Arizona men’s and women’s track and field teams opened up their season last Friday when they competed at NAU’s dual meet in Flagstaff. While the UA sent a limited number of athletes, the team produced a handful of standout performances.

“I thought overall, we performed really well,” Arizona head coach Fred Harvey said in a statement. “I’m excited because we have a young team and young talent. It’s a bridge year to make sure the quality of the program continues in the right direction[:] a top-25 team nationally and a top-five team in the conference.”

One of the young members who excelled on Friday was pentathlete Alyssa Thompson. 

A transfer from Wake Forest, Thompson posted a personal-best mark of 35-0.5 (10.68m) in the shot put event, and her long jump mark of 19-11.75 (6.09m) was good enough for first place overall.

“Things are off to a really good start,” Thompson said in a statement. 

“I’m really excited for this season. I think it’s a really good confidence booster. It feels good to get the first one under your belt [—] you never really know what to expect.”

Other Arizona women with first-place finishes include Nnenya Hailey in the 400-meter sprint, Lisanne Hagens in the high jump and Tiana Bonds, who won her first career collegiate race in the 60 hurdles. 

On the men’s side, heptathlete Myles Hawkins placed first in the long jump competition with a post of 22-8.50 (6.92m). That mark was a foot better than the second-place finisher.

Meanwhile, heptathlete Harrison Ivie came in fifth in the long jump and earned a personal-best time of 8.45 seconds in the 60 hurdles.

In the 400 sprint, Pete Lauerdale II placed third with a 48.28 time, while Tatum Waggoner finished third in the women’s race with a time of 56.87.

Blake Eichler led the Arizona men in the 200 sprint, clocking in at 21.97 in a fourth-place finish. Mohammad Alhasan’s time of 6.84 in the 60 dash was good enough for third place overall.

In the 4×400-meter relays, team ‘A’ Wildcats finished second overall on both sides.

The men’s team made up of Eichler, Lauderdalle II, Bryce Houston and Joshua Cummings earned a time of 3:18.28. The women’s team featured Thompson, Hailey, Traci-Lynn Hicks and Diana Gadja placed a 3:51.21 time.

The competitive stretch of the season picks up this weekend as the men and women travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to compete in the Lobo Collegiate Open. The Wildcats will look to build off their momentum before facing national competition in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational a week later.

“How high we’ll be ranked at the conference meets or the NCAA Championships is obviously yet to be decided,” Harvey said in a statement. “[What] we saw today gives us a lot of hope for a program with the young kids we have.”

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Follow Ezra Amacher on Twitter.

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