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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Track tops ASU, wins state bragging rights”

    Arizonas Jennifer Ford tries to avoid Arizona States Jenna Wrieden as she slips in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, Saturday afternoon at Drachman Stadium. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)
    Arizona’s Jennifer Ford tries to avoid Arizona State’s Jenna Wrieden as she slips in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, Saturday afternoon at Drachman Stadium. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)

    The No. 6 Arizona men won the title of the state’s top track and field team at the annual Arizona-ASU-NAU Double Dual Saturday, sweeping the competition at Roy P. Drachman Stadium.

    The Wildcats defeated arch rival ASU 116-86 and beat NAU 142-33.

    They also did well overall with 16 individual titles, said Fred Harvey, Arizona’s track and field head coach.

    “”The scores were pretty much within one or two points of what I thought we would do,”” Harvey said. “”We were extremely excited with the performances.””

    The Wildcat women also defeated NAU 100-87, but dropped a 113-80 decision to the No. 7 Sun Devils.

    The ASU women’s team, who swept the Double Dual for the sixth year in a row, was tough, Harvey said.

    “”They are an extremely good team,”” he said. “”We had to win as many of the events as we could.””

    On the throwing side, the Wildcat men kicked off the day by producing winning performances, as the power throwing duo of senior Sean Shields and junior Adam Kuehl controlled the competition.

    In the men’s discus, the No. 1-ranked All-American Kuehl won with a mark of 60.27 meters, while All-American Shields placed second overall with his toss of 57.27m.

    In the shot put, Shields won with his throw of 19.74m, while junior thrower Jarred Sola placed second with a mark of 17.41m.

    In the men’s pole vault, junior decathlete Jacob Arnold also scored big with his competition-winning height of 5.20m.

    In the most exciting event of the day, the men’s 4-by-100m relays, junior sprinter Troy Harris, freshman sprinters Marcus Tyus and Xiong Xuehan along with relay newcomer sophomore sprinter Bobby McCoy, led the pack by posting a regional qualifying time of 39.89 seconds to win the competition.

    The addition of McCoy, a wide receiver on the football team who replaced sophomore Imoh Ekpo, really brought the team to a new level, Harvey said.

    “”That was by far and away the highlight of the entire meet,”” Harvey said. “”People say that one person cannot make a difference, but McCoy can make a difference. He is extremely fast (and) raises the excitement level.””

    On the women’s side of the 4-by-100m relays, junior hurdler Jennifer Whitlock and senior sprinter Marquita Taylor along with junior sprinters Maritza Mora and Nikki Martin also recorded a personal best for the group and a competition-winning time of 44.81.

    Whitlock said she was proud of the performance.

    “”We went out and did exactly what we were capable of doing,”” she said.

    However, Whitlock was not as lucky in the 100m hurdles.

    After an initial start that saw her ahead of the pack after completing five hurdles, the event had to be called back due to a malfunction in the timing system.

    In the second start of the race, Whitlock placed second with a personal-best time of 13.45 against ASU multi-event sophomore Jacquelyn Johnson.

    The unfortunate incident cost Whitlock the first-place finish, Harvey said.

    “”She was dominating the race,”” Harvey said. “”(Jacquelyn) has never beaten Jennifer before.””

    Whitlock, who lost the race by .14, said she was pleased with her performance overall.

    “”The race did not turn out in my favor,”” Whitlock said. “”(But) I was pleased that despite my distractions that I could still go out there and run a personal best.””

    In the men’s 110m hurdles, senior hurdler Jeff Hunter and junior hurdler Dan Cook both took control of the competition by placing first and second, respectively, in the event.

    Hunter finished with a season- and competition-best of 13.91, while Cook followed with a second-place time of 14.16.

    In the men’s 1,500m run, senior All-American Robert Cheseret easily beat out the competition with his first-place time of 3:48.17, while All-American senior distance runner Jonah Maiyo finished not far behind in second place with his time of 3:48.19.

    Near the end of the day, Cheseret also took first in the 3,000m run with a time of 8:15.93.

    Harvey said the meet was more like a workout for Cheseret.

    “”We were really happy with where he’s at,”” Harvey said. “”He’s starting to look a lot sharper than he did in mid season.””

    Cheseret said he felt the competition level was average.

    “”We weren’t running for fast times,”” Cheseret said. “”We were running to get points on the board and beat ASU.””

    In the women’s 800m run, the Wildcats saw three athletes take the top three spots as distance freshmen Shelly Splittberger and Mackenzie Edwards along with sophomore distance runner Danelle Onate all beat out the competition. Splittberger won the race with a personal-best time of 2:13.35, while Edwards finished second with a time of 2:13.53. Onate, meanwhile, finished in third place with a personal best time of 2:14.88.

    The fierce competition in the event by the Wildcat women really shocked ASU, according to Harvey.

    “”They didn’t think we had strength in the middle distance,”” Harvey said. “”The win was real huge for them.””

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