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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Track and field takes 2nd in Jim Click Shootout

    UA senior jumper Daniel Marshall soars through the air during the Jim Click Shootout at Drachman Stadium on Saturday. Marshall took third in the triple jump and Arizona finished in second place behind Nebraska in the weekend long event.
    UA senior jumper Daniel Marshall soars through the air during the Jim Click Shootout at Drachman Stadium on Saturday. Marshall took third in the triple jump and Arizona finished in second place behind Nebraska in the weekend long event.

    Heavy winds, ranked squads and a team that brought more athletes than the other schools participating were only a couple of the challenges facing the UA track and field team at Drachman Stadium on Saturday.

    Despite the adversity, the unranked UA men’s and women’s teams came through with a second-place overall finish at this year’s Jim Click Shootout.

    The Wildcats finished with a combined score of 354.5, with 180.5 coming from the men and 174 from the women to defeat Georgia and ASU, while falling to a Nebraska squad that brought 80 athletes to the meet. Only 54 athletes represented Arizona.

    “”We came up short against a doggone good Nebraska team that’s a traditional Big 12 champion with tons and tons of numbers,”” said UA head coach Fred Harvey. “”So just to be in the mix with them makes me really proud of the kids.””

    The UA athletes earned 20 provisional qualifications for the NCAA West Regional Championships in May.

    “”I feel like our team is getting the confidence it needs and we’re just starting the take off,”” said runner Christina Rodgers. “”People are realizing how great they are and not worrying about the name on the jerseys.””

    The action kicked off Thursday and Friday when All-American Shevell Quinley competed against in-state rival Jackie Johnson of ASU in the heptathlon. Despite a lot of consistency by Quinley, she fell short to Johnson, who won the NCAA Indoor Championship a month ago in the pentathlon.

    The Wildcats saw a lot of success in the running events Saturday, which was a change of pace on a team usually led by its field athletes.

    Senior Ashley Gadsen won the 400-meter dash on the women’s side with a time of 53.75 seconds, a regional qualifying time nearly 10 seconds better than her previous personal best in the event. Sophomore Deanna Sullivan also earned a qualification with her time of 54.15 and finished in third.

    The distance runners saw a lot of success, too, with sophomore Christina Rodgers winning the 800-meter run with a time of 2:10.31. Senior Irine Lagat dominated the 3,000-meter run, finishing in 9:47.33, nearly 20 seconds faster than runner-up and junior teammate Marissa Urban’s time of 10:04.07.

    Senior Bobby McCoy won the men’s 400-meter dash in his first race in the event since his fourth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The All-American finished with a time of 46.13, which gave him the fastest time in the nation barring the results from other meets across the country.

    Freshman Jordan Mara squeaked out a victory in the 800-meter run in 1:52.00, edging three competitors from Nebraska.

    “”If you look at the regional qualifying performances and the level of performances then I promise you that ours were better than the other teams,”” Harvey said.

    The field athletes showed a lot of domination in their events as well, with several one-two finishes across the board.

    On the women’s squad, the dynamic high-jumping duo of sophomores Jasmin Day and Liz Patterson took the top-two spot in the event with regional qualifying marks of 1.84 meters each.

    The men’s long jumpers showed their depth as junior Luis Rivera won both the triple jump and the long jump events with jumps of 15.44 and 7.61 meters, respectively. Junior Jordan Powell took second in the long jump with a distance of 7.58 meters and senior Daniel Marshall took second in the triple jump at 15.28 meters. All marks were good for NCAA qualifying marks.

    The men’s throwing teams dominated the shot put and discus events. Junior Zack Lloyd won the discus with a throw of 55.23 meters and finished second in the shot put with a distance of 18.61 meters. Senior Shawn Best won the latter with a throw of 19.22 meters and finished third in the discus with a toss of 53.44 meters. Again, all marks were good for provisional qualifications.

    “”We just have so much talent that we can go out there and take people down,”” Rodgers said. “”This program is not the most known but we’re going to change that.””

    The Wildcats will be back in action next weekend at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe.

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