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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Holden has eyes set on nationals

With the Arizona track and field team splitting up to compete at New Mexico and Nebraska, junior hurdler LaTisha Holden’s goal was to make a run for NCAA National Championship qualification.

Holden ran the 60-meter hurdles in 8.33 seconds, the fastest time at the Lincoln, Neb., meet. Despite her performance, the junior will attempt to improve her times at next week’s meet.

“”I’m not happy with how I did,”” Holden said. “”I want more. I want to be greedy.””

Her fastest time came in her preliminary race. Holden competed in her final race and the first leg of the 4×400-meter. She ran a slower time in the finals because of a slow start, which Holden attributed to her blocks being set a little off.

Ranked 15th in the nation in the hurdles, Holden said that she needs to move into the top 10 to place high enough for nationals. She was already nationally ranked after last weekend’s meet and worked on improving her time at the Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln over the weekend.

Headed to Iowa State next week and with the national championship in the future, Holden wants to work on her starts to cut her time down. Her goal for next week at the Iowa State Classic is to run between 8.25 seconds and 8.28 seconds.

“”Once I’m in the race and I’m over the first hurdle, my body knows what to do,”” Holden said. “”I just want to focus on my block starts. I know what the mistake is and it definitely won’t happen again.””

While Holden and the rest of the sprinters were in Lincoln, a small group of Wildcats went to Albuquerque, N.M., to wrap up national qualifying times. 

Redshirt sophomore Courtney Hayes got her provisional spot this weekend with a jump of 5 feet, 11 1/4 inches and won the women’s high jump. Her qualification marks the third Wildcat high jumper to qualify for nationals. Senior Liz Patterson, usually a high jumper, also ran the 60-meter dash and came in third.

As the indoor track season comes to an end, the athletes will begin to switch into a different mindset. For Patterson, this will be her last season of indoor track and field, so she’s looking to make the most of the next few weeks.

“”I’m getting more and more focused for nationals,”” Patterson said. “”This is my last season, so I really want to do well at the Mountain Pacific (Sports Federation) Championships and at nationals.””

Sprint coach Francesca Green says that her team is on track and that everything is going to come together at nationals.

“”We’re doing a good job of getting ourselves into position for doing well at our championship meet,”” she said.

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