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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Five Wildcats earn All-American status in NCAA National Championships

    Arizona track and field’s women finished No. 25 while the men finished No. 23 as five Wildcats captured All-American status at the outdoor national championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

    “”Our goal is to always be in the top-25 in the national championships,”” Arizona head coach Fred Harvey said. “”A great meet for us would have been to get into the top-10, but overall, we met our goals to get into the top-25.””

    Succumbing to Arizona State’s Ryan Whiting, Arizona senior shot putter Zack Lloyd achieved All-American status by finishing second in the shot put after leading for most of the meet. Lloyd had the best national finish of his career, earning second with a throw of 19.86 meters. Lloyd knew that winning a national championship would go through the Whiting, as he struggled against the ASU shot putter the entire year.

    “”Zack led the competition pretty much all the way through, but (Whiting) was able to hit the mark to take the lead,”” Harvey said. “”Zack was unable to comeback in the end, but he threw for over 65 feet which is a great meet for him.””

    For the women, Arizona junior high jumper Liz Patterson was another athlete who saw a familiar foe in pursuit of a national championship. Coming into the meet in Fayetteville, Patterson set her sights on a repeat of last year’s outdoor national championship and avenging her loss against Texas high jumper Destinee Hooker in the March indoor national championships.

    Despite a slow start, Patterson again put herself in the position to repeat, as she and Hooker were the last two high jumpers remaining for the second consecutive NCAA meet. But once again, Patterson fell short as Hooker topped her 6-2, 1/4 foot jump with a 6-4, 3/4 mark of her own to take the 2009 outdoor national championship crown.

    Though Patterson lost to Hooker for the second straight time in a three-month span, she did achieve All-American status for the third consecutive year.

    Concluding his outdoor career, senior Luis Rivera-Morales also achieved All-American status, placing sixth in the long jump with a 7.94m measurement.

    Also achieving All-American status were junior pole vaulter Gabriella Duclos and senior Shevell Quinley in the heptathlon.

    Now that both the indoor and outdoor seasons are complete, Harvey will focus on recruiting as Arizona still has a few scholarships remaining.

    “”The bulk of our recruiting is done but there are a few athletes that we want to get after,”” Harvey said.

    The Texas A&M Aggies took home both the men’s and women’s national championship trophies.

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