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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Patterson leaps past national mark in high jump in Ames

    For the second time this season, a UA track and field athlete set a national best mark after junior Liz Patterson landed on the mat following her high jump.

    The Rowlett, Texas native cleared 6-foot-4 on her way to a facility record at the Iowa State Classic Invitational in Ames, Iowa, and got a lot of attention in the process.

    “”That was absolutely incredible,”” said UA head coach Fred Harvey. “”Our goal (for the weekend) was to get as many (personal records) as we can and our biggest challenge was to get as many top-five performances in the country as we can, and that’s a huge challenge.””

    Patterson, who already had a top-three mark in the high jump entering the competition, didn’t appear to be in top form at the start of the event, Harvey said. But it was a motivational decision made by jumping coach Sheldon Blockburger that made Patterson’s performance possible.

    “”Basically, he went from 5-11-and-a-quarter to 6-2-and-a-quarter, and when that decision was made she looked like an entirely different jumper,”” Harvey said. “”It was absolutely amazing to see.””

    Aside from Patterson, seven other Wildcats produced personal-best marks over the weekend. Senior thrower Megan Howard did so in the weight throw (20-feet, three-fourths-inches) on Friday in the opening event of the competition in Ames. On Saturday, freshman Dahlys Marshall and sophomore LaTisha Holden each set personal records in the 60-meter hurdles with times of 8.54 seconds each.

    Arizona distance runners were competing in Seattle, but that didn’t stop them from contributing to a slew of personal-best marks. In the 800m, freshman James Eichberger’s time of 1:53.32 set a new personal-record.

    Senior Dylan Fitzpatrick and redshirt freshman Abdi Hassan won their heats in the 1-mile run with times of 4:07.14 and 4:03.11, respectively. Hassan’s time was also good enough for an NCAA provisional mark.

    “”Abdi Hassan, boy,”” Harvey said. “”I mean, we truly believe that he’ll be one of the top distance runners in this country and he’s stepped out and showed that right away with his mile performance.””

    Sophomore Maggie Callahan also set a personal-best mark in Seattle with a time of 3:38.85 in the 3,000m event.

    The team’s overall performance certainly answered the challenge Harvey outlined before the meet; the hardest part was just keeping track of everything that was happening.

    “”A lot of exciting things went on (over the weekend),”” Harvey said. “”We were texting back and forth just to make sure we were all up to date at both sites.””

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