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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Track & field begins outdoor season with a bang, now head to San Diego

Cyrus Norcross
Zakee Washington (left) and Maj Williams (right) take their marks for the 200 meter race. Maj would go on to take the 2nd place title and Zakee taking third place respectively during the 2018 Willie Williams Classic on March 16, 2018.

The Arizona track and field team launched its 2018 outdoor campaign last weekend at Roy P. Drachman Stadium, hosting the annual Willie Williams Classic. 

Head coach Fred Harvey called it an overall fantastic meet, noting that everybody came together very well competing as a whole team for the first time. 

Several Wildcats submitted exceptional performances, including both the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relay teams finishing atop the podium. 

Tyrell Johnson blazed by his opponents — much like he did on the football field — winning the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.41. Fellow sprinters Zakee Washington and Umajesty Williams turned in impressive races in the 400-meter dash, finishing second and fourth respectively. 

The Wildcats were also represented well in the sandpit, where Aleah Hurst took home first place honors in the triple jump, setting a new personal record of 12.53m. 

Arizona’s biggest strides came from senior middle-distance runner Karolina Pahlitzsch. Despite not running her primary event (400-meter hurdles), she still finished near the top of the competition — nationally, that is. 

Pahlitzsch was named the Pac-12 women’s track athlete of the week after winning the 800-meter run with a time of 2:08.27 and helping her 4×400-meter relay team cross the finish line first. Currently, Pahlitzsch’s 800-meter time is good for the No. 2 spot on the NCAA list. 

Now the UA track and field team prepares to head to San Diego to compete in the 40th Annual Aztec Invitational. Several Pac-12 schools, as well as athletes from Oklahoma and BYU will be in attendance. The Wildcats will begin competition on Friday, March 23.

At this time last season, Harvey’s squad was preparing for the Pac-12 vs. Big 10 Invitational. They traveled two hours north to score points in the grueling heat at their rival’s stadium in Tempe, Arizona.  

The forecast for this weekend predicts an average of 60 degrees. The constant ocean mist and cloud cover will likely keep the sun away, making for favorable racing conditions for Arizona. 

Follow Rob Kleifield on Twitter

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