Nine Athletes Head to NCAA Track & Field Championships

May 28, 2002

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Up Next: The University of Arizona will send six women and three men to the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Baton Rouge, La. Louisiana State University will host the meet from Wednesday, May 29 through Saturday, June 1.

The Competition: This year's championships feature the nation's toughest competition from the 2002 track and field season. The Pac-10 will be well-represented with seven women's teams and four men's teams in the final Trackwire 25 poll. The Arizona women finished the season at No. 6. Competing for Arizona will be: Mike Kenyon (200m, 400m), Sean Shields (shot put), Mike Mortensen (pole vault), Brianna Glenn (100m, 200m, long jump), Tara Chaplin (10,000m), Amy Linnen (pole vault), Angela Foster (hammer throw), Julie DeMarni (javelin) and Beth Hoge (5,000m).

Looking Back: The Wildcat men finished fifth at this year's Pac-10 Championships, while the women finished a disappointing meet in seventh. Overall, the team had three individual titles. Mike Kenyon won the 400m title, Brianna Glenn defended her 200m title, and Amy Linnen won the pole vault competition.

Murray's Musings: 'Like last year, the biggest potential will be on the women's side. All six of our women athletes are capable of scoring. We are looking at Brianna Glenn in three events and all others in one event each. Our biggest potential is with Glenn, Tara Chaplin, and Amy Linnen. Hopefully, we will be able to pick up some points from Julie DeMarni, Angela Foster and Beth Hoge. We definitely have point potential, but I'm not sure if we can duplicate our third-place finish like last year. Everything is going to have to fall into place for us.

'This year is going to be very different for us. Brianna will have to hit everything just right to be able to repeat in the 200m and long jump. She's not on the top of the list in either event, but she wasn't at the top last year either. She is a competitor, but we aren't going to count on her to come through for us. That's too much pressure. She had a remarkable meet last year, and she has the possibilities and capabilities are there. She always seems to come through. If she stays healthy, she will be competitive, but we can't ask too much.'

Academic All-District Winners: The University of Arizona track and field teams had four athletes named to the Academic All-District first teams. Pole vaulter Mike Mortensen was the only male to win for the Wildcats. He made the team with a 4.0 GPA and a major in Russian. Sarah Jacobs earned first team honors with 4.0 GPA and a general biology major. She is also a pole vaulter for the Wildcats. Also earning first team honors on the women's side were Brianna Glenn (Marketing major) and Tara Chaplin (Studio Art major). Glenn and Chaplin are among several favorites at the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

2002 NCAA Qualifiers:

Sophomore Amy Linnen (Pole Vault): When Amy Linnen took to the pole vault competition at the Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb. on Feb. 8, her goal was to just get in there and do her best for the team. When the night was over, Linnen had done much more than her best. Not only did she place first in the event, but she blew the rest of the competition away with a new NCAA record. Linnen's vault of 14-10 broke the old record for the indoor pole vault by 1/2 inch. Her mark is better than the outdoor record, but it will only stand for the indoor season. During the meet, Linnen cleared every height on her first attempt until she tried to break the world record. Despite her efforts, she came up short three times at 15-5 3/4. 'I knew I had it in me,' Linnen said. 'I just didn't know it was going to be today. I don't want to sound cocky, but I think I'm capable of a lot more. I think God gave me a special talent, and this is it.'

Linnen's record-setting performances did not stop there. After finishing second to UCLA's Tracy O'Hara at the Mountain Pacific Conference Championships, she knew that she still had something to prove. At the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. on March 8-9, Linnen set the record yet again. This time the mark stood at 14-10 1/4 (4.53m). She out-performed the closest competition by 11 inches. The second-place finisher was O'Hara who finished with a vault of 13-11 1/4.

In the outdoor season, Linnen wasn't making as much noise until the Pac-10 Championships. Heading into the conference meet, she had already earned an automatic-qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships. Linnen won her first Pac-10 title in the pole vault with a leap of 14-1 3/4, barely edging O'Hara of UCLA who finished second. Linnen heads into the NCAA Outdoor Championships ranked second with her vault of 14-1 3/4.

Freshman Sean Shields (Shot Put): Freshman thrower Sean Shields has been on a roll since the 2002 indoor season began. In his first season as a Wildcat thrower, he broke the UA freshman shot put record in three consecutive meets during the indoor season. The record now stands at 62-4 1/4 (18.90m), which is also the best toss this year by an Arizona thrower in the shot put. That throw also qualified Shields for the NCAA Indoor Championships. He placed 13th at the indoor national championships with a throw of 60-10 3/4 (18.56m). In the outdoor season, he qualified provisionally in the shot put with a toss of 61-2 (18.64m) at the Pac-10 Championships, where he finished second. He also finished fourth in the discus with a toss of 181-0. Shields is ranked 18th in the shot put heading into the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Senior Brianna Glenn (100m, 200m, Long Jump): Senior sprinter and jumper Brianna Glenn is blazing a trail again. Every year at this time, Glenn's name is commonly heard among collegiate track and field's enthusiasts. Well, this year is no different. At the NCAA indoor championships, Glenn competed in three events (60m, 200m and long jump). She earned All-America honors in the 60m and 200m after finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. In outdoor competition, Glenn is doing it all over again. She set a Drachman Stadium record in the 100m at the Jim Click Shootout on March 23, with a time of 11.36. She improved her NCAA-qualifying time in the 100m to 11.34 at the Mt. SAC Relays. She also clocked a speedy 24.06 in the 200m at the same meet. Glenn defended her 200m title at the Pac-10 Championships in a personal best time of 22.91. She earned an NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the long jump at the Sun Angel Classic with a leap of 21-5 (6.49m). She enters the NCAA Championships ranked seventh in the 100m, fourth in the 200m and eighth in the long jump.

Senior Mike Kenyon (200m, 400m): Senior sprinter Mike Kenyon will close out his Wildcat career at the 2002 NCAA Championships. Kenyon qualified in the 200m and 400m in his final year of eligibility. He is ranked 17th in the 200m and seventh in the 400m heading into the championship meet.

Kenyon was a vital member to the Arizona men's team. As a constant scorer, the Wildcats looked to him for leadership on and off the track. Kenyon was the 2002 Pac-10 champion in the 400m with a time of 45.83. His personal best in the 400m this season is 45.38 at the Sun Angel Classic on April 13. He finished 3rd at the Pac-10 meet in the 200m at 20.79, but holds a season's best time of 20.64, which he ran at the double-dual meet with Arizona State and Northern Arizona on May 4.

Senior Tara Chaplin (10,000m): Tara Chaplin is one of the favorites in the 10,000m at this year's NCAA Championships. She comes in ranked second in the event with a time of 33:30.59. After winning the 2001 NCAA cross country title, Chaplin has let the momentum carry her through the 2002 track and field season.

Chaplin had a disappointing run at the Pac-10 Championships, but that was only the second time she ran the race all season. She earned her automatic-qualifying time of 33:30.59 in her first outdoor race of the season at the Mt. SAC Relays.

Sophomore Mike Mortensen (Pole Vault): Mike Mortensen came on strong in the pole vault towards the end of the season. It started at the Drake Relays, where Mortensen won the pole vault with a personal record leap of 17-6 1/2. He then went on to improve that mark to 17-7 at the double-dual meet against Arizona State and Northern Arizona. He heads in the NCAA Championships ranked 16th.

Junior Julie DeMarni (Javelin): Julie DeMarni has been a strong competitor for the Wildcats throughout the 2002 season. She came to the Wildcats this year as a junior-college transfer and the defending junior college champion in the javelin. DeMarni threw a personal best mark of 161-10 at the Jim Click Shootout on March 23. DeMarni will look to use her championship experience at the junior college level in an attempt to score some points for the Wildcats at this year's NCAA Championships.

Senior Angela Foster (Hammer Throw): Angela Foster has been the top thrower for the Wildcats throughout the 2002 track and field season. She competed in the shot put, discus and hammer throw all year, though her only qualifying mark came in the hammer. She brings some experience to the squad as she competed at last year's NCAA Championships as well. Foster's best throw of 195-3 earned her the 16th qualifying spot in this year's meet.

Sophomore Beth Hoge (5,000m): Beth Hoge has been a big factor for the Wildcats this season. This will be her first year competing at the NCAA track and field championships. She will represent the Wildcats in the 5,000m. Hoge is ranked 14th with a time of 16:15.91. Though it will be her first NCAA track and field meet, she does bring some championship experience to the squad after being the Wildcats' No. 2 runner at the NCAA Cross Country Championships this past fall.

2002 Indoor Championships: The University of Arizona women's track and field team finished ninth at the 2002 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday, March 9, hosted by the University of Arkansas, at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

The Arizona women's team took only three athletes to the event, and the team closed the two-day event with 19 total points to finish in ninth place. Senior sprinter Brianna Glenn finished fourth in the 60m dash event final with a time of 7.33 on March 9 and earned All-America honors in the event. Glenn accounted for nine of Arizona's 19 points. In competition on March 8, Glenn placed fifth in the 200m final with a time of 23.29 and finished 15th in the long jump with a final mark of 19-4 3/4 (5.91m). She also earned All-America honors in the 200m.

In the first day of competition on March 8, Wildcat sophomore Amy Linnen led the Wildcat charge, winning the NCAA title in the pole vault. Linnen, who earned the team 10 points with the win, ended the evening with a vault of 14-10 1/4 (4.53m). The mark became a new school and NCAA indoor record, as Linnen won her first-career NCAA title. The three-time All-American improved upon her fifth-place finish in the pole vault at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships where she recorded a vault of 13-9 1/4 (4.20m).

On March 8, senior Tara Chaplin also finished in 15th place overall with a time of 16:58.12 in the 5,000m final.

The Wildcat men's team took two athletes - Sean Shields and Mike Kenyon - to the Championships but did not place in the final team rankings. In action on March 8, freshman Sean Shields placed 13th in the shot put with a toss of 60-10 3/4 (18.56m). Senior Mike Kenyon finished third in his heat of the 400m preliminaries. Kenyon's time of 47.05 was just off the qualifying time necessary to advance to the final.

2001 In Review: The Arizona track and field program had one of its finest seasons ever in 2001. The Wildcats produced 16 total All-Americans and four NCAA titles. The women's team capped the year with a third-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The Indoor Championships produced eight All-America honors and three NCAA titles. The Wildcats doubled the number of All-Americans at the Outdoor Championships and added one more NCAA title to the mix. Arizona brought home two top-five finishes and one top-20 finish.

The women's team made history at the NCAA Championships with the highest finish (third) in Arizona history. The Wildcats scored 44 points with only four competitors at the meet, and the women brought home three individual titles.

The Arizona men had a very successful season, as well. The men's team finished 13th with 15 points at the indoor meet, but it was unable to come up with any points at the outdoor meet. The men took five athletes to the meet and only competed in two events.

Then-junior Brianna Glenn's remarkable performances earned her two NCAA titles. She won the long jump title and then went on to win the 200m and place third in the 100m. Joining the scoring party was senior Andrea Dutoit when she took to the pole vault competition. She brought home the championship after a vault of 14-9 � feet (4.20m). Leading the way for the men was senior Patrick Nduwimana. He took home the individual title for the 800m at the indoor meet. He also led the 4x400m relay team, which placed fourth. Joining him in the relay were junior Matt Lea, senior Mike Kenyon and junior Jules Doumbya.

The Coaches: Director of track and field and cross country Dave Murray (Arizona, '65) is in his 35th and final year as a coach at Arizona, making him the longest tenured coach in the Wildcat athletic department. He has coached over 160 All-Americans in cross country and track and field and 28 NCAA individual champions. Associate head coach Fred Harvey (15th year, Cal Poly-SLO, '82) coaches the Arizona sprinters, hurdlers and relay teams. Harvey has coached several world-class athletes, such as Patrick Nduwimana, a 2000 Olympic semifinalist and Arizona track and field veteran. Assistant coach Tom Hays (5th year, Kansas, '89) is one of the top pole vault coaches in the nation and will direct the Wildcat jumpers this season. Assistant coach John Frazier (2nd year, UCLA, '86) was an addition to last year's coaching staff. The Wildcat throwers will be led by coach Frazier. Assistant coach Dawn Mortensen (5th year, Arizona, '96) was a standout sprinter for the Wildcats in the 1990s and works with the Arizona sprinters and hurdlers.

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