Wildcat Track & Field Opens Season With Strong Start at NAU

Jan. 18, 2003

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The University of Arizona's men's and women's track and field teams opened the season at the Northern Arizona University Invitational on Saturday, January 18. The Wildcats will return to Tucson with a total of 20 postseason-qualifying performances. 'We had a really good first meet with all of our qualifiers. We also had several athletes with personal records, which is a really good sign at the start of the season,' commented head coach Fred Harvey.

In women's action, Seynabou Ndiaye finished third in the 60-meter dash in 7.57 seconds. Sharifa Jones ran a personal best time of 8.63 in the 60-meter hurdles to earn a MPSF qualifying time. Jones was followed by fourth place Chelsea Powell (8.92), fifth place Lindsay Scarborough (9.57) and sixth place Amanda Underwood (9.80). In the invitational heat of the 200m, Chelsye Wika finished fourth in 27.06. Underwood also finished fourth in the open heat of the 200m with a time of 27.30. Gina Mazzone ran a time of 1:00.89 to claim third place in the 400m. The 4x400m relay team ran the fastest time by an Arizona team in four years. Angel Perkins finished her leg in 53.1 seconds, and the team finished second in 3:45.63.

In a Wildcat dominated field in the one-mile run, Nicole Gurnicz led Arizona with a second-place finish in 5:33.02. Robin Tierney finished fourth in 5:39.86, and she was followed by Michi Hirakawa-Wong in fifth place with a time of 5:56.57. Amber Steen was the lone Arizona runner in the 800m, finishing second in 2:21.97. Adrienne Goeller led a Wildcat charge in the 3,000m, finishing first in 11:09.64. She was followed by fellow team members, Lilli Shoen (2nd, 11:47.78) and Jen Ford (12:07.93).

On the field for the Wildcats, Amber Varner placed second in the shot put with a throw of 46-0 (14.02m). Jackilyn Drake won the weight throw competition with a throw of 51-4 � (15.66m). Varner finished third in the weight throw at 49-8 � (15.15m).

On the men's side of the meet, Avery Sneed finished 10th in the invitational heat of the 200m with a time of 23.98. Jevon Mason was the highlight of the meet for the Wildcats with a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 47.20 in the 400m, where he placed third overall. Jeff Hunter ran a personal best time of 8.02 seconds in the 60m hurdles to finish fourth.

In men's field event action, Matt Johnson placed fourth in the high jump with a leap of 6-6 (1.98m). Mike Mensah was third in the long jump with a final jump of 22-9 � (6.94m). Mensah also finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 48-4 � (14.75m). He was followed by fellow Wildcat J.R. Harrison, who finished with a best mark of 48-2 � (14.70m). In the shot put, Sean Shields led the Wildcats with a third-place finish and a throw of 58-5 � (17.81m). Shields was followed by sixth place Scott Sharpe (50-9 � feet, 15.48m) and twelfth place Ryan Moore (46-2 � feet, 14.08m). Moore led the Wildcats in the weight throw, finishing second with a throw of 58-8 (17.88m). Scott Sharpe was sixth with a mark of 50-0 (15.24m), followed by seventh-place Sean Shields (49-7 � feet, 15.12m).

The Wildcat track and field teams will be back in action next weekend at the Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, Wisc.

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