UA Track & Field Impressive at Boise Elite

Feb. 8, 2003

BOISE, Idaho - The University of Arizona's men's and women's track and field teams competed at the Boise Elite Invitational on Saturday February 8. Boise State University hosted teams from Stanford, UCLA, Texas, Utah State, UC Davis and Northwest Nazarene. The Wildcat men and women added several more athletes to its already long list of post-season qualifiers.

In women's sprinting action, the Wildcats earned several more MPSF qualifiers. In the 60-meter hurdles, Sharifa Jones led the team with a second-place finish. She finished with a time of 8.48 seconds, only five one-hundredths of a second off of a NCAA provisional-qualifying time. Chelsea Powell finished sixth with a new season's best time of 8.86 seconds, while Lindsay Scarborough qualified for the MPSF meet with a time of 9.13 in seventh place overall. Angel Perkins won the 400-meters in 55.17 seconds, which is a new season's best time for her. Seynabou Ndiaye won the 60-meter dash final in a time of 7.65 seconds, though she had a faster qualifying time of 7.51. Marquita Taylor finished fourth in 8.14 seconds, but also had a faster qualifying time of 8.14. Ndiaye placed fourth overall in the 200 meters with a time of 24.84 seconds, after finishing first in her heat. The women's 4x400 meter relay team, made up of Jones, Powell, Mazzone and Scarborough, finished second in 3:50.20.

In the men's sprinting events, Jeff Hunter ran a new season's best time of 7.99 to finish second in the 60-meter hurdles. He was only four one-hundredths of a second off of a NCAA provisional-qualifying time. Adrain Thomas finished eighth in the 400 meters with a time of 48.59 to qualify him for the MPSF Championships. In a tight race the whole way through, the men's 4x400 meter relay team finished third after falling behind Texas and Stanford in the final two legs. They finished with an impressive time of 3:13.43.

In the longer distances for the women, Amber Steen came through with an impressive performance in the mile. In the last 50 meters, Steen sprinted for a second-place finish in a time of 5:02.98 to qualify her for the MPSF Championships in her first time running the race this season. Michi Hirakawa-Wong finished tenth in the same event with a time of 5:26.99. Robin Tierney's strong charge in the final half of the 800 meters helped her to a second-place finish in a time of 2:25.20. In the women's 3,000 meters, Adrienne Goeller finished sixth in 10:28.11 to earn her a spot in the MPSF Championships. Nicole Gurnicz placed ninth in 10:54.46.

In the men's distance races, Jin Daikoku had a huge win in the mile for the Wildcats. Daikoku sped by Erik Emilsson of UCLA in the final stretch to claim the victory in a MPSF qualifying time of 4:14.79. Kevin Engelhardt was bothered by a sore ankle and was unable to finish the race. Daikoku also ran impressively in the 800 meters by winning his heat in 1:54.42, while finishing sixth overall to earn another MPSF qualifying time. Kyle Goklish finished a strong third in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:32.58 to qualify for the MPSF Championships.

On the field for the women, Amber Varner finished seventh in the shot put with a throw of 47 feet, 1 inch (14.35m). Jessica Corkill improved her MPSF qualifying mark in the long jump with a third place finish and a leap of 18 feet, 6 inches (5.64m). Amy Linnen, already a NCAA automatic qualifier in the event, won the pole vault with a leap of 13 feet, 5 inches (4.09m). Juanita Braun finished tenth at 11 feet, 8 inches (3.06m). Kate Yee and Whitney Schauer both finished tied for 17th with a vault of 10 feet, 8 inches (3.25m). Jackilyn Drake placed tenth in the weight throw with a toss of 50-2 � (15.30m), while Varner was 11th with a throw of 49-3 (15.01m).

The men provided several exciting performances on the field for the Wildcats. In the early action of the day, J.R. Harrison finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 49- 1 � (14.98m). Mike Mensah finished fifth with a best mark of 45-5 (13.84m). In the pole vault, Kevin Opalka improved his MPSF qualifying mark to 17-0 (5.18m) to finish tied for first place. Chris Chappell ended up tied for third place with a leap of 16-6 (5.03m), while teammate Mike Mortensen placed seventh at 16-0 (4.88m). Ryan Moore finished fifth in the weight throw to improve his season's best mark to 60-2 � (18.35m). Sean Shields threw a NCAA automatic qualifying toss of 64 feet, 3 inches (19.58m) in the shot put, while finishing second overall. In the long jump, Mensah finished fifth with a leap of 22 feet, 1 � inches (6.75m), while teammate J.R. Harrison was tied for seventh at 20 feet, 5 inches (6.22m).

The Wildcats will be back in action on Friday, February 14 at the annual indoor double-dual meet with Northern Arizona and Arizona State in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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