Two Wildcats Take Podium on Final Day of NCAA Championships

June 14, 2003

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The University of Arizona's men's and women's track and field teams closed out the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with two impressive performances. Connie Jerz in the pole vault and Robert Cheseret closed out the meet in style on Saturday evening. The UA women finished the four-day competition tied for 22nd with 12 points, while the Arizona men were tied for 37th with 6 points.

In the women's pole vault final, junior Connie Jerz hit a huge personal best at a height of 14 feet, 1 � (4.30m) to finish second. Jerz looked good when the bar was raised to 14-5 � (4.41m) but missed on her first two attempts. The only other vaulter still in the competition was Becky Holliday of Oregon who cleared the height on her second attempt. Jerz passed on her third attempt to have one try at 14-9 � (4.57m). Jerz cleared the bar, but knocked it off with her feet as she came over.

Junior Amy Linnen finished the pole vault competition in 11th place, clearing 13-1 � (4.00m). Linnen missed her first attempt at the first two heights and fell just short of advancing to the next height.

Freshman Robert Cheseret had a huge night in his first NCAA Championships. The young Kenyan held on for a third-place finish in the 5,000 meters final, clocking a time of 13:52.77. Seth Hejny of Stanford made a push in the final 100 meters, but Cheseret was able to hold on and beat Hejny by 0.1 seconds.

In the women's 5,000 meters, junior Beth Hoge battled fatigue and soreness through the first 3,000 meters. Hoge then dropped out to avoid any injury. Hoge entered the race with the 13th-fastest time in the qualifying round on Wednesday night.

The 2003 NCAA Championships come to a close with three Wildcats earning top-eight finishes and a very optimistic outlook on the 2004 season.

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