Track & Field Opens with Strong Performances in Boise

Jan. 24, 2004

BOISE, Idaho - The University of Arizona's men's and women's track and field teams opened the 2004 season at the Western Indoor Classic in Boise. Boise State University played host to a field of eight schools and several track clubs at Jackson Track at the Idaho Sports Center in Nampa, Idaho. The Wildcat men and women posted several impressive times and marks as the work themselves into form for the season.

The UA women claimed two individual victories in the sprints. Sophomore Angel Perkins won the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.53 seconds. Wildcat junior Sharifa Jones claimed a title of her own in the 60-meter hurdles, winning in a time of 8.60 seconds. Jones also posted an eighth-place finish in the women's long jump. Sophomore Marquita Taylor started the season off with two fourth-place finishes. In the 60 meters, Taylor clocked a time of 7.63 seconds, and she finished in 25.21 seconds in the 200 meters. Freshman Tiffany McDonald began her collegiate career as a Wildcat on the right foot after posting a second place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.73 seconds.

The Wildcat women not only looked dominant on the track, but on the field as well. Freshman April Kubishta vaulted an indoor personal-best 12 feet, 5 � inches (3.80m) to earn third place in the women's pole vault competition. Junior Jessica Corkill added another title for the Wildcats after winning the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 9 � inches.

Freshman Billie-Jo Grant showed why she was one of the Wildcats' top recruits by finishing second in the shot put with a throw of 49 feet, 5 � inches (15.07m). Sophomore Rachel Varner followed Grant in fourth place with a toss of 45 feet, 6 � inches (13.87m). Senior Amber Varner was fifth, finishing with a best throw of 45 feet, 4 � inches (13.82m). In the women's weight throw, senior Jackilyn Drake was ninth, followed by Amber Varner in tenth.

The Wildcat men had several impressive performances of their own. In the men's 200 meters, senior Adrain Thomas was ninth in 22.41 seconds. Senior Jevon Mason was right on his heels in 10th with a time of 22.49 seconds. Sophomore Avery Sneed placed 12th in 22.97 seconds. Thomas also finished sixth in the 400 meters with a time of 49.76 seconds.

Senior Chris Chappell is already off to a great start in 2004. Chappell finished second in the men's pole vault with a height of 16 feet, 6 � inches (5.05m), improving his season's best mark that he initially set at the Northwest Pole Vault Summit on January 10.

Senior Michael Mensah led the men's jumpers with two third-place finishes. Mensah finished with a best mark of 22 feet, 11 inches in the long jump, while posting a jump of 47 feet, 8 inches in the triple jump. Senior J.R. Harrison was fifth in the long jump, followed by junior Mark Ramos' seventh-place finish.

In the men's throws, freshman Jarred Sola threw a big personal best mark in the shot put, finishing third with a throw of 53 feet, 9 � inches (16.39m). Freshman Adam Kuehl finished tenth. In the weight throw, senior Ryan Moore threw 59 feet, 4 � inches to claim third place. Sola finished 12th in the weight throw, followed by Kuehl in 13th place.

'I thought we had a good, competitive meet,' commented head coach Fred Harvey. 'Our expectations were high, I don't think we meet those expectations because we feel that we are a very, very good team. We definitely set ourselves up well for our next meet because we beat some good people. If we keep doing those things, then we will get to that performance level in terms of getting the marks that we want.'

The Wildcats now look forward to a February 7th showdown in Colorado Springs, Colo. at the Falcon Invitational.

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