No. 10 women, No. 22 men Compete for Conference Championships
Feb. 26, 2009
The No. 10 women's and No. 22 men's track and field teams will kick off the 2009 championship season as they both fight for conference titles at the Mount Pacific Sports Federation Championships beginning tomorrow on the Dempsey Indoor Center in Seattle, Wash. The meet will feature all of the Pac-10 Conference schools excluding the University of Southern Cal and the UA men and women will both be looking for their first indoor title this weekend.
The women are led into the meet by the national leader in the high jump and reigning outdoor National Champion, junior Liz Patterson. Patterson enters the meet with a mark of 1.93m (6-4), good for first in the country and fourth all-time at Arizona. The Arizona captain is joined by fellow junior captain, Jasmin Day, in the event and the two are both All-Americans and always a threat to sweep any high jump event they take part in.
Junior pole vaulter Gabriella Duclos and senior shot putter Nicole Lloyd represent the two other UA women ranked in the top-10 nationally in their respective events and they all play a huge role in the Wildcat's No. 10 rankings - their highest in seven years.
'We're really excited and know that if everyone comes and performs like they can then good things are going to happen,' said sophomore Maggie Callahan who will be taking part in the 3,000-meter run and distance medley relay this weekend. This distance athletes could play a hige role in the women's teams success this weekend and Callahan is one of the team's strongest threats to make a splash on the weekend.
The men's team is no slouch either and brings a national leader of their own in senior shot putter Zack Lloyd. Lloyd finished last season with the top mark collegiately in the country and enters this weekend with that same standing. Standing in his way, however, is Arizona State's Ryan Whiting who is the reigning indoor champion and collegiate record holder. The two are arguably the best throwers in the nation at the collegiate level right now and Saturday will mark the first head-to-head competition between the two all season.
Senior Bobby McCoy enters the conference meet as one of the UA's bubble athletes in the 400-meter dash. McCoy was an All-American indoors in the event last year and is currently using up his final semester of eligibility this year. However, he currently has the 20th fastest time in the country in the event and only the top 16 will advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas in two weeks. A big run this weekend will help to extend McCoy's final season just that much longer and also help the Wildcats with some pivotol points in the scoring.
Senior long jumper Luis Rivera-Morales is another bubble athlete for the Wildcats as he is ranked 16th in the long jump and 20th in the triple jump. A strong showing at the conference meet would give Rivera-Morales some much needed breathing room.
Both teams enter this weekend meet with as much depth and talent as they ever have and the combination of skilled veterans and talented underclassmen could be the recipe for success as the Wildcats fight for their first indoor conference titles in history.
Events kick off tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. with the women's hammer throw and women's pentathlon. Live results can be found here.