Patterson Falls in Epic NCAA Duel

March 13, 2009

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - In one of the single most impressive performances in UA track and field championship history, Liz Patterson moved up to third on Arizona's all-time best list, set a facility record, had the second best jump in indoor collegiate championship history and the eigth best collegiate indoor jump ever.  And despite the amazing performance, Patterson still fell to Texas' Destinee Hooker in one of the most epic championship high jump duels in NCAA Indoor history as the UA track and field team kicked off the first day of competition at the 2009 NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas.

Patterson cleared the bar at 1.95m (6-4 3/4) on her first attempt to break her personal record set earlier this year of 1.93m (6-4) and move up to third all-time in Arizona history in the event.  The mark was the highest jump for a UA athlete since Julieanne Broughton cleared 1.94m (6-4 1/4) in 1990.  Patterson was unable to clear 1.98m (6-6), however, while Hooker cleared the mark on her second attempt, setting a collegiate indoor record in the process.

Patterson began the competition going perfect at heigths of 1.83m (6-0) 1.86m (6-1 1/4) and 1.89m (6-2 1/4), clearing the bar on her first attempt at all three.  Hooker missed her first attempt at 1.80m which gave Patterson the all-around lead heading into the jump at 1.92m (6-3 1/2) where just the two of them remained.  Patterson missed her first attempt at the height while Hooker cleared hers to put the pressure back on the Arizona junior.  Patterson bounced right back by clearing the height on her second attempt which would be her second best jump ever at the time.

The bar then moved up to 1.95m and Patterson skied high on her first attempt as she cleared the bar to the crowd's delight.  At the time, the mark was the second best indoor championship mark of all time behind only UCLA's Amy Acuff's 1997, 1.97m (6-5 1/2) clearance.   On top of that, the mark was also a Gilliam Indoor Stadium record and the eighth best collegiate indoor mark ever as well.

Hooker stuck right with Patterson and cleared the bar on her first attempt as well, setting her own personal record and making it the first time in NCAA Indoor Championship history that two athletes had cleared the bar at such a heigth.

The next bar proved to be Patterson's undoing, however, as Hooker cleared on her second attempt while Patterson just missed her second and third attempts.   The audience rose to their feet to applaud the battle that the two athletes had had, and it was easily one of the biggest crowd-pleasers of the night.  By clearing the bar at 1.98m, Hooker took over the NCAA Indoor Championship record which means it took the best performance ever to defeat Patterson on Friday.

Patterson was joined in her All-American campaign by senior Zack Lloyd in the shot put, who had his best finish in a championship meet by finishing third with a best throw of 19.21m (63-0 1/4).  Lloyd rounded out the indoor season with the best collegiate mark on the year at 20.77m (68-1 3/4) and earned his third All-American accolade as a Wildcat. 

Senior Shevell Quinley was able to pull off a 13th place finish in the pentathlon with a score of 3,934 and fellow senior Bobby McCoy wrapped up his collegiate career with an 11th place finish in the 400-meters.

The three remaining Wildcats in the competition with take the field tomorrow as seniors Megan Howard and Nicole Lloyd duke it out for the shot put title while junior Gabriella Duclos will take part in the pole vault competition.

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