More Regional Qualifiers as UA Wraps up Willie Williams
March 21, 2009
The UA men's and women's track and field teams wrapped up their first outdoor meet of the weekend on Saturday with the conclusion of the 27th Annual Willie Williams Classic at Roy P. Drachman Stadium. Over one thousand high school and 500 collegiate participated in the event and the UA saw eight members of its squad qualify for the NCAA West Regional Championships in Eugune, Ore. later this season.
Pole vaulters Nick Mossberg (Sr.) and Dutch Perryman (Jr.) joined sophomore shot putter Korion Morris as the first athletes of the 2009 season on Friday night. Five other athletes picked up where the trio left off on Saturday.
In the 100-meter hurdles, freshman Dahlys Marshall and sophomore LaTisha Holden strutted the strength of the UA youth as both earned regional qualifcations with their second and fourth place finishes in 13.69 and 13.84, respectively. Holden's mark was a new personal record, but more importantly it gets one technicality out of the way early in the season. With a qualification in hand, the duo can now focus their sights and training on that meet as they look to advance to the NCAA National Championships in June.
Two UA hammer throwers also had impressive performances to begin the collegiate events of the day. In their first competition in the event on the season, Freshmen Tomaz Bogovic and Tyler Johnson both launched themselves into the regional meet. Bogovic earned a second place finish with his throw of 59.42, (194-11) while Johnson finished just behind him in third at 57.80 (189-7). The duos performance was a testament to the strength of the youth on this current UA squad.
In the women's discus, another freshman earned a regional qualification in Taylor Freeman as she, too, finished in second place in her event with a throw of 48.16m (158-0).
A number of other athletes came painfully close to regional qualifiers on the day, a good sign for an early season meet which head coach Fred Harvey explain falls on a time where the athletes have gone through rigorous training for the past three weeks and are achieving these marks on fatigued bodies. Many of the the UA's top athletes also did not even see competition this week as they get back into the swing of outdoor training after the NCAA Indoor Championships last weekend.
Most of the UA athletes will have the next weekend off as they prepare for the team's second home meet with the annual Jim Click Shootout in two weeks. The team's distance squad, however, will be in Palo Alto, Calif. next weekend as they take part in the Stanford Relays.