Distance Teams Shines in Palo Alto
March 28, 2009
While most of the UA men's and women's track and field teams took the weekend off to prepare for the Jim Click Invitational in Tucson next weekend, the distance runners kicked off their 2009 campaign in Palo Alto, Calif. with three regional qualifiers at the Stanford Invitational.
Redshirt freshman Abdi Hassan continued his impressive first year as he posted a time of 3:46.36 to win his section of the 1500-meter run. The mark was about a second under the required time to qualify for the NCAA West Regional Championships in Eugene, Ore. at the end of the season and a very strong time for the freshman competing in his first collegiate 1500-meters.
Sophomore Maggie Callahan follows up the performance with a very strong showing in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Callahan, who qualified for the West Regional event last season, finished in 10:31.52 which was good for 15th place overall and 11th among collegiate athletes. What was also impressive about the time, aside from the fact it was good for a regional qualification, was the fact that it was nearly 12 second better than her previous personal best in the event.
In the women's 5000-meters, senior Irine Lagat also smashed her personal record with a fourth place, 16:23.67 finish to fall way under the regional qualifying mark of 16:52. Lagat's previous personal best in the event was 16:34.30, so she also logged close to a twelve second personal best. Freshman Hannah Moen finished in 16:53.09, just missing the regional qualifying mark but it was a strong performance nonetheless and a personal record for one of the many younger athletes on the Arizona roster.
The whole team will be back in competition next weekend at Roy P. Drachman Stadium as they take part in the annual Jim Click Invitational. This years meet will be scored in a conference duel fashion as Arizona will team with Washington to represent the Pac-10 again Kansas and Nebraska from the Big 12 and Penn State and Wisconsin from the Big 10.