Jim Click Team Events Begin Tomorrow
April 3, 2009
The UA will welcome some of the elite of collegiate competition to Roy P. Drachman Stadium tomorrow as the annual Jim Click Shootout comes to town in the form of one of the biggest meets in the country this weekend.
The meet aims to give athletes a chance to feel like they are at a championship meet but without the pressure of NCAA titles on the line. UA head coach Fred Harvey explained that many of these athletes will not get a chance to see what its like to compete at the NCAA Championship level but a meet like this is meant to carry over some of that atmosphere.
From a unique competition format to a special banquets for all the athletes involved, this meet looks and feels like your typical championship meet and coaches have the full expectation that this will translate into some big time marks on the track.
The meet features a different form of team competition as the UA will team with Washington to represent a Pac-10 team rather than two individual teams. Thus, the conference will be facing off of Kansas and Nebraska representing the Big-12 and Wisconsin and Penn State representing the Big-10. The meet will be scored based upon the performances of the conference duos as a team and in the end one conference will be crowned the winner.
More important for the UA athletes, however, will be the chance to obtain regional qualifying marks. WIth the competition level as high as it can be for a home meet, it would not be surprising to see numerous athletes from all teams dropping some big time times in order to qualify for their respective regionals meets. UA athletes will be looking to meet the standard for the NCAA West Regional Championships hosted in Eugene, Ore. in May.
Another exciting aspect of this weekends meet is that it will be the first outdoor meet of the season for many of Arizona's premier athletes, including the defending outdoor NCAA national high jump champion, Liz Patterson. Patterson has lost only one meet this season, finishing second at the NCAA Indoor Championships in an epic duel with Texas' Destinee Hooker. She will look to continue her winning ways on Saturday.
On the other side of things, the UA's most decorated male athlete in shot putter Zack Lloyd will also open up his season. The three-time All-American has earned the accolade with top five finishes in the past three championship meets and he hopes to begin the road to a fourth on at the Jim Click Meet.
The first two days of competition saw the combined event championships take place. The UA's Chris McGovern had a strong second day as he moved from eighth after day one to a third place finish with 6,728 points.
In the women's heptathlon, senior Shevell Quinley looked to have at least an NCAA provisional mark locked up, but a hamstring cramp in the final 800-meter event forced her out of contention.
The Jim Click Shootout will officially begin tomorrow with the hammer throw events at 9 a.m. As a special offer to high school students who competed at this year's Willie Williams Classic, any high school student who brings their hip numbers from the event will be offered free admission tomorrow.