'Cats Set to Kick Off Regional Championships
May 29, 2009
EUGENE, Ore. - The field is set and the UA athletes are ready to go at the 2009 NCAA West Regional Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. Thirty-two Arizona athletes will do battle in 21 events at Hayward Field over the next two days as they all look to earn a coveted qualification for the NCAA National Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. in two weeks.
For UA seniors, this is what it comes down to as they look to keep their UA careers going for just one more meet. A top-five finish at this meet ensures a position in Arkansas.
The first day of competition will be full of plenty of action for the Wildcats. The UA squad has athletes qualified in 13 of the 26 opening day events. For the UA runners, the first day will simply be a matter of survival as they look to advance past the preliminary round into tomorrow's finals. For the UA field atheltes, it's now or never as there are no preliminaries - only finals.
Senior Luis Rivera-Morales will be one of the athletes to watch as he enters the week with the top mark in the West Region in today's long jump event. He set a career best of 7.95m (26-1) on this very track two weekends ago and will look to go over the 8-meter mark - mark he has described as world class- for the first time at Arizona since Percy Knox did it in 1990.
All-American Gabriella Duclos will also see competition today in the pole vault event. Duclos is ranked third all-time on Arizona's descending order list and finished third at the Pac-10 Championships here two weeks ago.
Later today, three-time All-American Zack Lloyd will look to avenge his Pac-10 Championship loss from two weekend's ago to ASU's Ryan Whiting. Whiting passed Lloyd on his sixth and final attempt at that meet, but Lloyd bounced back by going over the 20-meter mark for the first time this outdoor season at the UA's Tucson Elite Throwers Meet last weekend. He will look to carry that momentum forward into today's meet.
Check back here at arizonaathletics.com for live updates throughout the day. You can also follow the live updates on the UA's Twitter site located by clicking this link.