Wildcats Dominate Three Cities

Feb. 13, 2010

Iowa State Classic Results

Husky Classic Results

NAU Invite Results

MES, Iowa – Another weekend of competition is in the books and the results keep spilling in as The University of Arizona’s No. 18 women’s and No. 25 men’s track and field teams impressed in three separate cities on Saturday.


In Ames, Iowa, Christina Rodgers continued her impressive comeback after redshirting the 2009 season at the Iowa State Classic.  Rodgers ran the fifth fastest time in the country in the 800-meters as she finished second overall in a time of 2:05.04. 


“She was awesome,” UA head coach Fred Harvey said of the junior. “It’s really satisfying because we know the pace won’t be much faster at the NCAA Championships and she was able to hang in there through the whole thing.”


Rodgers already had a provisional qualification in the event but improved upon that, coming just four hundredths of a second short of the NCAA automatic qualification.


Also impressive in Ames was freshman Julie Labonte in the shot put.  Labonte finished second to the number one through in the country in Florida’s Mariam Kevkhishvilli with a mark of 16.43m (53-11) to improve her NCAA ranking as the indoor season begins its transition to crunch time.


The women’s 4 x 400-meter relay team set an indoor school record Saturday and came just over sixth tenths of a second shy of the NCAA provisional qualification.  The squad, consisting of Deanna Sullivan, Echos Blevins, Georganne Moline and Andrea Menhennet won the event in a time of 3:40.64 to break the UA’s previous record of 3:41.38 – a mark that had held for 12 years.


A little over 1700 miles away, the UA distance team was facing off against some of the top competition in the country at the 2010 Husky Classic.  Abdi Hassan continues to make a case for being one of the top sophomores in the country as he set a blistering mark in the mile run, finishing fourth overall in 3:58.50.  The mark was good for an NCAA Championship automatic qualification and gave Hassan the second best mile time indoors in school history.


“The nice thing about it is that he ran that mark and competed against some of the best people in the country,” Harvey said.  “We know he’s got talent but when he’s in there mixing it up with the best then you like to see that.”


The jumping crew continued its impressive season in Flagstaff, Ariz. at the NAU Invitational as senior Liz Patterson regained sole possession of the national lead in the high jump, clearing the bar at 1.92m (6-3 ½) to win the event.


Patterson, who earlier the week was named as one of the top ten female athletes in the country in being named to the Bowerman Award Watchlist, missed her first attempt at the height before soaring over for the third best mark of her UA career.


“We know what Liz can do,” Harvey said. “We like to see it when you hit a big mark early in the season and then come back and duplicate or better it later on.  That sets up well for National Championships.”


In the men’s high jump, Nick Ross continued his impressive frosh campaign by winning the event with a season’s best mark of 2.21m (7-3). Ross and fellow freshman Edgar Rivera-Morales – who finished second – both hold top 10 marks in the country and could provide huge points for the Wildcats both at the conference meet and the national championship.


“It was a great weekend of performances and we just have to keep hammering in the kid’s heads to stay excited and stay focused,” Harvey said. “The big fish are yet to come and that’s where we’ve got to get it done.”






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