UA Women Win Shootout
April 3, 2010
TUCSON – It seems that more often than not the past couple seasons, The University of Arizona track and field teams may not get all the love they deserve when the USTFCCCA releases their preseason national rankings. The results that came at the conclusion of Saturday's Jim Click Shootout may turn a couple heads and it would seem unlikely that the lack of recognition will repeat when the new rankings are released Tuesday.
Several athletes set personal bests and top marks in the country at Roy P. Drachman as the UA women felled schools from No. 16 Nebraska, Cal, Minnesota and Kansas State to take home the team title at the annual meet, finishing with 155 points and several individual titles to boot.
Freshman Julie Labonte again showed why she may be the most coveted recuit of the 2010 season, as she moved to third all-time in Arizona history in the shot put by way of a 16.82m (55-2 ¼) throw on her first attempt of the competition. That puts Labonte behind just Meg Ritchie and Carla Garrett on the UA's top-10 – two athletes largely regarded as some of the best to ever compete in the sport.
“We have, historically, some of the greatest throwers in the history of the NCAA,” said UA head coach Fred Harvey after the meet. “For her to even be mentioned in the same breath as them, it says a lot.”
Labonte already had the top mark in the country coming into the weekend and Saturday's result may build upon that lead, barring results from other meets.
Also moving up in the record books Saturday was redshirt freshman Georganne Moline, who became the first UA intermediate hurdler to go under a minute since Chelsea Powell did it in 2003. Moline won the 400-meter hurdles Saturday with a time of 59.80 – the eighth fastest time in Arizona history.
Moline went on to be another part of the record-setting day at Drachman Stadium as she would compete on the women's UA's 4 x 400-meter relay squad that absolutely demolished the competition en route to a six second victory in 3:37.69. The time was good for the fourth fastest relay race in Arizona history as well.
“That is one of my proudest moments of the day,” Harvey said. “The showed the gumption to push hard and go for the time even though they were out there running by themselves the whole time.”
Sophomore Hannah Moen returned to her steeplechase prowess of last season as she just edged her personal record in winning the event in 10:28.20.
Christina Rodgers opened up her 800-meter season with a victory as well, winning in 2:06.72 and one of the fastest marks in the country this season. Also notable of Rodgers' day was the fact that she opened up the 4x400 relay with a split of 54.4 to give Arizona the generous lead to start things off.
Freshman Brigetta Barrett wrapped up the UA women's victories on the day as she matched a personal best in the high jump at 1.89m (6-2 ¼) which will likely stand as one of the best if not the best marks of the weekend nationally.
On the men's side, sophomore Tomaz Bogovic kicked off a successful overall day, winning the hammer throw with his 62.69m (205-8) throw.
Korion Morris continued the successful throwing day for the men, winning the shot put with a huge personal best of 18.15m (59-6 ¾) – just shy of cracking the all-time top-10 list for Arizona. He also would go on to finish second in the discus with a very respectable mark of 52.82m (173-3).
Redshirt sophomore Abdi Hassan won a foot race down the homestretch in the men's 1500-meters, edging Cal's Steve Sodaro in 3:47.85 – a very strong early season mark.
Harvey said after the meet that the large amount of great performances were impressive because the coaches had been “kicking the athletes' butts in practice” over the last couple weeks trying to get them prepared for some of the bigger meets that are upcoming. Saturday's results showed the fruition of the efforts.
The UA squads will be back in action next week, splitting between the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe and the JJK Invitational in Westwood, Calif.