High Jumpers Highlight Final Day
May 29, 2010
AUSTIN – The Wildcats came to Austin, Texas for the NCAA West Preliminary Championships with six high jumpers in tow to start the week. After Saturday, five of them will advance to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Championships.
Defending indoor national champion Liz Patterson and All-Americans Brigetta Barrett and Jasmin Day all cleared 1.81m (5-11 ¼) to punch their ticket to Oregon for a chance to duke it out for a national title. For Patterson and Barrett, it was a matter of going through the motions, clearing both their jumps at 1.78m and 1.81m on their first attempts.
For Day, however, it was a sight for sore eyes that saw the senior bounce back from injuries that slowed her down all year to the All-American caliber athlete that Wildcat faithful have known her as over the years.
An hour and a half delay also didn't phase the athletes who went through their whole warm-up just to be called off the track right at the scheduled start time due to lightning in the area. The athletes returned and warmed up again and Day had easy clears over her first two heights and first attempt misses on her final two. She bounced back after her first miss at 1.81m though and had her best jump of the season to clear it on her second attempt and punch a ticket to her third outdoor national competition in as many years.
In the men's 1500-meter dash, redshirt sophomore Abdi Hassan took home fourth place in his quarterfinal to earn an automatic advancement to Eugene for his second national championship appearenance.
As for the near misses, junior LaTisha Holden came painfully close to her first ever national appearance. The Barstow, Calif., native finished fifth in her heat in 13.43 which left her 13th overall, six hundredths of a second outside of the final qualifying spot.
Redshirt junior Korion Morris just missed the cut in the men's discus as he finished 15th overall with a mark of 53.25m (174-08) – just a four feet outside of the qualifying top 12 athletes.
Sophomore Courtney Hayes finished 14th overall in the women's high jump and was one jump away from qualifying the entire UA high jumping squad for nationals.
On the weekend, 11 athletes punched their tickets to the national competition with Saturday's group joining Julie Labonte (shot put), Alyssa Hasslen (discus), Christina Rodgers (800m), Georganne Moline (400m hurdles), Hannah Moen (steeple), Nick Ross and Edgar Rivera-Morales (high jump) as the prestigious few who will get a chance to battle for a national title in Eugene.