Arizona Track & Field Set to Kick Off 2002 Season at Mountain West/Pac-10 Challenge
Jan. 30, 2002
Up Next: The University of Arizona men's and women's track and field teams will begin the 2002 indoor season this Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Mountain West/Pac-10 Challenge in Colorado Springs, Colo. The meet will feature host Air Force, Colorado State and Stanford. Events will get underway at 11 a.m. MT.
The Competition: The meet will feature two schools from the Pac-10 (Arizona and Stanford) and two schools from the Mountain West Conference (Colorado State and Air Force Academy). On the men's side, Stanford is the only team ranked in the current Trackwire 25 poll at No. 9. For the women, Arizona and Stanford are ranked at No. 3 and No. 7, respectively.
Fast Forward: Looking ahead in the 2002 schedule, the Wildcats will face in-state rivals Arizona State and Northern Arizona on Thursday, Feb. 14. NAU will host the meet in Flagstaff, Ariz. The three schools will also meet in a double-dual meet during the outdoor season on May 4. Arizona will host the Sun Devils and Lumberjacks at Roy P. Drachman Stadium.
Murray's Musings: 'We will be taking a representative team to the meet with 18 men and 15 women. We won't be taking a large number of distance runners because of the 7,000 ft. elevation.
'This meet will open our indoor season and be a kickoff to the 2002 season in general. We basically have four meets in February, and that's the extent of the indoor season. It will be highligted by the Mountain Pacific Championships in February and the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.
'I don't know what to expect quite yet because all of the schools competing are good track schools. We will go in and try to score at the meet, but it's early in the season still. Trying to win is not the most important thing. We use the indoor season to get ready for the outdoor season.
'This will be a good indication of where we are at now. Our first objective is to get people qualified for the MPSF Championships and then qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships.'
Scouting the Wildcats: Arizona returns strong teams on both the men's and women's sides. As seen in many preseason predictions, the Wildcat women are favored to be one of the top teams in the country this season. The Arizona men have not received much attention, but the coaches look for the Wildcats to make their presence known once the season gets underway.
The women return one of the strongest teams in recent history. Senior Brianna Glenn, defending national champion in the 200m and long jump, is Arizona's premier sprinter. She will be a dominant force during the 2002 season. Arizona also boasts the talent of 2002 NCAA individual cross country champion in senior Tara Chaplin. The momentum of her fall championship run will likely be the motivation to give it all she has during the 2002 track and field season. The Wildcats also return several women with great potential this year. Senior Angela Foster will be the Wildcats' leading thrower this year, and sophomore vaulter Amy Linnen comes back after two fifth-place finishes at the indoor and outdoor championships.
The Arizona men return quite a talented team for the 2002 season. Senior Mike Kenyon will be a key component in the sprinting events this year. He helped lead the Wildcats to a fourth-place finish in the 4x400m relay at last year's NCAA Indoor Championships. Junior Matt Lea and senior Jules Doumbya, also 4x400m relay team members, return for this season. Redshirt freshman Adrain Thomas will probably surprise a lot of teams out there with his sprinting abilities. He is expected to contend for a spot on the 4x400m relay team.
2001 In Review: The Arizona track and field program had one of its finest seasons ever in 2001. The Wildcats produced 16 total All-Americans and four NCAA titles. The women's team capped the year with a third-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The Indoor Championships produced eight All-America honors and three NCAA titles. The Wildcats doubled the number of All-Americans at the Outdoor Championships and added one more NCAA title to the mix. Arizona brought home two top-five finishes and one top-20 finish.
The women's team made history at the NCAA Championships with the highest finish (third) in Arizona history. The Wildcats scored 44 points with only four competitors at the meet, and the women brought home three individual titles.
The Arizona men had a very successful season, as well. The men's team finished 13th with 15 points at the indoor meet, but it was unable to come up with any points at the outdoor meet. The men took five athletes to the meet and only competed in two events.
Then-junior Brianna Glenn's remarkable performances earned her two NCAA titles. She won the long jump title and then went on to win the 200m and place third in the 100m. Joining the scoring party was senior Andrea Dutoit when she took to the pole vault competition. She brought home the championship after a vault of 14-9 ï¿½ feet (4.20m). Leading the way for the men was senior Patrick Nduwimana. He took home the individual title for the 800m at the indoor meet. He also led the 4x400m relay team, which placed fourth. Joining him in the relay were junior Matt Lea, senior Mike Kenyon and junior Jules Doumbya.
The Coaches: Director of track and field and cross country Dave Murray (Arizona, '65) enters his 35th year as a coach at Arizona, making him the longest tenured coach in the Wildcat athletic department. He has coached over 160 All-Americans in cross country and track and field and 28 NCAA individual champions. Associate head coach Fred Harvey (15th year, Cal Poly-SLO, '82) coaches the Arizona sprinters, hurdles and relay teams. Harvey has coached several world-class athletes, such as Patrick Nduwimana, a 2000 Olympic semifinalist and Arizona track and field veteran. Assistant coach Tom Hays (5th year, Kansas, '89) is one of the top pole vault coaches in the nation and will direct the Wildcat jumpers this season. Assistant coach John Frazier (2nd year, UCLA, '86) was an addition to last year's coaching staff. The Wildcat throwers will be led by coach Frazier. Assistant coach Dawn Mortensen (5th year, Arizona, '96) was a standout sprinter for the Wildcats in the 1990s and works with the Arizona sprinters and hurdlers.
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