Wildcat Track and Field Has First Home Meet
March 14, 2002
Up Next: The University of Arizona will play host at the Willie WilliamsInvitational on Friday, March 15 - Saturday, March 16. The annual meet isone of the biggest of the year for the Wildcats. It is the first of fourhome meets in the 2002 outdoor track and field season.
The Competition: The Willie Williams Classic attracts some very strongcompetition for the Wildcats every year. The competition will includetrack and field teams from Arizona State and New Mexico State. Alsocompeting will be several community colleges from across Arizona. Therewill also be a local-area high school meet occuring alongside thecollegiate competition.
Fast Forward: The Wildcats will compete in one of the elite events of theoutdoor season this year at the Stanford Invitational on March 30. TheStanford Cardinal will play host to some of the top track and field teamsfrom around the country.
Looking Back: The Wildcats had a very succesful indoor season come to anend this past weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville,Ark. The Wildcat women finished in ninth place with 19 points and threeAll-America honors. The Arizona men did not score a point at the meet butdid produce two All-Americans.
The Wildcats were led by sophomore vaulter Amy Linnen and senior sprinterBrianna Glenn. Linnen improved upon the NCAA indoor record she set earlierthis season. She won the pole vault title with a mark of 14-10 1/4(4.53m). That mark was better than the rest of the field by almost a foot.
Glenn finished fourth in the 60m and fifth in the 200m. She earnedAll-America honors in both events. She also finished fifteenth in the longjump competition.
For the Arizona men, Mike Kenyon placed third in his 400m preliminary heat,but failed to qualify for the event final. He did earn All-America honorsfor his performance. Freshman thrower Sean Shields finished 13th in theshot put, which earned him All-American status as well.
Scouting the Wildcats: The men?s and women?s track and field teams areenjoying a tremendous amount of success this year. The women are rankednumber five in the latest Trackwire 25 poll. Both teams have had severalnational qualifiers, including an NCAA record-setting performance in thewomen?s pole vault. The men are steadily improving at every meet as theygain more national qualifiers each time out.
The women have one of the strongest teams in recent history. SeniorBrianna Glenn, defending national champion in the 200m and long jump, isArizona?s premier sprinter. She has been a dominant force during the 2002season. Arizona also boasts the talent of 2002 NCAA individual crosscountry champion in senior Tara Chaplin. The momentum of her fallchampionship run will likely be the motivation to give it all she hasduring the 2002 track and field season. The Wildcats also return severalwomen with great potential this year. Senior Angela Foster is theWildcats? leading thrower this year, and sophomore vaulter Amy Linnen brokethe NCAA indoor record earlier this season.
The Arizona men return quite a talented team for the 2002 season. SeniorMike Kenyon is a key component in the sprinting events this year. Hehelped lead the Wildcats to a fourth-place finish in the 4x400m relay atlast year?s NCAA Indoor Championships. Junior Matt Lea and senior JulesDoumbya, also 4x400m relay team members, return for this season. Redshirtfreshman Adrain Thomas will probably surprise a lot of teams out there withhis sprinting abilities. He is expected to contend for a spot on the4x400m relay team. Newcomers Sean Shields in the throws and Aaron Powellin the 800m have the potential to make a huge impact this season for theWildcats.
Reaching New Heights: When Amy Linnen took to the pole vault competition atthe Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., her goal was to just getin there and do her best for the team. When the night was over, Linnen haddone much more than her best. Not only did she place first in the event,but she blew the rest of the competition away with a new NCAA record.Linnen?s vault of 14-10 broke the old record for the indoor pole vault by1/2 inch. Her mark is better than the outdoor record, but it will onlystand for the indoor season. During the meet, Linnen cleared every heighton her first attempt until she tried to break the world record. Despiteher efforts, she came up short three times at 15-5 3/4. ?I knew I had itin me,? Linnen said. ?I just didn?t know it was going to be today. I don?twant to sound cocky, but I think I?m capable of a lot more. I think Godgave me a special talent, and this is it.?
Linnen's record-setting performances did not stop there. After finishingsecond to UCLA?s Tracy O?Hara at the Mountain Pacific ConferenceChampionships, she knew that she still had something to prove. At the NCAAIndoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. on March 8-9, Linnen set therecord yet again. This time the mark stood at 14-10 1/4 (4.53m). Sheout-performed the closest competition by 11 inches. The second-placefinisher was O?Hara who finished with a vault of 13-11 1/4. Linnen willnow take this momentum into the outdoor competition where she looks toimprove upon these performances.
National Qualifiers: As the regular indoor season comes to a close, Arizonahas six provisional or automatic qualifiers for the NCAA IndoorChampionships on March 8-9. The Wildcat men have three athletes qualifiedfor the championships to this point. Mike Kenyon ran a 20.99 in the 200mand 46.04 in the 400m to automatically qualify in both events. ThrowersRichard Legarra and Sean Shields are also provisional qualifiers in theshot put with throws of 62-0 3/4 and 61-9, respectively. The Arizona womenhad two athletes post automatic qualifying marks for the indoorchampionships. Brianna Glenn ran a 7.28 in the 60m, 23.40 in the 200m,jumped 20-7 1/4 in the long jump and 41-5 1/4 in the triple jump. Glenn?s60m time is an automatic qualifier, while her 200m, long jump and triplejump finishes are provisional marks. Amy Linnen vaulted 14-10, a new NCAArecord, in the pole vault to qualify automatically. Sarah Jacobs hasprovisionally qualified in the pole vault with a height of 12-5 1/2. Eachautomatic qualifier is guaranteed a spot in the national championships,while provisional qualifiers will compete depending on the number ofautomatic qualifiers in their respective events.
2001 In Review: The Arizona track and field program had one of its finestseasons ever in 2001. The Wildcats produced 16 total All-Americans andfour NCAA titles. The women?s team capped the year with a third-placefinish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The Indoor Championships produced eight All-America honors and three NCAAtitles. The Wildcats doubled the number of All-Americans at the OutdoorChampionships and added one more NCAA title to the mix. Arizona broughthome two top-five finishes and one top-20 finish.
The women's team made history at the NCAA Championships with the highestfinish (third) in Arizona history. The Wildcats scored 44 points with onlyfour competitors at the meet, and the women brought home three individualtitles.
The Arizona men had a very successful season, as well. The men's teamfinished 13th with 15 points at the indoor meet, but it was unable to comeup with any points at the outdoor meet. The men took five athletes to themeet and only competed in two events.
Then-junior Brianna Glenn's remarkable performances earned her two NCAAtitles. She won the long jump title and then went on to win the 200m andplace third in the 100m. Joining the scoring party was senior AndreaDutoit when she took to the pole vault competition. She brought home thechampionship after a vault of 14-9 ï¿½ feet (4.20m). Leading the way for themen was senior Patrick Nduwimana. He took home the individual title forthe 800m at the indoor meet. He also led the 4x400m relay team, whichplaced fourth. Joining him in the relay were junior Matt Lea, senior MikeKenyon 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 thelongest tenured coach in the Wildcat athletic department. He has coachedover 160 All-Americans in cross country and track and field and 28 NCAAindividual champions. Associate head coach Fred Harvey (15th year, CalPoly-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. Assistantcoach Tom Hays (5th year, Kansas, ?89) is one of the top pole vault coachesin the nation and will direct the Wildcat jumpers this season. Assistantcoach John Frazier (2nd year, UCLA, ?86) was an addition to last year?scoaching staff. The Wildcat throwers will be led by coach Frazier.Assistant coach Dawn Mortensen (5th year, Arizona, ?96) was a standoutsprinter for the Wildcats in the 1990s and works with the Arizona sprintersand hurdlers.