Arizona Track and Field Will Send Distance Runners to Stanford Invite
March 26, 2002
Up Next: The University of Arizona's men's and women's track and field teams will send several members of its distance squads to Stanford, California, for the Stanford Invitational on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30. The meet is one of the nation's premier events in the outdoor season and will provide some tough competition for the Wildcat long distance runners.
The Competition: The Wildcats will face tough competition from some of the nation's elite track and field schools. In the final Trackwire 25 poll for the indoor season, the Arizona women were ranked No. 5. Stanford, Louisiana State, Southern California and Washington all bring ranked squads to the Stanford meet.
Fast Forward: The Wildcats will play host to a newly formed meet -- the California vs. Arizona Challenge -- on Saturday, April 6. Arizona, Northern Arizona, Stanford and UCLA will compete in a quadrangular meet. Scoring will be combined between Arizona and Northern Arizona and likewise for Stanford and UCLA to determine the winner of the first California vs. Arizona Challenge.
Looking Back: Last weekend, the Wildcats claimed the Jim Click Shootout trophy with several impressive qualifying performances. Altogether, Arizona came away with 16 Pac-10 qualifying performances and six NCAA provisional performances. Also, senior sprinter Brianna Glenn set the Drachman Stadium record in the 100m with a time of 11.36.
Murray's Musings: 'We are primarily taking the distance runners that have the opportunity to make the NCAA automatic or provisional qualifying times to Stanford. It becomes an unbelievable distance carnival on Friday night with a lot of good, fast times. We'll be taking Tara Chaplin, Beth Hoge, Kim Bates, Steve Smith, Mark Anderson and Tom Prindiville. We are also trying to get Amy Linnen in the pole vault because she would like to compete there since that's where the USA Championships will be held.
'We are definitely pleased with what's going on so far this season. Julie DeMarni has been a pleasant surprise in the javelin. Also, Jeff Hunter has been a huge surprise for us in the hurdles. We anticipate many more good performances. We just need to stay healthy from here on out.'
Scouting the Wildcats: The men's and women's track and field teams are enjoying a tremendous amount of success this year. The women are ranked number five in the latest Trackwire 25 poll. Both teams have had several national qualifiers, including an NCAA record-setting performance in the women's pole vault. The men are steadily improving at every meet as they gain more national qualifiers each time out.
The women have 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 has been 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 is the Wildcats' leading thrower this year, and sophomore vaulter Amy Linnen broke the NCAA indoor record earlier this season.
The Arizona men return quite a talented team for the 2002 season. Senior Mike Kenyon is 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. Newcomers Sean Shields in the throws and Aaron Powell in the 800m have the potential to make a huge impact this season for the Wildcats.
Reaching New Heights: When Amy Linnen took to the pole vault competition at the Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., her goal was to just get in there and do her best for the team. When the night was over, Linnen had done 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 by 1/2 inch. Her mark is better than the outdoor record, but it will only stand for the indoor season. During the meet, Linnen cleared every height on her first attempt until she tried to break the world record. Despite her efforts, she came up short three times at 15-5 3/4. 'I knew I had it in me,' Linnen said. 'I just didn't know it was going to be today. I don't want to sound cocky, but I think I'm capable of a lot more. I think God gave me a special talent, and this is it.'
Linnen's record-setting performances did not stop there. After finishing second to UCLA's Tracy O'Hara at the Mountain Pacific Conference Championships, she knew that she still had something to prove. At the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. on March 8-9, Linnen set the record yet again. This time the mark stood at 14-10 1/4 (4.53m). She out-performed the closest competition by 11 inches. The second-place finisher was O'Hara who finished with a vault of 13-11 1/4. Linnen will now take this momentum into the outdoor competition where she looks to improve upon these performances.
2002 Indoor Championships: The University of Arizona women's track and field team finished ninth at the 2002 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday night, hosted by the University of Arkansas, at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
The Arizona women's team took only three athletes to the event, and the team closed the two-day event with 19 total points to finish in ninth place. Senior sprinter Brianna Glenn finished fourth in the 60m dash event final with a time of 7.33 Saturday evening and earned All-America honors in the event. Glenn accounted for nine of Arizona's 19 points. In Friday's competition, Glenn placed fifth in the 200m final with a time of 23.29 and finished 15th in the long jump with a final mark of 19-4 3/4 (5.91m). She also earned All-America honors in the 200m.
In the first day of competition on Friday, Wildcat sophomore Amy Linnen led the Wildcat charge, winning the NCAA title in the pole vault. Linnen, who earned the team 10 points with the win, ended the evening with a vault of 14-10 1/4 (4.53m). The mark became a new school and NCAA indoor record, as Linnen won her first-career NCAA title. The three-time All-American improved upon her fifth-place finish in the pole vault at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships where she recorded a vault of 13-9 1/4 (4.20m).On Friday, senior Tara Chaplin also finished in 15th place overall with a time of 16:58.12 in the 5,000m final.
The Wildcat men's team took two athletes - Sean Shields and Mike Kenyon - to the Championships but did not place in the final team rankings. In Friday's action, freshman Sean Shields placed 13th in the shot put with a toss of 60-10 3/4 (18.56m). Senior Mike Kenyon finished third in his heat of the 400m preliminaries. Kenyon's time of 47.05 was just off the qualifying time necessary to advance to the final.
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.
TOMORROW | 1:00pm PTLive