UA Track & Field Looks Strong in Day One of Rafer Johnson/Jackier Joyner Kersee Invitational

April 4, 2003

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The University of Arizona track and field teams traveled to Los Angeles, Calif. to compete at the first annual Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational at UCLA. In the first day of competition, the Wildcats had several strong performances. In the non-scoring meet, Arizona is competing against athletes from Arkansas, Hawaii, UCLA, Georgia and Cal Poly-SLO.

In Friday's women's action, the Wildcats were led by an impressive performance by Sharifa Jones in the 100 meter hurdles. Her time of 13.78 would be a Pac-10 and NCAA regional qualifying time, but was aided by the wind in the race. She finished first in her heat. Chelsea Powell was third in her heat of the 100 meter hurdles. Seynbou Ndiaye was second in her heat of the 100 meters, finishing in 11.68 seconds. Ndiaye's time would have improved her standing in the NCAA regional meet, but the wind aided her in the race. In the 200 meters, Marquita Taylor finished fourth in her heat with a time of 24.92 seconds.

On the field for the UA women, Connie Jerez improved her NCAA regional mark with a win in the pole vault at a mark of 13 feet, 7 � inches (4.15m). Juanita Braun and Phyllis Brown finished at 11-9 � (3.60m). Amber Varner edged her teammate and sister Rachel Varner in the shot put. Amber finished third with a best throw of 47-4 � (14.44m), while Rachel was fourth and a mark of 45-3 (13.79m). In the discus, the sisters switched it up, as Rachel was fourth with a throw of 149-5 (45.54m). Amber was right behind her in fifth with a toss of 146-0 (44.50m).

On the men's side, Aaron Powell won his section of the 800 meters with a time of 1:53.67, which was the fastest time of the day. Jin Daikoku was another Wildcat winner, with a victory in his section of the 1,500 meters, crossing the line at 3:59.47. Kyle Goklish and Eric Bohn swept the top two places in the 10,000 meter run. Goklish finished in 30:21.92, while Bohn crossed the line at 31:02.03. This was the first time this season for both runners to compete in that event.

In men's field event action, Mike Mensah claimed a victory in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 5 inches (6.83m). Teammate Mark Ramos was third with a jump of 21-8 (6.60m). In the hammer, Richard Legarra was sixth with a throw of 194-5 (59.26m). Following Legarra was Ryan Moore in seventh with a mark of 191-3 (58.29m). Legarra was the fourth-place finisher in the shout put with a throw of 56-0 (17.07m), while teammate Scott Sharpe was sixth in the same event at 53-7 (16.33m).

The Wildcats will conclude competition tomorrow, Saturday, April 5, with action getting underway at 8:30 a.m. PT.

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