Track & Field Successful in Day One at Drake Relays

April 23, 2004

DES MOINES, Iowa - The University of Arizona traveled to Des Moines, Iowa for the prestigious Drake Relays, which began Friday. The Wildcats enjoyed a successful first day of competition in the 18,000-seat Drake Stadium. The Arizona throwers were in San Diego for the first day of the UC San Diego Triton Invitational.

In Des Moines, the Wildcat relay teams highlighted the day. The women's 4x100-meter relay squad won their heat with a time of 45.91 seconds, qualifying for Saturday's final. The Wildcat women also qualified for the final in the 4x400 meters, clocking a time of 3:42.75 to finish second in their heat, a new season's best and a NCAA Regional-qualifier. The UA men qualified for the 4x100-meters final with a time of 41.84 seconds.

In the women's 100-meter hurdles, junior Sharifa Jones won her heat with a time of 13.59 seconds to qualify for the final. Sophomore Marquita Taylor was the top finisher in her heat of the 100 meters, finishing with a time of 11.96 seconds to qualify for the final. Freshman Nikki Taylor finished second, tying her season's best time of 12.08 seconds, but failed to earn a spot in Saturday's final.

Freshman Daniel Cook clocked a big improvement in the 110-meter hurdles. Cook finished sixth in his heat with a time of 14.70 seconds, earning him a spot in the Pac-10 Championships.

In the men's long jump, junior Mark Ramos was ninth with a leap of 23 feet, 0 � inches (7.03m). Senior Kevin Opalka finished eighth in the pole vault with a clearance of 16 feet, 8 � inches (5.10m). Sophomore Sam Jacobson was 15th with a best height of 16 feet, 0 � inches (4.90m).

In San Diego, the throwers competed in the men's and women's hammer competitions. On the women's side, senior Amber Varner was 19th with a throw of 167 feet, 11 inches (51.18m), while fellow senior Jackilyn Drake was 21st with a best mark of 160 feet, 6 inches (48.93m). Senior Ryan Moore was the top male finisher for Arizona, finishing 14th with a throw of 182 feet, 1 inch (55.51m).

The competition continues in both Des Moines and San Diego for the Wildcats on Saturday morning.

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