Track & Field Enjoys Successful First Day at Pac-10 Championships

May 15, 2004

TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona's men's and women's track and field teams completed the first day of competition at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships. The Wildcats are hosting this year's event at their home track, the Roy P. Drachman Stadium. The men are off to strong start as they sit in fourth place with 38 points. Oregon leads the men's scoring with 67 points. On the women's side, the Wildcats sit in ninth place with 8 points. Stanford leads the women's meet with 56 points.

The highlights of the day for the Wildcat track and field teams were junior Sharifa Jones school record in the 100-meter hurdles and senior Matt Wagner's Pac-10 title in the javelin throw. Jones finished first in her heat in a school record time of 13.10 seconds. It was the second best qualifying time of the night behind UCLA's Sani Roseby at 12.97 seconds. Wagner's performance was very big for the men's squad. Bringing home one of two titles on the night for Arizona, Wagner won the javelin with a throw of 233 feet, 4 inches (71.13m). The win solidifies Wagner's No. 4 ranking in the country.

Sophomore Robert Cheseret was another star performer for the Arizona men. Early in the afternoon, he clocked the fastest qualifying time in the 1,500 meters at 3:48.00. Then, in the last event of the day, Cheseret held the lead throughout the 10,000 meters final, and he claimed the win with a time of 30:24.84. Senior Kyle Goklish held the pace with Cheseret through the first 22 laps, but he fell behind to finish eighth in 30:54.34. Teammate Eric Bohn was ninth in 30:58.21.

Jones also contributed to the UA women with a sixth place finish in the long jump. She finished with a best leap of 19 feet, 8 � inches (6.01m). Senior Jackilyn Drake hit a big personal best in the hammer throw. Drake's toss of 181 feet, 5 inches earned her a sixth place finish.

In the men's pole vault, junior Chris Chappell cleared 17 feet, 3 � inches (5.27m), which is his best mark outdoors this year. The Arizona men picked up points from two athletes in the long jump. Mark Ramos was fifth with a jump of 24 feet, 5 inches (7.44m), an NCAA regional qualifying mark. J.R. Harrison's jump of 23 feet, 10 � inches (7.27m) earned him a seventh place finish.

Senior Jevon Mason clocked the seventh-best times in both the 200 meters and 400 meters to advance to the finals. In the 200 meters, he crossed the line at 21.41 seconds, while he clocked a time of 46.81 seconds in the 400 meters.

Sophomore Marquita Taylor earned a spot in the 100-meters final with a time of 11.80 seconds in her preliminary heat. She narrowly missed advancing in the 200 meters, as she clocked a time of 24.13 seconds, a new personal best.

In the women's 400 meters, sophomore Angel Perkins claimed the final qualifying spot with a time of 55.42 seconds. Perkins finished the race in a lot of pain, but she is expected to compete in tomorrow's final. Junior Chelsea Powell earned a spot in the final of the 400-meter hurdles. Powell clocked the eighth-fastest time of the day, 1:00.98, to advance to Saturday's final.

Junior Josh Ludwig placed fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:59.47 to contribute five points to the men's team score.

The conclusion of the 2004 Pac-10 Championships is set to begin on Saturday at 3 p.m. with the men's hammer. The final event of the day will be the men's 4x400 meter relay at 9:35 p.m.

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