Cheseret Leads Men's Track & Field at Pac-10 Championships
May 16, 2004
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona's men's and women's track and field teams completed competition at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships on Saturday with a number of impressive performances. The men finished fifth in the overall team standings with 93 points, only two points behind fourth place USC. The women struggled in the final day, finishing ninth with 42 points. UCLA swept the team titles with the women winning their eighth straight title.
The story for the Arizona men was all about sophomore Robert Cheseret. After winning a grueling 10,000 meters on Friday night, the young Kenyan came back on Saturday to win the 1,500 meters final, followed up by an exciting 5,000 meters victory. He started the afternoon with the 1,500 meters final, which he won in a seasonal best and NCAA Regional qualifying time of 3:43.50. Then in the third to last event of the night, Cheseret surprised some as he arrived for the final of the 5,000 meters. Settling in with the pack through a majority of the race, Cheseret was not going to let a third Pac-10 title elude him. In the final lap, he made his move on Stanford's Ian Dobson. Cheseret finally pulled away for good with 50 meters left, winning in 14:09.37.
On the women's side, sophomore Rachel Varner gave throws coach John Frazier is second Pac-10 champion of the meet and of his career at Arizona. Varner won the women's discus with a throw of 178 feet, 4 inches (54.36m). In the men's discus, freshman Adam Kuehl placed second with a throw of 183 feet, 2 inches (55.84m). Senior Ryan Moore had a big day as well for the Arizona throwers. Moore placed eighth in the hammer throw with a seasonal best mark of 190 feet, 10 inches (58.16m).
Sophomore Angel Perkins rebounded from a tough preliminary in the 400 meters. Perkins placed third in with a seasonal best time of 52.14 seconds. Junior Sharifa Jones followed up her school record in the 100-meter hurdles with a fourth-place finish in the final. Jones clocked a time of 13.20 seconds. In the 400-meter hurdles, junior Chelsea Powell was sixth in 1:00.83.
Senior Connie Jerz finished third in the pole vault with a seasonal best clearance of 13 feet, 10 inches (4.22m). Fellow senior Sheena McKay wasn't ready to end her collegiate career as she cleared 12 feet, 4 ï¿½ inches (3.77m) to qualify for the NCAA West Regional.
The UA men scored big in the triple jump, as three athletes scored. Senior J.R. Harrison was third with a leap of 50 feet, 11 inches. Freshman Daniel Marshall was fourth with the same distance. The tie was broken by their second-best jumps. Marshall's mark was a seasonal best. Senior Mike Mensah placed eighth with a seasonal best jump of 49 feet, 4 ï¿½ inches (15.05m).
Senior Jevon Mason had a big night in the sprints for the Wildcat men. Mason's big event was the 400 meters, where he finished fourth in seasonal best time of 45.82 seconds, only two-hundredths off the Olympic trials qualifying standard. Mason went on to finish seventh in the 200 meters in 21.29 seconds.
Helping Cheseret in the distance races was senior Kyle Goklish. Goklish finished fifth in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:21.95.
In the relays, the UA women finished fifth in the 4x100 meters with a time of 45.14 seconds. The Arizona men placed sixth in a seasonal best time of 41.04 seconds.
Next up for Arizona track and field is the Tucson Elite Classic on Saturday, May 22. A number of the Wildcats will get the chance to compete with elite athletes from across the world. The rest of the squad will rest up for the NCAA West Regional, which is set to take place May 28-29 at Cal State-Northridge.