Track & Field Spurred to Strong Finishes at Tucson Elite Classic

May 22, 2004

TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona's men's and women's track and field teams played host to the 2004 Tucson Elite Classic on Saturday. Arizona had a small contingent of athletes compete as they prepare for the NCAA West Regional, the NCAA Championships, and eventually the Olympic Trials. The Wildcats finished the meet with a number of very strong performances.

In the women's 100 meter dash, sophomore Marquita Taylor claimed the win with a time of 11.93 seconds. Freshman Nikki Martin was third in 12.16 seconds.

Senior Connie Jerz finished second in the pole vault just off her seasonal best. Jerz cleared 13 feet, 9 � inches (4.21m) a week after her third-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships.

The women's hammer throw saw the Wildcats finish 1-2. Senior Jackilyn Drake claimed the win with a throw of 179 feet, 5 inches (54.68m). In the runner up spot was senior Amber Varner with a throw of 162 feet, 3 inches (49.45m).

Junior Chris Chappell led a trio of men's vaulters with a third place finish. Chappell cleared 16 feet, 8 � inches (5.10m). Senior Kevin Opalka returned to the lineup after a month off due to an injury he suffered at the Drake Relays. Opalka also cleared 16 feet, 8 � inches, but finished fourth in the tiebreaker. Sophomore Sam Jacobson cleared 16 feet, 4 � inches (5.00m) to finish fifth.

Senior J.R. Harrison placed second in the men's triple jump with a leap of 50 feet, 2 inches (15.29m). Freshman Daniel Marshall was fourth with a jump of 47 feet, 11 � inches (14.61m).

In the men's shot put, freshman Jarred Sola claimed third with a throw of 55 feet (16.76m). Fellow freshman Adam Kuehl was second in the discus with a mark of 183 feet, 6 inches (55.93m). Senior Ryan Moore's throw of 177 feet, 1 inch (53.97m) in the hammer throw was good for second place.

The men's and women's track and field teams will be at the NCAA West Regional in Northridge, Calif. next weekend. The meet takes place at Cal State Northridge from May 28-29.

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