Wildcats Wrap Up Conference Meet

Feb. 28, 2009



Less than 24 hours early, senior long jumper Luis Rivera-Morales was celebrating his first ever conference title after winning the long jump event.  On Saturday, he earned himself a second title after winning the men's triple jump to give himself the weekend long jump sweep at the MPSF Championships in Seattle at the Dempsey Indoor Sports Center.

Rivera-Morales needed only one jump to seal the deal on Saturday, as his first jump of 15.69m (51-5 3/4) was good enough to earn the victory and ten points for the Wildcats squad.  Rivera-Morales earned 20 of the teams total of 54 points on the weekend and helped the Wildcats avoid a last place finish as they would up ninth out of 10 squads.

The national leader in the women's high jump defended that honor on Saturday as junior Liz Patterson continued her winning ways in the event with a jump of 1.85m (6-0 3/4) to take the conference title.  Patterson has not lost a high jump event this season.  Teammate Jasmin Day finished third in the event with a jump of 1.79m (5-10 1/2).  The women finished in seventh place overall with 62 points.

Back on the men's side, senior Bobby McCoy may just have done what he needed in the 400-meter dash as he improved his season's best time with a mark of 46.72 to finish second place overall in the event despite not even being in the fast heat.  More importantly, however, was the fact that McCoy jumped back inside the national top-16 on the descending order list in the event as he put himself at 11th with the time.  Barring results from other conference meets across the nation, McCoy's mark should be enough to guarantee him a spot among the top 16 competitors in the country that will advance to the NCAA National Championships in the event.

Fellow senior Zack Lloyd shook off some early round difficulties to finish second in the men's shot put.  After scratching his first two throws and facing elimination from the finals, Lloyd was able to get a successful throw on his third attempt to send him to the finals.  There, Lloyd threw his final toss 19.39m (63-7 1/2) to seal the deal for second place.

Lloyd's wife, Nicole, also had a good run in the women's shot put as she finished second after throwing the second best throw of her life on her second attempt and finished at 16.16m (53-0 1/4).  Senior Megan Howard finished fourth in the event and freshman Taylor Freeman was fifth, giving the Wildcats arguably their best team performance in a particular event for the weekend.

In the women's 3,000-meters, freshman Hannah Moen ran the best race of her life on the way to a provisional time and ninth place finish in 9:32.93.  Sophomore Maggie Callahan shaved a second of her personal best in the event as she finished in 9:37.47.

Freshman Abdi Hassan and senior Dylan Fitzpatrick both scored points for the team in the mile run as they finished in sixth and seventh  in 4:30.90 and 4:04.58, respectively.  Fitzpatrick's mark was a personal best and also marked the first time he had scored points for the Wildcats in a conference meet.

As the team's qualifers prepare for the Indoor National Championships, they will have the next weekend off before heading to College Station, Texas in two weeks for the meet.  Some of the bubble athletes for Arizona may go to an assortment of Last Chance Meets next weekend to try and get off the bubble while other UA athletes will compete in the teams first outdoor meet and first home meet at the Arizona International Meet at Roy P. Drachman Stadium on Saturday.

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