Wildcats Roll Into Regional Championships
May 28, 2009
EUGENE, Ore. - For the chance to advance to the NCAA National Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., it come down to this weekend for the UA track and field team. The No. 25 men and unranked women will take part in the 2009 NCAA West Regional Championships in Eugene, Ore. this weekend at Hayward Field. Thirty-two UA athletes earned 43 regional qualifications for this weekend to set themselves up for a spot in the granddaddy of collegiate track and field competition.
The format for the weekend is simple: finish in the top five (or top three for the relay squad) for your particular event and you automatically solidify a spot in the championship.
For the UA seniors, this could be the last chance to earn the honor of competing for an NCAA Championship and none of them are ready to call it quits quite yet.
Zack Lloyd has already earned three All-American qualifications during his time as a Wildcat and has a chance to add upon that with his regional qualifications in the shot put and discus. Others seniors such as throwers Megan Howard and Nicole Lloyd, long jumper Jordan Powell and pole vaulter Gabriella Duclos have already earned All-American distinction as Wildcats and wouldn’t mind just one more.
Hurdler Chris Titsworth came ever-so-close to qualifying to the NCAA meet last year as the Regional Championships after setting the seventh best time in UA history in the 400-meter hurdles. He would wind up finishing seventh, just missing the cut off to qualify. He will have a chance to qualify in three events this year as he will compete in the 400-meter hurdles again in addition to the 110-meter hurdles and running a leg in the 4x100-meter relay.
Senior Luis Rivera-Morales has established himself as a dominant long jumper in the country. Two weekends ago, at this very field, Rivera-Morales swept the long jump and triple jump titles. Heading into this weekend, Rivera-Morales has the fourth best long jump nationally and 17th best triple jump. He, too, will be looking for his first ever All-American status in Arkansas.
Events will kick off tomorrow with around 2:30 p.m. You can follow with live updates from the UA track and field’s Twitter at www.twitter.com/UATrackField.