Track Back in Action in Berkeley
April 22, 2010
BERKELEY, Calif. - With just a month before the first round of the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas, the hunt for qualifying positions is set to kick into high gear and The University of Arizona track and field team will look to set their name apart from the rest starting this weekend at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in Berkeley, Calif.
With over 80 teams and 700 athletes from across the world represented, “The Big Meet” lives up to its nickname and will give the Wildcats ample opportunity to face quality competition and raise the level of their performances to meet that of their rivals. Coupled with the majority of the team taking last weekend off, a well rested group of athletes can be expected to post some impressive results on Friday and Saturday.
With the new NCAA Championship format, teams will compete in a Regional Final - or National Semifinal, whatever your vernacular - with the top 48 athletes in each event per East and West region competing at their respective site and the top 24 relays from either region doing the same. Arizona, as part of the West Region, will compete May 27-29 in Austin.
If the season were the end today, 11 men would advance to this Regional Championship and 23 would participate for the No. 20 ranked women.
For the women, Brigetta Barrett is the top-ranked athlete on the team as she sits second in the region. Notable is that Arizona’s indoor national champion, senior Liz Patterson, has yet to compete this outdoor season but will be in action this weekend.
On the men’s side, redshirt sophomore Abdi Hassan holds Arizona’s most competitive mark as he sits fifth in the rest in the 1500-meters.
The women’s 5000-meters holds Arizona’s single-highest conglomerate of athletes as three personal records at last weekend’s Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif., boosted the Wildcats to four athletes represented. Sophomore Hannah Moen (15th), freshmen Megan Meyer (18th) and Jennifer Bergman (34th) and junior Maggie Callahan (37th) make up a core of distance athletes that Arizona has not seen in many years.
Field events will begin tomorrow at Edwards Stadium with the hammer throw at 10 a.m. The running events at 4 p.m.