UA Women Runners-Up At Pac-10s
May 17, 2010
BERKELEY, Calif. – In a year where The University of Arizona women's track and field/cross country teams felled so many not-so-pleasant streaks, it was fitting that one of the most dreary came to an end Sunday afternoon at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley, Calif.
Since 1997, the UA women had not placed in the upper-echelon at the Pacific-10 Conference Championships. But a strong first day laid the groundwork for a smooth second day that carried the Wildcats to a runner-up finish for their first top-five finish at the conference meet in 13 years.
There weren’t a lot of personal bests set Sunday afternoon, nor were there any conference titles won but the UA women methodically picked off points in seven out of 12 events to hold off fast-charging Stanford, Southern Cal and Arizona State.
In the end, the women finished with 109 points – 13 more than ever scored before – and matched their best conference finish ever that they had not really sniffed since 1992.
Oregon won the all-around conference crown on both the men’s and women’s sides.
Things got off to a good start for the day for the women with sophomore Taylor Bush taking sixth in the women’s hammer – the very first event of the day.
Arizona added All-Conference performances from LaTisha Holden (100-meter hurdles), Deanna Sullivan (400-meter dash) and Georganne Moline (400-meter hurdles) to keep Stanford and Southern Cal (and eventually Arizona State) at bay.
Christina Rodgers ran the fastest race of her life in the women’s 800-meters that finished in a battle down the homestretch with Oregon’s Anne Kesselring that saw Rodgers finish second by only .14 seconds. Her time of 2:04.50, however, was good to improve her already standing second-place mark on Arizona’s all-time list.
Just when it seemed like the battle for second was going to get tight, freshmen Alyssa Hasslen and Julie Labonte pulled out a third and fourth place finish in the women’s discus to seal the deal and the women’s 4 x 400-meter relay team padded the point total with their third place finish in that final.
In the end the battle for second was not that close with the UA’s 109 points handily taking care of ASU (89.5), USC (89) and Stanford (88)
The women throwers scored 49 of Arizona’s points on the weekend despite fielding four freshmen and a redshirt sophomore to complement two red-shirt juniors and one senior on a very young throwing squad that let the conference know what to expect in the year’s to come.
The men’s side did their fair share of work on the second day as well.
Junior Travis Cobb nabbed sixth place in the men’s 100-meter dash and helped the UA men to an All-Conference finish in the 4 x 100-meter relay as well.
Redshirt sophomore Abdi Hassan finished sixth in the 800-meters to add All-Conference honors himself.
The Wildcats will now have just a little over a week to prepare for the first round of the NCAA Outdoor Championships, consisting of all the schools from the West Region in Austin, Texas beginning May 27.