Track Cats trek to Eugene for NCAA ChampionshipsPosted: Updated:
The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 22 men's and No. 6 women's track and field teams will compete in the final meet of the 2013 outdoor season. The finals of the NCAA Championships will take place on June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore. Historic Hayward Field is where the meet will be held. Wednesday's competition is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. PDT for the field events and the track events will commence at 4 p.m. Thursday's field events start at 1:30 p.m. and the running begins at 4 p.m. The field events on Friday start at 3:15 p.m. and the running will start at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the final day of competition, is scheduled to have the field events start at 12:30 p.m. and the running at 2:05 p.m. At the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the UA men finished in seventh place and the women took 19th place.
Arizona will compete against Kansas (W: 1, M: 15), Texas A&M (W: 2, M: 1), Florida (W: 3, M: 4), LSU (W: 4, M: 6), Oregon (W: 5, M: 3) and the rest of the top programs in the country.
In the final USTFCCCA national poll prior to the NCAA Championships, six other Pac-12 schools in the national poll join the UA women. Oregon sits at No .5. Arizona State is No. 9. Stanford is No. 11. UCLA holds the No. 14 spot. USC sits at No. 19 and Washington is No. 20. Three Pac-12 schools in the national poll accompany the men's squad. Oregon is third, USC is seventh and UCLA is 19th.
Senior Brigetta Barrett will sing the "Star Spangled Banner" on Friday, June 7, the day before she competes in the high jump. Barrett also sang the national anthem at Hayward Field for the 2012 Pac-12 Championships.
On Wednesday, the women's 4x100-meter relay team of freshman Traci-Lynn Hicks, junior Shapri Romero, junior Tamara Pridgett and junior Germe Poston will run in the semifinal of the event at 4 p.m. PDT. The quartet took fifth place in the Pac-12 Championships and posted their season-best time of 44.75 at the NCAA West Preliminary round. That time was good for automatic qualification into the semifinal in Eugene. Arizona has not had a women's 4x100-meter relay team earn All-America honors since 1984 when the quartet of Michelle Walsh, Laura Lim, Nedrea Rodgers and Lisa Winston took ninth place.
Also on Wednesday, senior Georganne Moline will compete in the semifinal round of the 400-meter hurdles at 6 p.m. At the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Moline fell and failed to advance to the final. Entering the semfinal this year, she holds the No. 2 collegiate time in the country at 54.54. Her season-best time is also tied for No. 4 in the world this year. She earned a runner-up finish in the event at the Pac-12 Championships this year. At the NCAA Preliminaries, Moline clocked the second-best time overall behind Stanford's Kori Carter. That time ranks second among the west and east competitors.
Senior Jen Bergman will compete in the final of the 10,000-meter race at 7 p.m. In 2012, Bergman earned second-team All-America honors in the event with a 12th-place finish. In 2011, Bergman took third place. Her season-best time of 33:04.58 is No. 6 in the country this year. She automatically advanced to the final in Eugene after taking fifth place.
On Thursday, sophomore Baillie Gibson, senior Alyssa Hasslen and junior Julie Labonté will throw the discus at 2 p.m. Each member of the trio earned All-Pac-12 honors in the event. Labonté earned a second-place finish with a personal-best mark of 186-4 (56.79m), which is the No. 6 toss in the country this year. Gibson had a season-best mark of 180-6 (55.01m) which was good for third place and that ranks as the 13th-best toss in the country. Hasslen took sixth place at the Pac-12 Championships. She earned all-conference honors in the shot put and discus all four years of her career. Her season-best toss of 173-5 (52.86m) is the No. 36 throw in the country on the season. It is the first time that Labonté and Hasslen have made the finals of the NCAA Championships in the event while Gibson earned first-team All-America honors in the event as a freshman in 2011.
At 6:20 p.m. on Thursday, the quartet of Romero, Pridgett, senior Shale' Garland and Moline will compete in the women's 4x400-meter relay. In 2012, Romero, Pridgett and Moline earned first-team All-America honors in the event. On the year, they have a season-best time of 3:32.56, the No. 13 time in the country this year. It is the third-straight year that Arizona has had a women's 4x400-meter relay team at the finals of the NCAA Championships. The quartet took third place at the Pac-12 Championships this year.
The final Wildcat competing on Thursday is junior Lawi Lalang in the 10K at 7:15 p.m. Lalang has run two 10,000-meter races in his career on the track. His first was at the Pac-12 Championships where he earned a first-place finish. His time of 28:14.63 is No. 3 in UA history and No. 2 in the country this year. He won the race by nearly 42 seconds and set a facility record at USC's Loker Stadium. His second 10,000-meter race came at the NCAA West Preliminaries and he also won that race with a time of 29:54.66 and automatically advanced to the final in Eugene.
On Friday, senior Edgar Rivera-Morales will compete in the men's high jump competition at 3:20 p.m. Rivera-Morales won the 2013 Pac-12 title in the event, his first Pac-10/12 title at Arizona. He has the No. 3 mark in the country with a personal-best clearance of 7-5.75 (2.28m). That mark is tied for the second-best jump in UA history. At the 2012 NCAA Championships, Rivera-Morales took 11th place.
Bergman and freshman Nicci Corbin will run the 5,000-meter race at 6:15 p.m. on Friday. Bergman is doubling in the 5K and 10K for the second time in her career, previously she did it as a sophomore in 2011. She took third place at the Pac-12 Championships in the event. Her personal-best time of 15:52.41 is the No. 19 time in the country this year and ranks as the second-best time in UA history. Corbin finished in fourth place at the Pac-12 Championships. She has a personal-best time of 16:04.26, which is the 37th time in the country, this year and No. 4 in Arizona history.
On Saturday, the final day of competition, Barrett will compete in the women's high jump at 12:45 p.m. She has won the last five NCAA Championsihps in the event, three indoor and two outdoor. She set the collegiate record in the event at the Pac-12 Championships this year with a mark of 6-6.25 (1.99m). That mark was good for a first-place finish, her third-straight conference title. She has the top mark in the country, collegiate and professional. Her jump is the No. 2 mark in the world on the season. At the 2012 NCAA Championships, Barrett cleared 6-4 (1.93m).
Labonté and Hasslen will compete in the shot put at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Labonté won the NCAA Outdoor Championship in 2011, her last time competing in the event. She redshirted the 2012 outdoor season. She won her third-straight Pac-10/12 title in the shot put in three years. Her season-best mark of 57-8.25 (17.58m) is the No. 4 toss in the country this year. She advanced to the finals of the event with the third-best toss in the competition at the NCAA West Preliminary Round. Hasslen made the finals of the event in 2011 as well but suffered an injury in 2012 and failed to qualify. She earned a runner-up finish at the Pac-12 Championships for the fourth-straight year. She has a season-best toss of 56-6 (17.2m) which is the 10th-best mark in the country this year.
Lalang will return to the track on Saturday at 3:23 p.m. for the 5,000-meter race. He holds the No. 12 time in the country this year in the event at 13:40.85. He has run only two 5K's this season and won them both. He won at the UA-ASU-NAU Double Dual by just under a minute. At the NCAA West Preliminary Round, Lalang's time of 13:41.87 was the fastest qualifying time for the final by any west region competitor or east region. At the 2012 NCAA Championships, he took third place and in 2011 he finished in second place in event. He has won five NCAA Championships, one cross country title and four indoor titles. In seven races this year, three in the 1,500 meters, two in the 5K and two in the 10K, Lalang has taken first place in each one.
Moline has had great success at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field. She earned a runner-up finish at the 2013 Prefontaine Classic on June 1. She clocked a time of 54.75 and beat five of the six finalists of the 400-meter hurdles at the London Olympic Games. That includes the gold and silver medalist. Moline earned a silver medal at the U.S. Olympic Trials and punched her ticket to London for the Olympics in her trip prior to the Prefontaine Classic. She clocked a then-personal-best time of 54.33. Prior to the Trials, Moline competed at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships and earned an individual title in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.12 and anchored the 4x400-meter relay to a first-place finish. It was the fist time in school history that Arizona claimed a conference championship in the women's 4x400-meter relay.
Barrett also claimed a silver medal at the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer. Barrett cleared 6-7 (2.01m), a then-personal-best mark. It is the second-best jump ever by a collegiate athlete in the women's high jump. Lalang took third place at the Pac-12 Championships in the 5,000-meter race while Bergman earned a runner-up finish in the 10K and took eighth place in the 5K.
Hasslen competed at the Trials in shot put competition. She made the final of the event and finished in sixth place overall. At the Pac-12 Championships earlier in the 2012 season, she earned runner-up finishes in the shot put and the discus. Gibson threw the discus at the Trials and advanced to the final of the event where she earned a 12th-place finish. Gibson also made the final of the hammer and shot put competitions.
The latest Bowerman Watch List was released by the USTFCCCA on May 30th. Barrett, a 2012 finalist, is second among current-student-athletes and third all-time with 18 appearances on the Watch List. She has won 29 of 30 high jump events – indoors and outdoors – against collegians dating back to the beginning of the 2011 indoor season and 24 straight. Barrett has won the last three MPSF Indoor Championships and NCAA Indoor Championships (same years). Barrett also won the last three Pac-12 titles and the last two NCAA Outdoor Championships. Moline is on the "Also Receiving Mention" List.
On the men's list, Lalang appears for the 16th time, most among all active student-athletes and tied for second all-time. He is a five-time NCAA Champion (One cross country and four indoors) and is looking to add to that total at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. It is the only championship meet where Lalang has failed to earn an individual title.
Follow Arizona's Twitter feed, @ArizonaTrack for live updates from the meet as well photos and video interviews with the athletes and coaches. On Facebook, visit https://www.facebook.com/ArizonaTrack?ref=hl. You can also follow Oregon's Twitter feed, @OregonTF for information about the NCAA Championships.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.