Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
UA Women Head to Eugene With 12 Entries
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: May 25, 2013
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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May 25, 2013

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Austin, Texas - The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 22 men's and No. 6 women's track and field teams wrapped competition at the NCAA Championships West Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas on Saturday. The semifinals and finals of the NCAA Championships will take place on June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore. Arizona will enter Eugene with 12 women's entries, including two relays. The men's team will have an entry in the high jump, 5K and 10K.

The 4x400-meter relay advanced on time to Eugene with a mark of 3:33.97. The quartet of junior Shapri Romero, junior Tamara Pridgett, senior Shale' Garland and senior Georganne Moline took fourth place in heat two and 11th time overall. It is the third-straight year Arizona has had a 4x400-meter relay team in the finals of the NCAA Championships. The women's 4x100-meter relay team of freshman Traci-Lynn Hicks, Romero, Pridgett and junior Germe Poston advanced to the semifinal in Eugene. They took third place in heat two and ninth place overall with a season-best time of 44.75. That time is tied for No. 3 in UA history. The UA women have not had 4x100-meter relay team earn All-America honors since 1984. The quartet of Michelle Walsh, Laura Lim, Nedea Rodgers and Lisa Winston took ninth place in the final of the NCAA Championships and earned second-team honors.

In the women's 5,000-meter race, freshman Nicci Corbin advanced to the final in Eugene with a time of 16:24.80. She took fifth place in heat one and automatically qualified. Senior Jen Bergman also advanced with a time of 16:11.35 in heat two, good for seventh place. She advanced to Eugene on time. Bergman will double in the 5K and 10K at the finals of the NCAA Championships for the second time in her career. On the men's side, junior Lawi Lalang advanced to the final of the 5K in Eugene. He clocked a time of 13:41.87 and took first place in heat two as well as the fastest time overall. Lalang set the stadium record with his time. Former Wildcat Robert Cheseret who ran 13:49.85 in 2004 previously held the record.

"It went really well," Corbin said. "Words can't describe how excited I am. Going to nationals, me and Jen (Bergman) in the 5K, we're a dynamic duo. That race went really well, I dug deep and I went as hard as I possibly could. I pretty much collapsed at the end, it was tough but I'm super excited for Eugene."

Junior Julie Labonté earned a third-place finish in the women's shot put competition and advanced to Eugene. She posted a mark of 55-11.75 (17.06m). Senior Alyssa Hasslen's mark of 55-7.75 (16.96m) was good for fourth place and a spot in the final. It is the first time that Labonté and Hasslen have both reached the finals of the NCAA Championships in the discus and shot put. Sophomore Baillie Gibson took 16th place with a toss of 52-4 (15.95m) and failed to advance. Junior Omotayo Talabi did not advance to the final, she posted a mark of 51-2.75 (15.61m) and took 26th place overall.

"It was really stressful," Hasslen said. "I did not open up well and that led to me stressing out. But I had good throws in the fourth and fifth round and they got me through to Eugene and that's all that matters. I'm really looking forward to competing in the shot put and discus in Eugene, my home state; I'm really excited about that. I've never made it in both so this is the year and I'm excited."

Senior Tyler Johnson was the second Wildcat to take 13th place in the men's hammer throw this weekend and miss advancing to Eugene by one spot. He posted a mark of 205-0 (62.48m). Johnson was a 2012 NCAA All-American in the event.

Sophomore Sam Macaluso took 14th place in heat one of the men's 5K and failed to advance. He clocked a time of 14:30.81. Poston ran the 200-meter dash on Saturday and clocked a time of 24.00 (+.1 wind). She took eighth place in heat two and did not advance. The men's 4x100-meter relay team of sophomore Thomas Moronta, Dickerson-Quinn, sophomore Mohammad Alhasan and Delfani took seventh place in heat two with a time of 41.18. They failed to advance to Eugene. Freshman Kate Penney's time of 4:33.67 was good for 11th place in heat one and she also failed to advance. Senior Asia Easley threw 136-3 (41.53m) in the women's javelin. The men's 4x400-meter relay team of Delfani, senior Clifton Leake, senior James Eichberger and Dickerson-Quinn took seventh place in heat one and 19th overall with a time of 3:11.23.

"I'm very, very happy," head coach Fred Harvey said. "We came in with the objective of getting as many people as we could to qualify and we did a fabulous job of that. We didn't have any real major casualties, the big ones that we wanted to get through, did that. We had a number of kids get 13th, just missing that mark to get through. We're in position to do what we thought we could do on both sides. All the ladies that we thought could score well for us, every single one of them, made it through and we can shoot for one of those top-four trophies. That was the goal all year long and we're still in position to do so."

Senior Brigetta Barrett competed in the adidas Grand Prix on Saturday in New York City, N.Y. She cleared 6-3.25 (1.91m) and took third place overall against the professional competitors at Icahn Stadium. Barrett left Austin at around 6 a.m. CDT for her competition in New York that began at 12:15 p.m. CDT.