Albuquerque, N.M. – The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 17 men’s and women’s track and field teams concluded the first day of competition at the New Mexico Cherry & Silver Invitational. The two-day meet is being held at New Mexico’s Albuquerque Convention Center. On Saturday, the track events begin at 10:45 a.m. while the field events start at 10 a.m.
Senior Nick Ross broke his own school record in the men’s high jump competition, clearing 7-7 (2.31m) and taking first place. Ross’ mark is No.1 the country and also tied the facility record set by Erik Kynard in 2012. Ross set the previous school record of 7-6.5 (2.30m) on January 17, 2014 in Flagstaff, Ariz. Sophomore Jonny Giess cleared 6-6.75 (2.00m) but sustained an injury on the next bar and could not continue.
“I’m really happy, to be honest, in the beginning of warm-ups I was a little worried,” Ross said. “They only gave us about 20 minutes to warm-up because the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles were going on for so long. I didn’t actually get to take any warm-up jumps. So my first attempt was actually my first jump of the day. It was a slow start but as I kept going it got better. It’s nice to be consistent, especially at 2.30m, which is a pretty big landmark. It was nice to set a personal record today and jump 2.31m. Hopefully, this week off that we have coming up, I’ll be able to maintain that and bounce back in New York at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. I’m excited, I’ve never been, so it’ll be nice to go there and jump.”
Freshman Jordan Young set another school record in the men’s weight throw. He posted a mark of 69-11.75 (21.33m), beating his own school record of 69-2.75 (21.10m) set on Jan. 17 in Flagstaff. Young’s toss was good for first place overall and ranks No. 5 in the country. In the women’s weight throw, junior Baillie Gibson earned a seventh-place finish with a toss of 56-10 (17.32m).
“It was an awesome meet again, same as last week,” Young said. “Last week my coach (Craig Carter) gave me a simple tip to put the ball in a better position and it really stuck with me. Last week I was averaging about 63 feet in practice (for my throws) and his tip instantly moved me up seven feet. It’s been really consistent these last two meets and I’m hoping to do more. Like I said before, it’s a really big eye-opener to what I can accomplish in my collegiate career. It feels good, it’s nice seeing the ball get out to around the same distance every throw and knowing that any throw could be the next school record. That’s what I’m aiming for.”
Senior Shapri Romero clocked a time of 23.93 in the 200-meter dash, good for fifth place overall. That is second-best time of Romero’s indoor career and stands as the No. 22 time in the country this year (altitude adjusted to 24.00). Senior Germe Poston ran 24.66 in the 200-meter sprint and senior Tamara Pridgett had a time of 24.74, the No. 2 time of her indoor career. Freshman Jasper Gray ran in heat two of the women’s 400-meter run against U.S. Olympian DeeDee Trotter. Gray clocked a personal-best time of 56.45 and took ninth place overall. Freshman Lizzie Smith also clocked a personal best, running 57.86. In the men’s 400-meter run unseeded section, freshman Bryce Houston won heat two with a personal-best time of 49.67. Freshman Miles Parish’s time of 1:19.91 in the men’s 600-meter run was good for a second-place finish overall. Junior Neil Houlihan clocked a time of 1:23.67 in the 600 meters. Sophomore Morgan Struble ran the women’s 600-meter race in 1:37.16, taking 12th place. Junior Mohammad Alhasan clocked a personal-best time of 21.97 in the 200-meter sprint.
Sophomore Harrison Ivie and junior Pau Tonnesen competed in the men’s heptathlon Friday morning. They competed in four of the seven total events on day one. Ivie posted personal-best marks in each of the four events. In the 60-meter dash, Ivie won with a time of 7.13, good for 837 points. He took second place in the long jump with a mark of 22-3.5 (6.79m), adding 764 points to his total. Ivie’s toss of 44-1.5 (13.45m) in the shot put was good for second place and 695 points. Ivie cleared 6-5 (1.96m) in the high jump, scoring 767 points in the event to total 3,063 on the day. Ivie’s total is good for second place overall. Maicel Uibo (Georgia) leads the competition with 3,313 points.
Tonnesen ran the 60-meter dash in 7.51, good for 710 points. His long jump of 21-10.75 (6.67m) was good for 736 points. He threw 41-2.5 (12.56m) in the shot put and tallied 640 points. Tonnesen had a personal-best clearance of 7-0.25 (2.14m) in the high jump, good for a first-place finish and 934 points. He finished the day in third place overall with 3,020 points.
On the women’s side, senior Amber Passalaqua finished in fifth place overall in the women’s pentathlon with a personal-best score of 3,819. She clocked a personal-best time of 8.90 in the 60-meter hurdles (931 points). She cleared 5-5.25 (1.66m) in the high jump (806 points). In the shot put, Passalaqua set a personal best with a toss of 36-0.25 (10.98m, 594 points). Passalaqua had a personal-best mark of 18-8 (5.69m) in the long jump (756 points). She finished the day with a time of 2:26.95 in the 800-meter run (732 points). Kendell Williams (Georgia) won with a score of 4,302.
For complete results from the meet and continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat men’s and women’s track and field, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and follow @ArizonaTrack on Twitter. Live results will be available at LiveRunningResults.com.