Baton Rouge, La. – The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 19 men’s and No. 10 women’s track and field teams competed at the LSU Alumni Gold on Saturday in Baton Rouge, La. The meet was held at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track & Field Stadium. All rankings listed below are excluding today’s results from around the country.
“I thought we competed extremely well,” head coach Fred Harvey said. “I always want to see how our team reacts coming to a place like this and competes against this level of competition. Everybody was really steady, which means a lot at this level. As a team, there wasn’t a team score today but you could see a lot of Arizona (athletes) being mentioned out there on the track. The people in Baton Rouge were really excited to see us bring our team out here and we put on a pretty nice show along with their team. It was favorable for everybody. We’re looking forward to the Double Dual and getting ready to get after those Devils.”
Senior Nick Ross won the men’s high jump competition with a season-best clearance of 7-5 (2.26m). That mark is tied for No. 2 in his career and is the second-best mark in the country this year. It is also the top mark in the west region and the Pac-12.
“It felt good, clearing 2.26m on my first attempt was really nice,” Ross said. “It gives me confidence at those bars around 7-5 so that going into the NCAA Championships, I’ll be ready for those 7-7 and 7-8 bars. Overall, I felt good, the track was really fast and really springy. Today was a good day to set a personal best, unfortunately that didn’t happen, so I’m still chasing down that school record. It’s always good to have good competition, every meet I pray there is a guy ready to jump 7-7 because I’m a competitor and that’s when I do my best. It was nice to have him (Jeron Robinson, Texas A&M Kingsville) out there with me, it was a good push. I’m very confident going forward, outdoors is going well so far, I think we are going to stay with an eight-step approach this year, tentatively. I’m ready to go, hopefully in two weeks I can break that school record and more.”
Sophomore Nnenya Hailey clocked a personal-best time of 57.07 in the 400-meter hurdles. That time is tied for No. 5 in the country, No. 3 in the west region and No. 1 in the Pac-12. Sophomore Morgan Struble clocked a personal-best time of 59.33 in the 400-meter hurdles, good for second place overall in section “B”. That time is also No. 15 in the west region this year.
In the men’s shot put competition, freshman Aaron Castle had a personal-best toss of 60-5.75 (18.43m), good for second place overall. His mark is No. 12 in the west region and No. 2 in the Pac-12 this year. In the women’s discus competition, senior Julie Labonté won with a mark of 172-5 (52.56m). Labonté won the shot put competition as well with a toss of 57-3 (17.45m). That season-best mark is tied for No. 2 in the country, tied for No. 1 in the west region and No. 1 in the Pac-12. Senior Omotayo Talabi took third place in the women’s shot put with a season-best mark of 52-0.5 (15.86m). On the men’s side, freshman Gerhard De Beer took fifth place with a throw of 176-8 (53.86m). Castle’s toss of 164-3 (50.06m) was good for eighth place overall. In the men’s hammer throw competition, Young threw 224-0 (68.28m) and took first place overall. That mark is a personal best, the No. 3 throw in school history, the No. 8 mark in the country, No. 5 in the west region and No. 3 in the Pac-12.
Senior Amber Passalaqua had a huge personal best in the women’s 100-meter hurdles at 13.98 (1.2 wind). That time was good for eighth place overall in the “B” section. The heptathlete also long jumped and had a mark of 19-0.75 (5.81m, 2.6 wind), the second-best all-conditions mark of her career. That mark was good for third place in the open section. Sophomore Traci-Lynn Hicks had a mark of 18-3.75 (5.58m, 2.5 wind) in the long jump invitational section.
“I had long jump and hurdles pretty much at the same time,” Passalaqua said. “So I made sure to warm up for both events but when we went for long jump I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be. I adjusted and I ended up with a decent jump in the end. The hurdle race was really nice, I was waiting for that race and I finally got under 14 seconds. Looking forward towards the heptathlon, that time converts to a lot of points so it’s exciting. I’m feeling pretty confident, I still feel like I have more left in me. So I’m hoping at our dual meet, I can get a couple more personal bests to prepare myself for the next heptathlon.”
In the women’s 400 meters “A” section, senior Shapri Romero clocked a time of 52.70, good for second place. Sophomore Gia Trevisan clocked a personal-best time of 55.99 in the women’s 400-meter race, good for sixth place in section “B.” Senior Germe Poston clocked a time of 11.66 (0.8 wind) in the 100-meter dash “A” section. Romero clocked a time of 23.54 (2.1 wind) in the 200-meter dash “A” section. Poston had a time of 23.96 (1.4 wind).
On the men’s side, freshman Miles Parish had a time of 47.64 in the “A” section while freshman Bryce Houston had a time of 49.28. Parish took seventh place overall and Houston finished in ninth. Junior Mohammad Alhasan had a time of 10.62 (1.5 wind) in section “B” of the men’s 100-meter dash. That time was good for third place in heat one and third overall. Alhasan also ran the 200-meter sprint, clocking a time of 21.61 (1.8 wind).
On Saturday, junior Clea Formaz ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the “open elite” section at the Mt. SAC Relays. She clocked a time of 10:24.40, the No. 2 mark of her career. She finished in ninth place. Also in California at the Azusa Pacific Invitational, redshirt sophomores Kate Penney and Nicci Corbin ran the women’s 1,500-meter race. Penney took first place with a time of 4:21.71. Corbin, in her season debut, had a time of 4:30.48 and took fourth place in section two.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat men’s and women’s track and field, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and follow @ArizonaTrack on Twitter.