TUCSON - The University of Arizona Wildcat track and field team program had two athletes with ties to Arizona competing at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The meet is taking place on June 20-23 in Des Moines, Iowa at Drake Stadium. In order for each athlete to qualify for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, they must finish in third place or better and meet the "A" Standard. The World Championships are set to start on August 10 and conclude on August 18.
Senior-to-be Julie Labonté competed in the shot put at the Canadian National Championships on Friday. She earned a first-place finish with a season-best toss of 57-11 (17.65m) and has punched her ticket for the World Championships. Labonté will also represent Canada in the World University Games, which start on July 9th. Labonté also represented Canada at the 2012 London Olympics in shot put. She has had an outstanding 2013 campaign, earning three first-team All-America honors. She took third place NCAA Indoor Championships in the shot put. She returned in the outdoor season to earn a runner-up finish in the discus at the NCAA Championships and she finished in fifth place in the shot put.
Arizona alumnus Georganne Moline won heat 2 in the first round of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.04. She automatically qualified for the semifinal on Saturday at 4:03 p.m. CDT. Moline is still representing Arizona in the meet but is not wearing the Arizona uniform. She has yet to sign a contract with an apparel company. The last time Moline ran at Drake Stadium was the 2012 NCAA Championships where she tripped over a hurdle and fell. On Friday, she showed no signs of doubt as she smoothly won her heat and clocked the fastest time overall among the 17 other competitors. 2011 World Champion LaShinda Demus (Nike) did not start due to a leg injury but will receive a waiver to still compete at the 2013 IAAF World Championships. The top-three finishers in the final of the event will join Demus on Team USA as long as they meet the "A" standard, which Moline has.
"I feel like I definitely accomplished what I needed to accomplish," Moline said. "The goal was to win my heat and I did that. I have to work on getting off the hurdle better and keeping my quick cadence but overall I feel confident and as always, I'm excited!"
Former Wildcat and volunteer assistant coach LaTisha Holden (Nike) clocked a time of 13.23 (+2.1 wind) in the 100-meter hurdles. She finished in fifth place in heat one and 23rd place overall. She failed to advance to the semifinal. Former NCAA Champion and fellow Wildcat Jake Arnold (Asics) sits in ninth place in the decathlon after day one with 3,796 points. He is 653 points behind the leader, Gunnar Nixon. Fellow alumnus Nick Mossberg (Unattached) failed to clear the opening height in the pole vault.
Former Wildcat Jen Bergman, who took eighth place at the USA Championships in the 10K on Thursday night, announced via twitter on Friday that she signed a contract with Mizuno.
On Thursday, sophomore-to-be Traci-Lynn Hicks ran in the first round of the 100-meter hurdles at the Junior USA Championships. She clocked a time of 14.24 (-1.5 wind) and advanced to the final. Later that day she ran in the final and clocked a time of 14.61 (-4.2 wind), good for seventh place overall.
Also competing on Saturday is senior-to-be Alyssa Hasslen in the women's shot put at 1 p.m. CDT. Brigetta Barrett will compete in the women's high jump at 2:45 p.m. CDT. At the Canadian Championships, Labonté will throw the discus at 6 a.m. MST.
On June 22, Universal Sports will broadcast live from 4 to 5 p.m. and the NBC Sports Network will take over from 5-7 p.m. On June 23 live coverage will be from 3-4 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and then live coverage will resume from 4-6 p.m. on NBC.