Tucson, Ariz. – The University of Arizona Wildcat men’s and women’s track and field teams will begin the 2014 outdoor season by hosting the Willie Williams Classic. The meet will be held at Roy P. Drachman Stadium. On Friday, the field events for the collegiate portion of the meet starts at 3 p.m. MST while the track events will begin at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the field events for the collegiate portion are set to start at 10 a.m. and the track events begin at 10:45 a.m. On Thursday, March 20, the high school portion of the meet starts at 3 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the high schoolers begin competing at 10 a.m.
Arizona will compete against Cerritos, Central Arizona Community College, Glendale Community College, Grand Canyon University, Pima Community College and others.
The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) will release the first set of rankings for the 2014 outdoor season on March 25.
On the track, the men’s team will be represented by junior Mohammad Alhasan, freshman John Kane, junior Branden Helms, freshman Andrew Berman, freshman James Berkley, freshman Avery Mickens and sophomore Harry Zimmerman in the 100-meter sprint on Saturday at 2:10 p.m. Alhasan, Helms, Kane, Houston, Berman, Berkley and freshman Charles Hodges will run the 200-meter dash on Friday at 7:55 p.m. Houston and Hodges will also run the 400-meter race on Saturday at 12:50 p.m. Junior Sam Macaluso, freshman Matthew Beer, sophomore Sam Willis, freshman Miles Parish, senior Neil Houlihan and junior Dylan Hopper will run the 800-meter race on Saturday at 1:25 p.m. Macaluso, Beer, Willis, sophomore Jonas Legernes, junior Kenji Bierig, sophomore Thomas Valente, and Hopper will compete in the 1,500-meter race on Friday at 8:45 p.m. Senior Darien McKinley will run the 110-meter hurdles for the Wildcats on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. The quartet of Mickens, Alhasan, Kane and Helms will run the 4x100-meter relay at 11:05 a.m. on Saturday.
For the field events on the men’s side, sophomores Harrison Ivie and Ryan Tomlinson will high jump at 5 p.m. on Friday. Ivie will also pole vault along with UA alumnus Nick Mossberg at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Alhasan, Mickens and Zimmerman will compete in the long jump at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Ivie and junior Daniel Whitham are entered in the men’s shot put competition set for Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Freshman Aaron Castle and Ivie are also set to compete in the discus throw at 7 p.m. on Friday.
For the women’s side on the track, Arizona will be represented by senior Germe Poston, sophomore Traci-Lynn Hicks, sophomore Ali Rodseth and freshmen Jasmin Pratt and Aaliyah Haggard in the 100-meter dash on Saturday at 1:50 p.m. In the 200-meter sprint on Friday at 7:45 p.m., Arizona will run freshman Jasper Gray, freshman Alex Gilbert, freshman Aleah Hurst, freshman Lizzie Smith, Haggard, Pratt, and senior Amber Passalaqua. Smith will also compete in the 400-meter race at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. In the women’s 800-meter run, the Wildcats have entered sophomore Kate Penney, freshman Kayla Ferron, sophomore Morgan Struble, senior Taylor Cole, junior Stephanie Bulder, Gray, Gilbert and freshman McKenna Gaffney. Former Wildcat and current volunteer assistant coach Georganne Moline will also run the 800 meters at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday. In the 1,500-meter race on Friday at 8:35 p.m., the Wildcats will run senior Meg Bellino, junior Molly Callahan, junior Clea Formaz, senior Amanda Russell and Gaffney. Senior Elvin Kibet, sophomore Kayla Beattie, freshman Maria Larsson, Bulder, senior Erin Menefee, sophomore Hanna Peterson, sophomore Daylee Burr, and Penney will run the 5K on Friday at 7:20 p.m. In the 100-meter hurdles, Passalaqua, Hurst and freshman Lisanne Hagens will compete for Arizona at 11:55 a.m. on Saturday. The 4x100-meter relay team will consist of Pridgett, Poston, Hicks and Haggard and they will run at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday. For the women’s 4x400-meter relay, Arizona will have two teams. Team “A” is made up of Smith, Bellino, Gilbert and Struble. Team “B” consists of Gray, Poston, Pratt and Pridgett. That race is set for 2:35 p.m.
In the field events for the UA women, junior Shakayla McEaddy will be the lone Wildcat in the high jump competition on Saturday at 1 p.m. Freshmen Myriah Sujansky and Savannah Whitehead will pole vault at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Hagens and Rodseth will long jump at 6 p.m. on Friday and Rodseth will also triple jump on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Seniors Julie Labonté and Omotayo Talabi will compete in the shot put along with Passalaqua and Hurst at 6 p.m. on Friday. Labonté is also entered in the discus throw competition on Saturday at 10 a.m. Passalaqua and Hurst are set to throw the javelin on Friday at 3 p.m.
Senior Lawi Lalang moved past Florida’s Jeff Demps to became the all-time leader in career Men’s The Bowerman Watch List appearances with 20 in its Post-NCAA Indoor Championships edition. It was released by the USTFCCCA on March 19.
The men’s track and field team earned a fifth-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships. Lalang earned runner-up finishes in the mile and 5,000-meter race. Senior Nick Ross took second place in the men’s high jump competition. The duo earned first-team All-America honors. Junior Pau Tonnesen earned second-team All-America accolades for his work in the heptathlon, he took ninth place. Junior Jovon Cunningham and freshman Jordan Young received honorable mention All-America honors in the triple jump and weight throw, respectively. On the women’s side, senior Alyssa Hasslen (shot put), senior Shapri Romero (400 meters) and sophomore Nnenya Hailey (60-meter hurdles) all earned second-team All-America accolades.
From the 2013 women’s team, Arizona returns NCAA All-American Julie Labonté. Labonté earned a runner-up finish at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor championships in the discus and she took fifth place in the shot put. Labonté won the Pac-12 Championships in the shot put as well as a runner-up finish in the discus. Junior Baillie Gibson earned all-conference honors in the shot put, discus and hammer throw. She competed in the discus at the NCAA Championships and earned second-team All-America honors. Sophomore Nicci Corbin earned second-team All-America honors in the 5K in 2013. She also earned all-conference accolades in the 1,500-meter race and 5,000-meter race. Senior Elvin Kibet will return to action after redshirting the 2013 season. She earned All-America honors in 2012 in the (second-team honoree) 5K and 10K (first-team honoree).
On the men’s side, Arizona welcomes back Ross, a first-team All-American in the high jump and second-team All-American in the triple jump in 2012, is back after redshirting in 2013. The Wildcats also have one final season with Lalang. Lalang won NCAA Championships in the 5K and 10K in 2013. Lalang also won Pac-12 Championships in the 1,500-meter race and 10K. His first ever 10K was good for the Pac-12 title. Arizona welcomes back redshirt sophomore Jovon Cunningham. In his freshman year in 2012, Cunningham earned second-team All-America honors in the triple jump.
The women’s squad earned a runner-up finish at the 2013 Pac-12 Championships. They finished in a tie for sixth place at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. On the men’s side, the squad finished in seventh place at the Pac-12 Championships and 10th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
A complete recap and results will be available at ArizonaWildcats.com after each day of competition. Live results can be found at http://athletics.arizona.edu/tfstats/tf/ . Also follow @ArizonaTrack on Twitter for live updates from the meet.