Tucson, Ariz. – The University of Arizona Wildcat men’s and women’s track and field teams wrapped up the first meet of the 2014 outdoor season on Saturday. The Wildcats hosted the Willie Williams Classic at Roy P. Drachman Stadium and won three events overall on Saturday.
In the women’s discus competition, senior Julie Labonté took second place overall with a toss of 172-3 (52.50m). Labonté also won the shot put competition on Friday night with a toss of 56-0 (17.07m). In the men’s shot put, junior Daniel Whitham took second place with a throw of 51-4.5 (15.66m). Sophomore heptathlete Harrison Ivie threw 40-7 (12.37m), good for sixth place.
“The shot put went pretty well actually,” Labonté said. “Well, at first I had some adjustments to make technically but it went pretty well, I was consistently right around 55-0 so I was happy with that. For the discus, my goal was to throw around 55m and open up with that but I threw 52.50m. I know there’s a lot more there and technically there was not a lot of good things today but I’m going to work on it and hopefully throw 55m next time out.”
The women’s 4x100-meter relay quartet of senior Tamara Pridgett, senior Germe Poston, sophomore Traci-Lynn Hicks and freshman Aaliyah Haggard clocked a time of 45.61. That time was good for first place overall.
“The women’s 4x1, we pieced that group together to see if we have some options,” head coach Fred Harvey said. “They ran a really nice time with a team that we just put together just after this last week of training. So now we know we have an option of four to six young ladies to pull from so we don’t have to overuse any of the ladies like Shapri Romero or Nnenya Hailey.”
The men’s 4x100-meter relay team of freshman Avery Mickens, junior Mohammad Alhasan, freshman John Kane and junior Branden Helms were disqualified due to a handoff out of the exchange zone. Poston had a time of 11.62 (-0.5 wind) in the women’s 100-meter dash, good for first place overall and the No. 3 time of her career. On the men’s side, Alhasan had a personal-best time of 10.64 (0.0 wind) and took second place overall. Helms’ time of 10.86 (0.0 wind) was good for sixth place. Mickens, primarily a horizontal jumper, had a time of 11.09 (1.1 wind) and finished in 12th place overall and third among UA athletes in the event. Senior Amber Passalaqua had a time of 14.44 in the 100-meter hurdles, a personal-best time for the heptathlete.
In the women’s 800-meter race, volunteer assistant coach Georganne Moline won with a time of 2:09.58. Sophomore Kate Penney had a personal-best time of 2:11.47, good for second place. Sophomore Morgan Struble had a time of 2:16.64 and took third place. Junior Stephanie Bulder’s time of 2:17.68 was good for fourth place. Senior Taylor Cole had a personal-best time of 2:18.62. Freshman Gia Trevisan ran the 800 meters in 2:19.81. On the men’s side, junior Sam Macaluso took third place with a time of 1:53.16, good for third place. Freshman Miles Parish had a time of 1:55.01 and took fifth place overall.
In the men’s 4x400-meter relay, the quartet of freshman Bryce Houston, Helms, junior Neil Houlihan and Parish clocked a time of 3:13.29. That time was good for second place overall. On the women’s side, the quartet of freshman Jasper Gray, Poston, freshman Jasmin Pratt and Pridgett won with a time of 3:44.60. Arizona had another quartet of ladies in the race, freshman Lizzie Smith, senior Meg Bellino, freshman Alex Gilbert and Struble had a time of 3:51.89.
“It was a great workman-type meet for us this weekend,” Harvey said. “We got a lot of things accomplished, we moved a lot of athletes around into different events to try and get more volume in and strength-work in. We’re trying to get some things accomplished in the early portion of this outdoor season as we start to build toward the championship season. Our first real test will be when we go up to Oregon so we want to make sure our athletes are getting the work in that they need to. I’m definitely excited about where we’re at right now, the first meet is in the books and now it’s time to get ready to head up to Sun Devil country next week.”
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat men’s and women’s track and field, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and follow @ArizonaTrack on Twitter.