TUCSON - The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 5 men's and No. 10 women's track and field teams competed in the NAU Open on Sat., Feb. 4, held at Northern Arizona University's J.L. Walkup Skydome. UA won five events on the day and set nine personal bests.
"In the sprints and hurdles, we did not do as well as we would have liked in Arkansas," head coach Fred Harvey said. "So we wanted to see if we could step up and get it done, and I was very pleased with how we ran. Dahlys Marshall had the most complete day of her career today. She didn't set a personal best but overall she had a great day."
Senior Dahlys Marshall clocked an 8.39 in the 60-meter hurdles, winning the preliminary round of the event and qualifying her for the final. Marshall also won the final, running 8.36. On the day, she clocked her two best times of the season.
Freshman Kate Penney won her first collegiate race, clocking 5:18.8 in the mile. Freshman Molly Callahan also made her Wildcat debut, coming in third place in the mile with a time of 5:40.48. Callahan also ran the 3,000 meters and won the race with a time of 11:29.26.
Three personal bests were set in the women's 400 meters. Sophomore Shapri Romero finished in second place, clocking 54.56. Senior Echos Blevins finished in third with a time of 54.97. Junior Shale' Garland had a time of 55.02, good for fourth place. In the 4x400-meter relay, the quartet of Romero, Garland, senior Ariel Coleman and Blevins won the race with a time of 3:39.53.
In the weight throw, senior Taylor Bush and junior Taylor Freeman both threw personal bests. In three competitions this year, both have thrown a personal best in each one. To earn a second-place finish, Bush had a mark of 60-5.25 (18.42m). Freeman threw 57-7.5 (17.56m), coming in fourth place. In the women's shot put, UA volunteer assistant coach Jill Camarena-Williams won the event with a throw of 64-4.5 (19.62m), which is the best indoor mark in the world this year. Freeman threw 50-1.75 (15.28m), good for fifth place. Junior Tyler Johnson finished in third place in the men's weight throw, throwing 58-2 (17.73m). Sophomore Bozidar Antunovic won the shot put with a throw of 60-3.25 (18.37m).
In the men's 60-meter dash, all three Wildcats set personal-best times in the preliminaries and each qualified for the final. Junior Chris McSwain won his preliminary heat, clocking a 6.76. Sophomore Garic Wharton clocked a 6.92 and freshman Thomas Moronta had a time of 7.00. In the final, they all clocked personal-best times again. McSwain earned a third-place finish with a time of 6.75. Wharton finished in fifth with a time of 6.88 and Moronta finished eighth, clocking 6.97.
Sophomore Alex Weatherly had a personal-best mark in the pole vault, clearing 12-11.5 (3.95m) and earning a third-place finish.
"One of my highlights today was Alex Weatherly," Harvey said. "If you knew how hard she worked and saw the things she did daily to put herself in a position to be here and she came and basically cleared 13-0 in the pole vault. My highlight is absolutely her performance in the vault."
Next weekend, the squads will be spread out across the country. The distance runners will compete in the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. Senior Stephen Sambu and sophomore Lawi Lalang were invited to run in the 5,000-meter race in New York at the Millrose Games. The remaining members of the team are set to compete at the Boise State Team Challenge in Boise, Idaho.