TUCSON - The University of Arizona Wildcat men's and women's track and field teams opened the outdoor season by hosting the Willie Williams Classic on Friday. The Wildcats won the women's steeplechase and earned second-place finishes in five events. Competition resumes at 10 a.m. MT on Saturday at Roy P. Drachman Stadium.
"I thought things went okay (today)," head coach Fred Harvey said. "It was nice to get a lot of the athletes who didn't have a lot of indoor competition get going in the distance races today and get their feet wet for the rest of the outdoor season. Some of the performances that stood out this evening would be Chris McSwain's 200-meter race. Also, Tamara Pridgett ran her personal-best in the 200 meters. In the field events, Taylor Freeman had a personal best in the hammer throw. She's going to be key to what we are doing at the Pac-12 level and the national level. She's a young lady who has the potential to be there and be a player."
Sophomore Erin Menefee won the 3,000-meter steeplechase, clocking a time of 11:19.83. In the women's 5,000-meter race, junior Hanna Henson came in second with a time of 17:40.81. Junior Kat Howard came in fourth, clocking a time of 18:00.38. Freshman Molly Callahan had a time of 18:43.67, good for 11th place. For the men's steeplechase, freshman Kenji Bierig took second with a time of 9:39.01. Freshman Dylan Souza had a time of 9:58.51, good for sixth place.
In the women's javelin throw, junior Asia Easley opened her season with a throw of 147-02 (44.87m), earning a second-place finish. Senior Liana Fuentes had a toss of 130-10 (39.89m), good for seventh place. Sophomore Amber Passalaqua came in 15th place, throwing 82-08 (25.21m). Sophomore Keegan Cooke had a mark of 185-02 (56.45m), good for sixth place. Fuentes also competed in the long jump and had a mark of 17-9.75 (5.43m), good for ninth place.
Freshman Jovon Cunningham cleared 6-10.25 (2.09m) in the men's high jump, earning a second-place finish. Freshman Harrison Ivie took 10th place, clearing 6-1.25 (1.86m). Cunningham also competed in the men's long jump, earning a sixth-place finish with a mark of 22-1.75 (6.75m).
On the men's side, junior Tyler Johnson took second place in the men's hammer throw. His best toss was 198-11 (60.64m). For the men's discus throw, sophomore Bozidar Antunovic had a throw of 171-0 (52.13m), good for fourth place in the event.
For the women's hammer, senior Taylor Bush earned a third-place finish with a toss of 191-05 (58.34m). Junior Taylor Freeman had a personal-best mark of 187-07 (57.19m), good for fifth place in the event. Junior Alyssa Hasslen earned a second-place finish in the women's shot put, throwing 53-0 (16.15m).
In the men's 200-meter dash, junior Chris McSwain came in second with a time of 21.19. Junior Clifton Leake came in ninth, clocking a time of 21.75. On the women's side, sophomore Tamara Pridgett had a personal-best time of 24.43, good for ninth place. Senior Echos Blevins came in 10th, clocking a time of 24.55 and sophomore Germe Poston had a time of 24.61.
In the women's 1,500-meter race, freshman Stephanie Bulder came in third with a time of 4:40.77. Sophomore Amanda Russell clocked a time of 4:46.00, good for seventh place. Freshman Haley Stenquist came in 10th place, posting a time of 4:51.69. In the men's 1,500 meters, freshman Nathan Kandie clocked a time of 4:00.99 and came in ninth place.