Eugene, Ore. - The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 14 men's and No. 9 women's track and field teams competed in the Pac-12 Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The Wildcats won two individual titles on the day and earned runner-up finishes in three events as well.
On the men's side, Arizona sits in third place after eight events with 43 points. UCLA is in first with 45 points and Oregon is in second with 44 points. Washington is in fourth with 41 points and Arizona State is fifth with 33.50 points.
For the women, Arizona finished the day in fifth place with 35 points after seven events. Oregon leads with 46 points, Stanford and USC are tied for second with 40 points and Arizona State is in fourth with 38 points.
"I think the good things that we did definitely overshadow the disappointments," head coach Fred Harvey said. "We're ahead by three points on the men's side, of where I thought we'd be and down by four on the ladies side. Overall, as a team, I think we're where we need to be. We need to make sure we keep our spirits and our focus up going into the meet tomorrow. There are a lot of points out there to be had and a lot of great performances we need to take care of."
Junior Nick Ross won the men's high jump competition. The winning clearance was 7-2.5 (2.20m). This is Ross' second-straight conference title in the high jump. Ross also competed in the long jump, setting a personal-best mark of 25-4.5 (7.73m). That mark was good for third place in the event. On the day, Ross scored a total of 16 points for the UA men. In the high jump, junior Edgar Rivera-Morales cleared 7-1.5 (2.17m), good for a tie in second place. He added seven points to the men's total.
"I felt good," Ross said. "We got here on Thursday, we did some run-throughs and they felt pretty good in the long jump. My first two jumps were scratches so I was pretty nervous. But on my third jump I popped a big one, a personal best, 25-4.5, so that felt good. Going into the high jump, I felt a little flat and I thought maybe the long jump took something out of me. But I cleared the first four bars on the first attempt and won the competition at 7-2.5 (2.20m). Then I had some really nice looks at 7-5 (2.26m)."
Senior Stephen Sambu won the 10,000-meter race with a time of 29:20.19. Sambu added 10 points to the UA team total. He earned his second-straight conference title in the 10K. On the women's side, junior Jen Bergman earned a runner-up finish with a time of 34:33.85. Sophomore Elvin Kibet earned a fourth-place finish with a time of 34:49.31. Bergman had her second-straight All-Conference performance in the 10K.
"It felt really good (to win my second-straight conference title) because it is my last Pac-12 Championships," Sambu said. "Today, everything went the way I thought it would go. I was not expecting guys to go fast. I tried to run easy because I have to run the 5K tomorrow so that was my plan."
Sophomore Bozidar Antunovic earned his second-straight runner-up finish in the men's shot put at the conference championship. Antunovic had a personal-best toss of 63-0.75 (19.22m), adding eight points to the UA men's team total.
Freshman Kenji Bierig clocked a personal-best time of 9:03.94 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. His time was good for a seventh-place finish and two points towards the men's team total. On the women's side, freshman Clea Formaz took eighth place with a personal-best time of 10:25.84 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Formaz tacked on one point to the UA women's total score.
Junior Georganne Moline clocked a time of 55.64 in the preliminary round of the women's 400-meter hurdles. Moline finished first overall and automatically qualified for the final tomorrow at 2:55 p.m.
"Georganne Moline's performance was probably the most satisfying," Harvey said. "Just because she needed to have this type of race at the championship (level) to let her know that she is as capable as everyone else out there believes that she is."
In the 1,500 meters, sophomore Lawi Lalang clocked the top in the preliminary round, winning the first heat with a time of 3:44.62. He will advance to the final tomorrow at 1:15 p.m. On the women's side, junior Elizabeth Apgar clocked a time of 4:29.03 in the preliminary race, good for 12th place overall and a spot in the final tomorrow at 1:25 p.m.
Junior Alyssa Hasslen earned a runner-up finish in the women's shot put, throwing 53-3.5 (16.24m). Junior Taylor Freeman took fifth with a mark of 49-4.25 (15.04m). The two combined to score 12 points for the UA women. Hasslen was an All-Conference performer in the shot put for the third-straight year. Freeman earned her second-straight All-Conference accolade in the shot put. Senior Taylor Bush scored five points for the UA women, finishing in fourth place in the women's hammer throw with a toss of 200-1 (61.0m). This is the third-straight year Bush has been an All-Conference performer for the Wildcats. Freeman took ninth in the competition with a toss of 184-4 (56.20m).
In the men's 4x100-meter relay, the quartet of freshman Thomas Moronta, junior Chris McSwain, freshman Garic Wharton and junior Clifton Leake clocked a time of 40.41. Their time was good for third place in heat one and fifth overall. They will advance to the final tomorrow at 1 p.m.
In the women's 100-meter hurdles, senior Dahlys Marshall clocked a wind-aided time of 13.43, good for fourth overall. She will advance to the final tomorrow at 1:45 p.m. Senior Echos Blevins clocked a time of 54.21 in the 400-meter dash, good for sixth overall and a spot in the final tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. Sophomore Shapri Romero took ninth overall, missing the final by one position. She clocked a time of 54.54. Junior James Eichberger clocked a time of 1:52.13 in the 800 meters, good for second place in heat three and an automatic qualifying position in the final. That race will take place tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.
Competition will resume tomorrow with the field events starting at 10:45 a.m. and the running events beginning at 1 p.m. Live results are available at flashresults.com