Austin, Texas - The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 6 men's and No. 8 women's track and field teams concluded the second day of competition at the NCAA Track and Field Championships preliminary round. The meet is held by the University of Texas at Mike A. Myers Stadium. In order to advance to the semifinal or final of an event, an athlete or relay team must finish in the top 12 of that event. The semifinals and finals will take place in Des Moines, Iowa on June 6-9. The Wildcats had six more student-athletes punch their tickets to Iowa on Friday, bringing the team's accumulative total to 10.
Junior Georganne Moline took first place in her heat and first overall in the women's 400-meter hurdles with a time of 56.42. She will advance to the semifinal of the event with the best time in the west and the third-best time in the country.
"I learned a lot today (Friday) and yesterday (Thursday) as far as how I ran," Moline said. "It wasn't my best but it was definitely a learning experience, I need more experienced races so it was good. I have to have more confidence going in, I kind of psych myself out too much. I'm really excited for Des Moines; it's going to be a good meet. "
Junior Tyler Johnson had a personal-best toss of 213-5 (65.05m) in the men's hammer throw. That toss was good for third place in the competition and will advance to him to the final of the event. His toss is also the third-best mark in UA history.
Junior Nick Ross and freshman Jovon Cunningham both advanced to the final of the men's triple jump. Ross finished in fourth place with a mark of 52-0.5 (15.86m) and Cunningham took eighth with a wind-aided mark of 51-8.25 (15.75m).
Junior James Eichberger clocked a season-best time of 1:47.64 in the men's 800-meter race. That time was good for third place in his heat and a spot in the semifinal of the 800 meters in Iowa. Eichberger's time was also the second-best of his career.
"It was definitely good," Eichberger said. "It was a good race to stay up there and keep the lead then inch the other guy for third. (To take third at the last second) It was just heart, I saw them coming up and it was going to be a close race and I just inched it out in the last 10 meters. I think it was a lot of determination and confidence. I feel great, this is the first time I've made nationals in an individual event so I'm very excited and definitely look forward to the competition."
Junior Brigetta Barrett will advance to the final of the women's high jump in Iowa. She had one attempt on the day, clearing 5-10.75 (1.80m) and tying for first place in the event. She will advance to her third-straight final in the high jump competition.
Senior Dahlys Marshall took third place in her heat of the women's 100-meter hurdles with a wind-aided time of 13.53. She will advance to the quarterfinal on Saturday at 7:20 p.m. CDT.
"We were very successful today," head coach Fred Harvey said. "Georganne Moline won the 400-meter hurdles and had the fastest time in the west which is really important for seeding in the final. Some big surprises that were really nice were Tyler Johnson in the hammer and Jovon Cunningham in the triple jump. We thought Nick Ross would make it through but having Jovon make it as a freshman to the finals of the NCAA Championships, that's just good stuff. As a team, we've had some great performances and I'm really excited to see what we're going to be able to do once we get to Iowa for the finals. We're putting together some great numbers and we have people that can do the same thing in the finals that they are doing in the first and second rounds."
The Wildcats had many other strong performances but they did not qualify for a trip to Iowa. Sophomore Shapri Romero clocked a time of 53.58, good for sixth in her heat of the 400 meters. Senior Echos Blevins took seventh place in her heat with a time of 54.02 in the 400-meter race. Junior Chris McSwain clocked a time of 21.33 in the men's 200-meter dash, good for fifth in his heat. Sophomore Tamara Pridgett took seventh in her heat of the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.40. Sophomore Germe Poston earned a sixth-place finish in her heat with a time of 24.44 in the 200-meter sprint. Junior Clifton Leake ran 53.26 in the men's 400-meter hurdles, good for ninth in his heat. Clea Formaz took 10th in her heat of the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:47.56. Juniors Alyssa Hasslen and Taylor Freeman competed in the women's discus. Hasslen took 16th with a mark of 165-3 (50.36m) and Freeman came in 22nd with a toss of 163-11 (49.96m). Sophomore Alex Weatherly cleared 12-10.25 (3.92m), tying for 20th place.
The final day of competition will begin on Saturday with the field events commencing at 11 a.m. CDT and the running events starting at 6 p.m. Live results are available at http://www.texassports.com/livestats/c-track/.