SEATTLE - The Arizona Wildcat No. 6 men's and No. 16 women's track and field teams competed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championships on Friday, Feb. 24, held at Washington's Dempsey Indoor Track Center. The women's team finished day one in second place with 38 points and the men finished in eighth place with 11 points.
Arizona State leads the women's competition with 39 points and Stanford is in third with 36 points. On the men's side, Arizona State leads with 62 points and BYU and Stanford are tied for second with 19 points.
"Today went according to plan," head coach Fred Harvey said. "We scored where we thought we would except I thought we would do better in the women's 200-meter dash, we didn't run nearly as well as I had anticipated us running coming into the competition. But, it balances out with Taylor Freemanthrowing a personal best in the weight throw and that definitely helped. We looked pretty good and all of the things we are trying to accomplish at this competition, we're in position to do that we just have to close it out tomorrow."
In the women's 5,000 meters, sophomore Elvin Kibet and junior Jen Bergman dominated the race. Kibet won with a time of 15:59.16, a personal best for her and currently ranks as the 13th best time in the country this season. Bergman came in second place with a time of 16:21.49. Sophomore Amanda Russell had a time of 17:08.69, good for 13th place. Freshman Haley Stenquistcame in 15th place, clocking a time of 17:15.12.
"It felt really good to run alone for most of the race, at first I was nervous and uncomfortable because I'm used to running in the pack and behind people," Kibet said. "But I realized that if I want to make it to the NCAA Championships I had to do it and I had to push through it. It is a lot of pressure and it is a conference championship so it's a big deal. So overall I'm really pleased with how I ran today."
"The highlight of the day was definitely Elvin Kibetrunning under 16 minutes in the 5,000 meters," Harvey said. "That was huge and really gives her a lot of confidence heading into the NCAA Championships."
In the women's pentathlon, senior Liana Fuentes finished in second place with 3,796 points and sophomore Amber Passalaquacame in eighth place with 3,632. In the women's 60-meter hurdles Fuentes tied for sixth, clocking a time of 8.93 Fuentes matched her personal best in the high jump, clearing 5-4.5 (1.64m) and earning third place. Passalaqua cleared 5-3.25 (1.61m), good for a tie at sixth place. In the shot put, Fuentes took second place with a throw of 40-2.75 (12.26m). Passalaqua came in sixth in the high jump with a mark of 5-3.25 (1.61m). Passalaqua had a mark of 18-1(5.51M) in the long jump, good for fifth place. In the 800 meters, Passalaqua finished in seventh with a time of 2:25.26.
Junior Tyler Johnson earned a fifth-place finish in the weight throw, throwing a personal-best mark of 61-4 (18.69m). In the women's weight throw, junior Taylor Freeman threw 59-8.5 (18.20m), good for fourth place. Freeman has now thrown a personal best in five consecutive meets this year. Senior Taylor Bushthrew 58-6.5 (17.84m), earning a seventh-place finish.
In the women's 60-meter dash preliminaries, sophomore Tamara Pridgett came in second place with a personal-best time of 7.48, qualifying her for the final. Sophomore Germe Poston also clocked a personal best, posting a time of 7.56, good for seventh place and qualifying her for the final on Saturday. In the women's 60-meter hurdles, senior Dahlys Marshall came in the preliminaries, running 8.48 and qualifying her for the final. Sophomore Tamara Pridgettearned a sixth-place finish in the women's 200 meters, clocking a time of 24.52 and scoring three points for UA.
"Tamara Pridgetthas the number two time heading into the 60-meter dash final, which is really a nice thing for her," Harvey said. "She hasn't had an opportunity to be at that level and to compete in a championship so that's pretty exciting."
2011 MPSF Champion junior Chris McSwaincame in fourth in the 60 meters, clocking a time of 6.75, tying a personal best and qualifying him for the final. In the 200 meters he could not successfully defend his 2011 championship either, coming in sixth place with a time of 21.56, scoring three points for Arizona.
Competition will continue at 10:30 a.m. PT on Saturday. Live results will be available at gohuskies.com. The USA Indoor Track and Field Championships begin on Saturday as well, live results will available at flashresults.com