March 14, 2012
IN THE CLOVER INDOORS
Championship efforts from some Wildcats helped our men finish third in the NCAA Indoor Championships in track and field last weekend, and the women in 11th place. Junior Nick Ross became the first Wildcat male ever to win the NCAA high jump, indoor or out, and Lawi Lalang won the 3,000-meter race and the 5,000-meters for two titles. Brigetta Barrett won her second-consecutive indoor high jump title (third overall) to pace the women. It was a solid weekend for the Wildcat track and field teams, with the men's finish their highest ever. More to come later in the outdoor NCAAs in June. To get started we'll play host to our first outdoor action, the Willie Williams Classic, Friday and Saturday at Drachman Stadium. All seven of our student-athletes who competed last week earned indoor first-team All-America accolades from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association - Ross, Lalang, high jumper Edgar Rivera-Morales and runner Stephen Sambu on the men's side, and Barrett, thrower Julie LaBonté and runner Elvin Kibet for the women. Please come on out and see these world-class athletes in action!
We also just got word today that Lawi Lalang has been named the USTFCCCA National Men's Track Athlete of the Year. Congrats to Lawi on an outstanding season!
MORE HEADED TO CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Arizona diving team had a successful showing at the NCAA Diving Zone E Championships last weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo., as three divers qualified for their respective NCAA Championships. Sophomore Samantha Pickens qualified after winning the 3m and earning runner-up honors on the 1m. Senior Ben Grado won the platform, posted runner-up honors on the 1m and finished fourth on the 3m. On the last day of competition, senior Andres Guerra earned the last remaining spot on the men's side with his second-place finish on the platform. Pickens will compete in the women's NCAA Championships this week in Auburn, Ala., while Grado and Guerra will compete in next week's men's NCAA Championships in Federal Way, Wash.
Freshman Manon Gidali has been named the Pac-12 Women's Golfer of the Month. In February, she paced Arizona to a 12-stroke win at the Wildcat Invitational and a 19-stroke win at the UNLV Invitational. She won the Wildcat Invitational and finished tied for first at the UNLV Invitational. Her rounds of 66 and 67 from the Wildcat Invitational rank tied for No. 2 and tied for No. 6, respectively, all-time at Arizona. Also at the home event, Gidali's three-day total of 204 (-12) was a new school record over 54 holes, replacing Lorena Ochoa's previous best of 206 (-10) from Trysting Tree Golf Club (Corvallis, Ore.) in 2001. Good luck to Manon and our entire team as they head to California for their next tournament.
MEN'S BASKETBALL STILL PLAYING
Tonight our men's basketball team is playing host to Bucknell in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. We're close to tip and over 8,200 tickets have been sold, which is outstanding! Wildcat fans should be commended once again for their passion for Arizona basketball. Surely our annual goal is the NCAA Championships, but this year our team fought hard enough to continue play in another opportunity. Should we win tonight, it's probable another round or two will be held in McKale Center, so go Cats, and please join us if so. Tickets will be $25 reserved, $15 general admission, and $5 for students. If you were unable to make it to McKale or watch on ESPN2, tonight's game can be tracked here on ESPN3 on your computer And, while we're at it, congratulations to the women Wildcats for their victory in the opening round of the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Championships last week.
I returned from Los Angeles Saturday night after the Pac-12 tournament and A.D. meetings. We discussed many items but one of the biggest news items was the Pac-12 has announced it will play the post-season basketball tournaments in different cities for the next several years. The women's championships will move to Key Arena in Seattle, and the men's tournament will move to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Both locations should impact attendance and come with the unprecedented increased exposure offered by the Pac-12 Networks and new television partners. This is just another of the progressive moves our conference commissioner Larry Scott and his staff have undertaken to improve the Pac-12's footprint and national exposure.
This is a great opportunity for us to remind everyone that we have the most passionate fan base in the Pac -12. We hope that our fans throughout the west will wear our colors and invade both cities and support our Wildcats. As details are arranged we will share them with you and hope that you will plan on joining for next years tournaments. We need you there.
We're excited to roll out our new Social Wildcats Rewards Program, a fun and interactive way for our fans to engage and help promote Arizona Athletics. Fans automatically earn points for interacting with Arizona Athletics' social media, such as liking and sharing our Facebook messages, retweeting @AZATHLETICS' tweets, using hashtags like #BearDown and #AZisWildcatCountry, and checking in on foursquare. Points can be redeemed for prizes throughout the spring and summer. The person with the most points will win a new iPad and the chance to walk with the football team during the Wildcat Walk at a home game. Sign up today and help share our message. I always list four ways fans can help Arizona Athletics. #4 is "get others to do the same." Participating in the Social Wildcats Rewards Program is a great way to do this.
WILDCATS IN THE BIG LEAGUES
We would like to wish Nick Hundley (Padres), Brad Mills (Angels), Trevor Crowe (Indians), Jason Donald (Indians), Mark Melancon (Red Sox), Ryan Perry (Nationals), Daniel Schlereth (Tigers) and Shelley Duncan (Indians) best of luck in Spring Training. These baseball lettermen are in "Big League" camps this spring and we hope to see them on 2012 Opening Day rosters
· Our baseball team closes its series at Rice in Houston today, and then will return home for Pac-12 opening action Friday (6 p.m.), Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (noon) against Washington State at Hi Corbett Field. Come help us show the home-field advantage to our league brethren at our new place...Tickets are available
· Our women's swimming team takes some outstanding competitors to the NCAA Championships in Auburn, Ala., Thursday through Saturday. Coach Eric Hansen's done a superior job with both the women and men this year in his first season as Wildcat mentor...
· The Wildcat gymnastics team will close its regular season in a final home meet Friday (7 p.m.) in McKale Center as host to Air Force, Bridgeport and Utah State...Get your tickets here
· Our women's tennis team opens its Pac-12 season on the road at Washington State on Friday, while the men's team will travel to Boise State that day and to Idaho on Saturday...
· Softball is on the road at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., Friday through Sunday after spending last week watching it rain in Waco, Texas, to wash out a series at Baylor...
· Our men's golf team plays host to its final home event, the National Invitational Tournament at the Golf Club at Vistoso on Friday and Saturday...
· The women's golf team travels to the Battle at Rancho Bernardo on Sunday through Tuesday in the greater San Diego area...
· The track and field teams will play host to the Willie Williams Classic on Friday and Saturday, the first of four home events this season...
SPOTTING A WILDCAT
Michelle Kirmse Michaud ('98), and her husband live in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and spotted the gentleman below on their way home from work. The colors reach far and wide, folks! At bottom, a group of UA grads and students show it in a fantasy location definitely not in Africa. From left are Alison Crompton, Adam Crompton, Alyssa Ego, Becky Witte and Ryan Crompton. NOTE to those wanting to submit pictures for the Wildcat Wednesday. Do not use the reply on this email, as it will not allow you to attach files. Please send pictures to email@example.com. Also, please be sure to identify those in the picture and be aware that we are unable to use poor quality images (i.e., fuzzy or unfocused). Many more images are submitted each week than can be used. Thanks.
Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and:
Bear Down with Pride,
- Join the Wildcat Movement
- Buy Season Tickets
- Wear the Colors (Especially on Friday)
- Get Others to Do the Same
Director of Athletics
University of Arizona