As the Arizona men's and women's track team prepares for the approaching championship portion of the season, junior Sean Delfani has fought an ongoing battle, with the track and his body.
Francesca Green enters her third season as Arizona's men's and women's sprints and relays assistant coach while still handing meet management and equipment distribution. Previously, Green served as UA's Director of Operations for Cross Country and Track and Field for four seasons.
The 2011 season was another banner year for the Wildcat sprinters under Green's tutelage. At the Pac-10 Outdoor Championships, the quartet of Christina Rodgers, Shapri Romero, Echos Blevins and Georganne Moline set a school record in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:31.62. They also earned a runner-up finish in the event. The same squad went on to earn second-team All-America honors at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with their ninth-place finish.
Six of the top-10 times on UA's all-time 4x400-meter relay list were set during the 2011 season. Romero, just a walk-on freshman in 2011, ran to the No. 5 time in school history in the 400 meters with her clocking of 53.62. Her time came at the Pac-10 Outdoor Championships where she finished sixth.
Also, UA's top women's 4x100-meter relay time of the season is the No. 10 time in school history. The quartet of Dahlys Marshall, LaTisha Holden, Tamara Pridgett and Germe Poston clocked a time of 45.11 at the Mt. SAC Relays. Poston also clocked season bests of 11.65 in the 100 meters and 23.80 in the 200 meters to set UA freshmen records in both events. Her times also rank sixth and eighth, respectively, on UA's all-time lists.
On the men's side, Sean Delfani earned All-America honors as the 400-meter leg of the distance medley relay that finished fifth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Running with Abdi Hassan (1,200 meters), James Eichberger (800 meters) and Lawi Lalang (1,600 meters), the quartet clocked a time of 9:30.33. Earlier in the season, the same quad clocked a school-record time of 9:28.87 at the MPSF Indoor Championships.
At the Pac-10 Outdoor Championships, Chris McSwain ran to a fourth-place finish in the 100 meters (10.44) and a seventh-place finish in the 200 meters (20.88), clocking personal bests and earning All-Pac-10 honors in both events. Additionally, the men's 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays both finished seventh, also earning all-conference accolades. During the indoor season, McSwain was the MPSF Indoor Champion at 60 meters with a time of 6.70 and at 200 meters with a time of 21.42.
In 2010, Green guided UA football kick returner Travis Cobb to a spot at the NCAA Quarterfinals in the 100 meters - despite the fact that he hadn't run on the track in nearly five years. During the 2010 football season, he had 34 returns for 887 yards including one for a 100-yard TD in the win against ranked Iowa. He clocked a 2011 indoor best of 6.89 in the 60 meters to finish seventh at the MPSF Championships. He chose to focus solely on NFL Pro Day and clocked a 40-yard dash time of 4.35. He recently signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears.
Green relocated to Tucson in August of 2004 to continue her competitive training with head coach Fred Harvey and also worked as a marketing associate for Arizona Athletics. Green came from Purdue University where she spent the 2004 season as a volunteer assistant coach under head coach Lissa Olson with the sprinters and jumpers.
Prior to her arrival at Purdue, Green spent eight years, both as a student-athlete and coach, at Washington State University. Her collegiate coaching career began in August 2000 when the Cougars' head coach Rick Sloan named her assistant coach in charge of the men's and women's sprints and relays.
In 2003, Green guided Washington State's women's 4x400-meter relay team to All-America honors, as they finished seventh (3:35.49) at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Her 4x400-meter relay team later went on to place third at the Pac-10 Outdoor Championships and finished as the runner-up at the NCAA West Regional Championships. Green's women's 4x100-meter relay squad also scored at the Pac-10 Outdoor Championships, placing sixth with a time of 45.49.
Individually, Green coached Tiffany Giles to a pair of top-five showings at the Pac-10 Outdoor Championships, running 23.82 in the 200 meters and 53.82 in the 400 meters. Giles also scored a fifth-place finish in the 400 meters at NCAA West Regional Championships.
Green led Washington State's men's sprinters and relays to a pair of Pac-10 Outdoor titles and a runner-up showing in 2003. Anthony Buchanan won the 100-meter title, clocking a time of 10.10, and the 4x100-meter relay crossed the finish line first with a time of 39.68. NCAA regional qualifier Bennie Chatman placed behind Buchanan in the 100 meters (10.12) and earned the bronze at the NCAA Regional Championships, coming in at 10.48.
In 2002, Green had two sprinters compete at the NCAA Championships: Anson Henry at the indoor meet in the 60 meters (third, 6.66) and Buchanan at the outdoor meet in the 100 meters. Henry continued to train with Green during the 2003 season and went on to place second at Canadian National Championships in the 100 meters (10.04). Henry also competed on the Canadian National team at the Pan-Am Games and World Championships in 2002.
As a student-athlete, Green was one of the most versatile, accomplished and decorated track and field athletes in Washington State history. She won the Pac-10 Outdoor long jump titles in both 1996 and 1998 and earned All-America honors in the long jump during the 1996 NCAA Outdoor and 1997 NCAA Indoor Championships. A sprinter and competitor in the high, long and triple jump events, Green scored 21.5 of WSU's 123 points at the 1999 Pac-10 Outdoor Championships. She ran the anchor leg of WSU's record-setting 4x100-meter relay team (44.50) in 1999. In 1996, Green was a member of Team USA at the World Junior Championships in Sydney, Australia.
A star in the classroom, she was selected as a GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American (District VIII), to the Pac-10 All-Academic team and earned Senior Excellence in Academics honors. She was selected as the WSU Student-Athlete Advisory Board Outstanding Senior, earned the Eagle Hardware and Garden Academic Salute Trophy, selected for the WSU President's Award for Leadership and was honored with an Arthur Ashe, Jr. Award.
The main reason for her stay at Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind. was to train for the 2004 Olympic Trials in the long jump. Green finished in 18th place at the trials but her season- and personal-best mark of 21-1.5 (6.41m) ranked her 15th in the country during the 2004 season.
After the 2010 collegiate season concluded, Green was an event manager for Team USA at the 2010 NACAC Under-23 Championships in Miramar, Fla., where four current UA student-athletes competed (Eichberger, Mohamud Ige, Julie Labonte and Rodgers).
During the summer of 2009, Green was an assistant coach for Team USA at Pan-American Junior Games held in Port of Spain, Trinidad, where she coached the men's sprints and relays. Green helped guide several student-athletes to exceptional results including a 1-2 Team USA finish in the men's 100 meters and runner-up finishes in both the men's 200 meters and 400 meters by American male runners. The Team USA men's 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays were Pan-Am Junior Champions, running 39.06 and 3:03.25, respectively.
Green currently serves as the women's sprint development chair for USA Track and Field where she is the contact for top female sprint athletes in the country in terms of helping them learn the benefits of USATF. Green is also a graduate of the 2007 Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority females in administration and was a 2008 and 2009 leadership facilitator for the NCAA Division I Regional Leadership Conference for student-athletes.
Green is a 1995 graduate of Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, Wash. From Washington State University, she received her bachelor's degree in kinesiology in 1998 and her master's degree in education with an emphasis in athletic administration in 2000.