SEATTLE, Wash. - The University of Arizona's men's and women's track and field teams completed competition at the 2005 Mountain-Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track Field Championships on Saturday in Seattle. The Arizona men rocketed up the team s
SEATTLE, Wash. The University of Arizona’s men’s and women’s track and field teams completed competition at the 2005 Mountain-Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday in Seattle. The Arizona men rocketed up the team standings into third place, where they finished the competition with 93 points. The Wildcat women also improved their standing to fifth in the final day, finishing with 66 points. UCLA won the men’s team competition with 117.50 points, while Stanford claimed the women’s title with 180.50 points.
In the second day of competition, the Arizona men rewrote the record books with two school records and three meet records. The Wildcat men also claimed individual titles in five events on Saturday.
Juniors Jonah Maiyo and Robert Cheseret got things rolling for the Wildcats with the men’s mile final. Maiyo won the title in a NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 3:59.08. Cheseret was right on his heels in second place, finishing second with a NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 3:59.23. Maiyo’s time is a new MPSF Championship meet record.
Sophomore Daniel Cook and junior Jeff Hunter were the next two on the track for Arizona in the 60-meter hurdles final. Cook placed fifth in a season’s best time of 8.01 seconds, while Hunter was sixth in 8.02 seconds.
The Arizona women scored some big points in the shot put with a second and third-place finish. Senior Ilona Rutjes led the way with a throw of 52 feet (15.85m), finishing second and improving her NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Freshman Megan Howard was third with a throw of 51-0 ¼ (15.55m).
In the men’s shot put, junior Sean Shields added a highlight of his own by winning with a NCAA provisional-qualifying throw of 63 feet, 3 ½ inches (19.29m), which is his best mark of the season. Sophomore Adam Kuehl was fifth with a season’s best mark of 58-10 ¾ (17.95m), also a NCAA provisional qualifier.
The Arizona men added another champion in the 200 meters when freshman Bobby McCoy clocked his fastest time of the season to win in 21.47 seconds.
Cheseret stood atop the podium after winning the 3,000 meters in 7:51.66. That time is a new school record and meet record. Junior Obed Mutanya placed fifth in 8:03.04, an improvement on his NCAA provisional-qualifying time.
Sophomore Jake Arnold was not going to be left out of the hoopla as he won the men’s heptathlon title, which took place during both days of the competition. Arnold improved upon his NCAA provisional-qualifying mark with a total of 5,518 points, setting a new meet and school record.
Senior Sharifa Jones added the women’s point total with a third-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. Jones clocked a time of 8.42 seconds. Sophomore Jennifer Whitlock was fifth in 8.49 seconds.
In the women’s 400 meters, junior Donnisha Sanford continued her success with a fourth-place finish in a season’s best time of 56.75 seconds. Following Sanford on the track, McCoy set up for the final of the 60 meters. McCoy clocked a time of 6.96 seconds to finish eighth. In the women’s 60-meter final, freshman Nikki Martin was second in 7.47 seconds.
Senior Kevin Opalka was the top Wildcat finisher in the men’s pole vault. Opalka cleared 16 feet. 11 ½ inches (5.17m) to finish sixth. Freshman Andrew Rademacher was tenth with a clearance of 16-5 ½ (5.02m).
In the women’s 200 meters, Martin was back on the track. This time, she was third in 24.67 seconds. The Wildcats finished out the day with the 4x400-meter relays. On the men’s side, Arizona finished sixth in 3:14.19, while the Wildcat women clocked a time of 3:47.51 to grab fifth place.
The Wildcats will be back in action on Saturday, March 5 with the first home meet of the 2005 season. Arizona will host the Wildcat Classic at Roy P. Drachman Stadium. Athletes qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships will take the next two weeks to prepare for their quest for a national title.