June 6, 2011
OFFICIAL USTFCCCA RELEASE
TUCSON – University of Arizona track and field head coach Fred Harvey swept a pair of prestigious honors on Monday as he was named as the West Region Men's and Women's Head Coach of the Year while throws coach Craig Carter was named as the region's Women's Assistant Coach of the Year , as announced by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) early Monday morning.
Harvey led both the men's and women's teams to runner-up finishes at the Pac-10 Conference Championships in Tucson this year, matching the best conference finish ever for both squads and the the first time both teams had finished as high in school history in the same season.
The men's and women's teams had three individual conference champions each for a total of six – matching the largest haul of titles in the school's Pac-10 history.
The men's second-place finish was the team's best since the 1993 season and 15 men qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Eugene, Ore., with eight advancing to the finals this week in Des Moines, Iowa. Harvey turned around a squad that never cracked the top-25 last season and turned it into a consistent top-10 power in 2011 and the team ranks No. 12 nationally heading to the national championships and third in the West Region.
A year removed from an outdoor campaign that saw the Arizona men score only 1.5 points at the NCAA Championships, Harvey has several athletes looking primed to score at this year's national championship with Stephen Sambu (10,000 meters), Lawi Lalang (5,000 meters), Edgar Rivera-Morales (high jump) and Nick Ross (high jump) all legitimate candidates to bring home a national title.
This is the second consecutive season Harvey has taken home the honor for the women's team, taking the team to totally new heights after posting an impressive season in 2010. The Arizona women scored 150 points at the conference championships, 41 more than any previous conference meet in history, and finished just four and a half points shy of Oregon for the team title.
Harvey had 23 women qualify in 17 of 20 events at the NCAA West Preliminary Round, with eight of the those student-athletes and one relay advancing to Iowa. Harvey is personally responsible for coaching senior LaTisha Holden to the second-fastest time in school history in the 100-meter hurdles and to her first ever NCAA Outdoor Championship Meet.
No other statistic of Harvey's success on the women's side may be more telling than the fact that the team combined for 24 personal best in 17 separate advanced that either moved them into or improved upon their top-10 marks in Arizona school history. The women's team has also been a ranked within the top-10 for the entirety of the season, peaking at No. 5 before the NCAA West Prelims. The team ranks ninth heading into the national championships.
Carter has posted one of the most impressive season's in the school's throwing history with his work with the women's squad this year. The Arizona women throwers tallied a total of 63 of the team's 150 points at the conference championships, going an amazing 1-2-3-5-6 in the shot put and 2-3-4-6 in the discus event.
In his fifth season with the Wildcats, Carter qualified three women in the shot put with Julie Labonte going undefeated in 2011 and setting the Canadian indoor and outdoor national records in the process. The throwing trio of Labonte, Alyssa Hasslen and Baillie Gibson have all gone over 17 meters in 2011, a feat that had only been accomplished by one student-athlete in school history (Meg Ritchie in 1983).
The UA track and field teams will begin competition at the NCAA Championships on Wed., June 8, at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, with both the men's and women's teams looking to take top-four finishes and “bring home some wood” in what has been arguably the best season in history as an entire team for the Arizona program.