LOS ANGELES, CA - The University of Arizona Wildcat men's and women's track and field teams finished competition at the Pac-12 Championships in Los Angeles, Calif. UCLA hosted the meet at Drake Stadium. Arizona finished in sixth place on the men's side while the women took ninth place. Arizona had one individual champion on the day, sophomore Gerhard de Beer won the discus competition.
On the men's side, Oregon won for the ninth-straight year with a score of 152. USC's second-place finish came with 121 points. Washington scored 84.5 points in third place. Arizona had 73.5 points in sixth place.
Oregon won the women's side as well for the seventh-straight year with 185 points. USC took second place with 182 points. Stanford had 87 points in third place. The UA women had 36 points in ninth place. Arizona conceded both Territorial Cup points up for grabs to Arizona State.
"I think we competed really well," head coach Fred Harvey. "We missed a number of points that we could have on the ladies side to give us a better showing. We had a lot of great individual performances that you always want to see but together as a team, we missed on some points. On the men's side we had a lot of great performances. We almost broke the school record in the men's 4x400-meter relay. I thought we did a great job on the men's side of scoring what we could. I thought we fought hard. It gives us great ground going toward the NCAA Championships."
Sophomore Gerhard de Beer won the Pac-12 Championship in the men's discus with a toss of 193-8 (59.04m), the No. 2 mark of his career. He is the fourth Wildcat to win the conference championship in the event and the first winner since Doug Reynolds in 1998.
"First and foremost I just want to thank God, all my family and friends for their support," de Beer said. "I thought my series was pretty good. I had three throws over 57 meters which is my best series of my life. I was just a foot short of my personal best, unfortunately. I'm very happy to win, it was a dream last year because of all the good throwers there and they were back this year. I'm very blessed to have improved enough to win this competition."
The men's 4x400-meter relay team of junior Blake Eichler, senior Pete Lauderdale II, sophomore Bryce Houston and sophomore Miles Parish clocked a season-best time of 3:06.35. That was the second-best time in UA history and was good for a runner-up finish in the competition.
Sophomore Collins Kibet earned a runner-up finish in the men's 800-meter run with a time of 1:47.06. Kibet ran a strong race but was just out-kicked in the last 40 meters by Jesse Jorgenson of Washington State. Kibet clocked the second-best time of his career and added eight points to the men's team total.
Junior Nnenya Hailey clocked a personal-best time of 56.53 in the final of the 400-meter hurdles. That time was good for third place overall and is the second-best time in UA history. Junior Morgan Struble also scored for the Wildcats, finishing in eighth place overall with a time of 59.87. Freshman Tiana Bonds finished in ninth place with a time of 62.70. It is the second-straight year both Hailey and Bonds have scored in the 400-meter hurdles.
In the men's 400-meter hurdles, Parish clocked a personal-best time of 51.48 and took third place overall in the event. Parish earned a third-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships in 2014 for the 400-meter sprint. This year, he switched to the 400-meter hurdles and has been very successful once again. Parish's time is No. 10 in UA history and it is only his fifth time ever running the race.
Freshman Tyrell Johnson became the first Wildcat to score in the men's 100-meter dash since Chris McSwain in 2011. He clocked a personal-best time of 10.41 (+0.6 wind) and earned a third-place finish overall. He added six points to the men's squad with his effort.
Senior Elvin Kibet took fourth place in the women's 5K with a time of 16:09.81. It is the third year that Kibet has scored for the UA women in both the 5K and the 10K, never finishing worse than fourth in any of the races.
Junior Traci-Lynn Hicks earned a fifth-place finish in the women's 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.62 (-0.4 wind). That is the second-best time of her career and the second-straight year she has scored for the UA women in the event.
Lauderdale earned a fourth-place finish in the men's 400-meter sprint with a time of 46.36. Eichler clocked a time of 47.10 and took seventh place. Houston's time of 47.26 was good for eighth place. That is the first time in program history Arizona has had 3 athletes score in the men's 400 meters.
Freshman Diana Gajda posted another personal-best time in the final of the women's 400-meter final; running 53.48 and taking eighth place overall. Freshman Tatum Waggoner finished in ninth place with a time of 54.95. Gajda scoring for the UA women marks the sixth-straight year Arizona has scored at least a point in the women's 400 meters at the Pac-12 Champs.
The quartet of sophomore Bealoved Brown, Waggoner, Hicks and freshman Rachel Johns took fifth place in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 45.21. For the men's 4x100-meter relay, freshman Isaac Hing, Johnson, Eichler and freshman Ty Brandt clocked a time of 40.62 and took sixth place in the final.