AUSTIN, TX - University of Arizona Wildcat men's and women's track and field teams finished the second day of competition at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin, Texas on Friday. The University of Texas is hosting the meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Three more Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. on June 10-13 and three more advanced to the quarterfinals in their respective events.
"It was a very, very successful day," head coach Fred Harvey said. "You want competitors that come in here, they should move on and for lack of a better term, they do their job. That's always satisfying. The exciting thing is when you have kids like Aleah Hurst yesterday, who came in 43rd on the list and finished in 10th place. We want people that are competitors, know what they are supposed to do and get it done. That's what makes a championship team. But, you have to have those fighters that aren't on the form chart but still get it done."
Sophomore Aaron Castle advanced to the NCAA Championships in the men's shot put by taking 12th place in the event. He posted a mark of 61-3 (18.67m), which is the fifth-farthest toss of his career.
"My first throw was decent but it wasn't enough to qualify," Castle said. "My second throw, I stepped it up a bit and went out to 18.67 meters which ended up getting me 12th place by one centimeter. So I barely squeezed in there. My third throw was a pretty big foul, it was over 19.60 meters, so that would have been really nice to have a personal record right now. Maybe it'll happen in Eugene. I was ranked 12th coming in so I knew it would be close but I didn't think it would be this close. I'm glad, I think I deserve to go to Nationals and I think I can do something there."
Sophomore Collins Kibet also advanced to the NCAA Championships in the men's 800-meter run after finishing the race in 1:48.14, the fourth-fastest time of his career. He finished in a tie for fifth place overall.
"The race was really good," Kibet said. "It's a very special moment for me because I have my sister (Elvin Kibet) to go with me. That's one of the reasons I worked so hard to make sure I qualified. Last year, it was painful, I didn't get in but it was a good lesson for me. I learned a lot and worked hard. Now, the hard work is paying off."
After advancing to the quarterfinals on Thursday, sophomore Nnenya Hailey qualified for the NCAA Championships in the women's 400-meter hurdles with a time of 57.60. She earned a fifth-place finish in the meet.
Junior Traci Lynn Hicks qualified for the quarterfinals in the 100-meter hurdles by posting a time of 13.34 (+2.8 wind). She finished in 15th place overall. It was her best time in the event in all conditions and the third fastest wind-aided time in Arizona history. She will run the quarterfinal race on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. MST.
In the women's high jump, sophomore Lisanne Hagens cleared a mark of 5-8 (1.73m), which is the second highest jump of her career. However, she was not able to clear 5-10 (1.78m) and she will not advance to the NCAA Championships.
Freshman Tatum Waggoner ran her second-fastest time in the women's 200-meter dash. She finished with a time of 24.15 (+1.9 wind) and will not advance to Saturday's quarterfinals.
Senior Pete Lauderdale II finished in 17th place in the men's 400-meter dash with a time of 47.06. He did not qualify for the NCAA Championships in that event, but he will still have a chance to qualify in Saturday's 4x400-meter relay at 7:45 p.m. MST.
Junior Molly Callahan ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 10:48.56, which is the second-fastest time of her career. She will not advance to the NCAA Championships.
In the men's hammer throw, senior Daniel Whitham fouled on all three attempts and did not advance to the NCAA Championships.
The final day of the meet will begin tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. MST with the first round of the men's javelin throw.