Cats begin NCAA Track Championships

Cats begin NCAA Track Championships

EUGENE, OR - The Arizona Track & Field program began competition Wednesday with 15 athletes at the NCAA Championships at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The Wildcats had six athletes compete on the opening day of the the NCAA Championships at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. today.

Aaron Castle finished in 15th place overall in the men's shot put with a toss of 61-3 (18.67m), good for second-team All-America honors. Castle finishes his career as a four-time All-American and joins Sean Shields as the only Wildcat to be a four-time All-American in the men's shot put.

Bailey Roth advanced to Friday's 3000-meter steeplechase finals as he clocked a time of 8:42.92, which was the fifth-fastest time of the semifinals and was the third-fastest time of his career.

Roth will run in his first NCAA finals at 5:54 p.m. MST on Friday. Last year, he did not qualify for the finals even though he ran a personal-best time of 8:37.38 in the semifinals, which still holds up as his fastest time.

The men's 4x400-meter relay team of Bryce Houston, Michael Demby, Miles Parish and Zakee Washington clocked a time of 3:08.66 to take 19th place in the semifinals, the highest a men's 4x400-meter relay team has finished since 1981.

They did not qualify for Friday's finals, but do earn honorable mention All-America honors. Since 1981, Arizona has only had two relay team earn All-America honors, with the other coming in 2015 (Blake Eichler, Pete Lauderdale, Houston and Parish).

Competition will continue Thursday with Sage Watson in the 400-meter hurdles and the women's 400-meter relay team of Diana Gajda, Brena Andrews, Jasper Gray and Watson.

Watson, the Canadian Olympian, currently has the top time in the country in the 400-meter hurdles after she clocked a time of 55.01 at the Pac-12 Championships, which gave her the title.

The Wildcats have three high jumpers competing this week in Eugene in Lisanne Hagens, Karla Teran and Justice Summerset. The last time Arizona had two women's high jumpers qualify for the NCAA Finals was back in 2010 when Brigetta Barrett and Liz Patterson both qualified.

Hagens qualified for her second-consecutive NCAA Finals in the high jump with a height of 5-10½ (1.79m). The two-time Pac-12 Champion did not miss one bar at the NCAA West Prelims and has the sixth-best jump in the country.

Teran jumped a height of 5-8½ (1.74m) but couldn't clear 5-10½ (1.79m) for a new personal best at the NCAA West Prelims.

Summerset cleared seven feet for the first time since April 8 as he jumped 7-0½ (2.15m) to take seventh place in Austin. He was the only freshman in the NCAA West Prelims to advance to the finals and will be one of two freshmen competing in high jump in Eugene.

Summerset is the first freshman men's high jumper to advance to the NCAA Finals since Nick Ross and Edgar Rivera-Morales went as freshman back in 2011. Ross is also the last Arizona high jumper to advance to the finals, which was back in 2014.

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