By Jason A. Vrtis
Arizona Daily Wildcat April 1, 1996
Despite many outstanding individual efforts, the Arizona track and field squads were unable to overcome Oregon's overall depth as they were swept this past Saturday in a dual meet at Roy P. Drachman Stadium.
Oregon's depth was especially strong in the women's field events, as they placed one-two in the javelin, shot put and triple jump on their way to a 101-75 win. The competition was much closer for the men, as the Ducks narrowly edged the Wildcats 104-95.
"We are just lacking bodies in some key areas, and in a dual meet like this, you need bodies," UA head coach Dave Murray said.
The UA women were led by their 4x400-meter relay team and freshman Amy Skieresz's performance in the 3,000 meters. With the meet already decided, the all-senior 4x400 team of Karen Bennett, Allison Dring, Michele Ferguson and Michelle Johnson ran the third quickest time in school history, winning the race in a time of 3 minutes, 37.63 seconds. Their time was also good enough to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Skieresz was matched against OU's Melody Fairchild in the 3,000m in what proved to be one of the best races of the day. Fairchild, who won the NCAA Indoor Championship March 8 in the 3,000m, was considered to be the favorite, but she was no match for Skieresz. Arizona's freshman won with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 9:23.17.
Johnson, the anchor of the winning women's relay team, cruised to an easy victory earlier in the afternoon in the 100m high hurdles with her time of 13.52. Her effort was good enough to provisionally qualify her for the NCAA outdoors.
The other two winners for the Wildcat women were seniors Nicole Engstrom and Holly Montoya. Engstrom, who is making a promising comeback from offseason shoulder surgery, won the discus with a toss of 143 feet, three inches. Montoya provisionally qualified in the hammer throw with her winning mark of 161-2.
On the men's side, Arizona was led by double-winners Chima Ugwu and Bob Keino. Ugwu, a junior and one of the top throwers in the nation, won the shot put and the discus with throws of 62-7 3/4 and 177-5, respectively.
Keino became only the second Wildcat to automatically qualify for the NCAA outdoors, as he turned back a strong effort from Pacific 10 Conference cross country rival Karl Keska in the 1,500m. His time of 3:41.13 was also the third-fastest in UA history for that event. With his victory, Keino gained a small measure of revenge on Keska, who had barely beaten Keino in the Pac-10 Cross Country Championships last November. Keino came back later in the day to easily win the 5,000m in 14:46.45. UA's Margarito Casillas finished second in 14:54.53.
Junior Dameon Ortiz led a one-two UA finish in the 400m, finishing just ahead of fellow junior Ibukun Akinremi (48.60 to 48.79). Sophomore hurdler Kyle Dorsey won the 400m hurdles for the Wildcats with a personal-best time of 52.76.
Other winners for the UA were senior Roque Balina in the long jump and freshman A. J. Cornelius in the triple jump. Balina won the long jump for the second-consecutive weekend for Arizona with his jump of 23-10 3/4, and Cornelius won the triple jump with a personal best of 49-11 3/4.