Track and field dominates Sun Devils, NAU in dual meet

By Jason A. Vrtis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 15, 1996

The Associated Press
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Gregory Harris/Arizona daily wildcat Sophomore Jacob Schneider competes Saturday night in the 110-meter high hurdles at Drachman Stadium. The UA men and women blew out the competiton in the dual meet.


Led by 13 first-place finishes on the men's side and five on the women's, Arizona's track and field squads dominated rival Arizona State on Saturday night at Drachman Stadium.

In dual meet scoring, the UA men blew out Arizona State 115-64 and Northern Arizona 118-64. The Wildcat women also swept their portion of the dual meet competition, defeating the Sun Devils 94-68, the Lumberjacks 97-68 and Wisconsin 100-69.

The Arizona men started off with freshman Tapio Kolunsarka's first-place showing in the hammer throw and never looked back as they won 12 of the next 18 scheduled events.

Kolunsarka won the event with a throw of 222-3 to finish well ahead of teammate and senior Aaron Corcorran's 201-10. His mark was the second-best hammer throw in UA history. For Kolunsarka, it was a personal best and automatically qualified him for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Highlighting the evening for the UA women was the return of senior long jumper Veronica Burton. Burton had been out since Feb. 17 with a pulled hamstring, but she looked in good shape as she returned with a winning jump of 19-8 1/4.

"It is a real big plus for us to have her back," UA head coach Dave Murray said.

Three other UA freshman won events in the field. Jussi Autio won the pole vault with his clearance of 16-10 3/4. It was the first time that Autio had cleared a height in the outdoor season. He already holds UA's indoor school record in the pole vault with his mark of 17-1 1/2 set on Feb. 24.

Jon Roby qualified for the Pacific 10 Conference Championships as he won the high jump with a personal-best effort of 6-10 3/4.

In the triple jump, A. J. Cornelius also set a personal best with his winning jump of 50-2 3/4 and finished second in the long jump behind teammate Roque Balina. Balina, a senior, won with a season-best mark of 24-5.

On the track, sophomore Bob Keino continued his dominance in the 1,500-meter run. Keino had limited training last week because of a sore Achilles' tendon, but he was still able to cruise to victory in 3 minutes, 47.06 seconds - with his second-fastest time of the year.

Fellow sophomores Kyle Dorsey and Chad Wenger were also winners for the Wildcats. Dorsey set a personal record in the 400-meter hurdles as he won in 52.63. Wenger had his fastest time of the year in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as he won in 9:21.55.

In the women's javelin, freshman Megan Salisbury won the event with a season-best toss of 144-1.

The much-anticipated matchup of Wisconsin's Kathy Butler and UA's Amy Skieresz in the 3,000-meter lived up to its billing. Butler, the 1995 NCAA Cross Country Champion, used superior speed to win comfortably over the freshman Skieresz, who finished second to Butler at the cross country championships. Skieresz was still able to set a personal-best time of 9:21.86 which also provisionally qualified her for the NCAAs.

Junior Ann Colonna came from behind on the final lap to win the 1,500-meter with a personal-best effort of 4:26.46, while in the sprints, Arizona was led by seniors Dawn Mortensen and Michelle Johnson. Mortensen won the 200- meter in 24.42 and finished second in the 100-meter with a time of 11.97.

Johnson won the 110-meter high hurdles in 13.54. Last week at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Johnson broke the outdoor school record in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles with her time of 57.17.

The Wildcats compete next weekend in Walnut, Calif., at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays.