4 Wildcats win at Drake

By Jason A. Vrtis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 29, 1996

The Associated Press
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Bob Keino paces the field in the final leg of the men's distance medley at the Drake Relays in Des Moines. The Wildcats held off Oregon to win the event.


The UA men's and women's distance medley teams both defeated Pacific 10 Conference rival Oregon this weekend on their way to victories at the Drake Relays, which headlined an outstanding meet for the Wildcats.

Arizona left the Des Moines, Iowa, competition, which is open to collegiates and individual performers - and featured Olympic champion Michael Johnson winning the 400 meters - with four titles.

"When you bring home four titles with 56 schools competing, you had an excellent meet," UA head coach Dave Murray said.

Led by sophomore Bob Keino's outstanding 1,600-meter run from the anchor position, the men's distance medley team finished first with a time of 9 minutes, 35.80 seconds, just 0.54 seconds ahead of the Ducks. Junior Luther Kopf led off for UA, with a 1,200-meter run, and was followed by junior Ibukun Akinremi, for the 400-meter leg, and senior Timur Voitetsky, who ran the 800-meter leg.

The men's win also marked the second-consecutive year that a Keino brother anchored the win at Drake. Last year, Bob's brother, Martin, led Arizona to the victory.

The Arizona women were led by junior Ann Colonna, who passed Oregon's Milena Glusac on the final turn to give the Wildcats the win in the distance medley. UA finished with a time of 11:28.59, just ahead of Oregon at 11:29.27, to give the Wildcats their first victory at Drake in that event since 1991.

Senior Karen Bennett came back from 50 meters in her 800-meter leg to give Arizona the lead as she handed off to Colonna.

Colonna fell back to third before making her move on the final turn.

"All I was trying to do was run the same pace and not worry about the other runners, and then see what I had left," Colonna said. "Luckily, it turned out to be enough."

Sophomore Virginia Camacho opened up for UA in the 1,200-meter leg and was followed by senior Allison Dring in the 400-meter leg. Colonna was a last-minute replacement for freshman Amy Skieresz, who did not compete because of a sore ankle, Murray said.

Sophomore Dominic Johnson continued to impress in the pole vault, as he won the event with a personal-best mark of 18 feet, 1 1/2 inches. His effort automatically qualified him for the NCAA Outdoor Championships on May 29 through June 1, and it shattered his own UA outdoor school record of 17-2 3/4 that he set last weekend.

"Without question, Dominic had the most outstanding performance of the week for us," Murray said.

Freshman Jussi Autio finished sixth with a vault of 16-10 3/4.

The fourth winner for the Wildcats was junior Chima Ugwu in the shot put, who won with a throw of 61 feet, 4 inches. Sophomore Tyson Lingenfelter finished third at 59-1/4. Ugwu also finished fifth in the discus at 182-2.

Arizona's 4x800 relay team of Keino, Kopf, Voitetsky and senior Jeff Haynes battled back from a slow start to finish third in 7:27.46 behind Nebraska, 7:22.68, and Minnesota at 7:23.11.

The women's 4x400-meter relay team of Bennett, Dring, Michele Ferguson and Michelle Johnson finished third with a time of 3:39.88.

Johnson, a senior, also ran the 100-meter hurdles for the Wildcats. She won her preliminary heat with a personal-best time of 13.39 seconds on Friday (which could be a school record if it is determined the wind allowance fell within the acceptable range) to advance to Saturday's final. In the final, she finished second at 13.54.

Senior Veronica Burton placed third in the long jump with a mark of 20-1 3/4.

Arizona returns to Roy P. Drachman Stadium for its final home meet of the year next Saturday, when they host the Arizona Elite Classic at 4 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.