Maloney's Tavern


By Roland Lechner
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 30, 1998

UA track team blows away competition


Nicholas Valenzuela
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Junior Abdi Abdirahman won the 3000-meter, finishing 13 seconds ahead of the rest of the field at the Jim Click Wildcat Shootout Saturday. The Wildcat men won the meet, finishing 53 points ahead of second-place Ball State.

Arizona's track and field squad used superior depth and strong performances from seasoned veterans to dominate the wind-swept Jim Click Wildcat Shootout Saturday.

The Wildcat men dominated their competition, finishing 53 points ahead of second-place Ball State. The women's team edged Ball State by a single point for the No. 1 spot. Nevertheless, the windy weather conditions at the Roy P. Drachman Stadium literally blew out the chance for the athletes to get qualifying marks.

"I'm really disappointed. The wind killed a very good and competitive track meet," UA head coach Dave Murray said.

Junior Amy Skieresz' wins in the 1500 (4:40.58) and 3000-meter (9:57.56) didn't come unexpectedly. She ran these events mainly for practice, since her original event, the 5000m, wasn't part of the meet.

"It was very good as far as workout is concerned. I'm really happy now, because I did my job and helped the team in scoring," Skieresz said.

After his long absence from scoring meets, junior Abdi Abdirahman looked strong in the 3000m, finishing in 8:32.54, 13 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

"It was very difficult for me to find my rhythm at the beginning of the race because of the win. During the race I was just looking forward to finish it as fast as possible," he said.

The javelin throw discipline is one of the reasons Arizona is a better team outdoors than indoors. After throwing 235 feet last week at the Willie Williams Classic, the rough conditions Saturday didn't keep freshman Esko Mikkola from scoring 227-9 feet. He won by nearly 30 feet over the second place finisher Dan Ralph of Iowa.

"I had a great feeling while throwing today. I knew the wind takes down the javelin pretty early and you lose about 15 feet. Therefore, I'm really happy with my result," Mikkola said.

For seniors Chima Ugwu and Doug Reynolds, it was the same old situation. Ugwu finished first in the shot put and second in the discus with a strong provisional mark of 193-4, while Reynolds finished second in the shot put and won the discus scoring an automatic mark for the NCAAs with his toss of 202-10.

The decathletes resumed their events Friday during the Jim Click Multi Invitational. Although senior Dominic Johnson was disappointing in his strongest discipline, the pole vault, he still finished in second place and scored an impressive overall mark of 7632 points. The score gives him an automatic spot at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. His teammate, junior Klaus Ambrosch, placed fourth with a provisional mark, which Murray said should be good enough to secure him a trip to Buffalo as well.


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