UA fares well in final tune-up for NCAAs
At the annual Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship in Reno, Nev., the UA men's and women's track teams made an impressive showing.
The men's team placed second, while the women finished in third place in what was a warm-up meet for the NCAA national indoor championships.
Arizona head coach Dave Murray was very pleased with the teams' performance, "overall, we had a very good meet and competed very well," he said. "We also had some great individual performances."
The men's team had a strong showing, finishing second out of the eight teams which participated in the meet. Stanford was the only team to finish ahead of the Wildcats.
The meet marked the first time UA had to run in a preliminary and final race format. In some circumstances, Wildcat athletes were caught finishing one race and in turn beginning another.
This cycle wore down some of the runners, and their times were directly affected by it. Case in point was Wildcat sophomore Mike Kenyon who ran a 21.60 seconds in the preliminary of the 200-meter race, which was the fastest qualifying time for the event.
The time was also a season best for Kenyon.
On Saturday, however, he finished in fourth place in the 200-meter final.
"There was definitely some wear and tear from Friday, but overall we (as a team) performed really well," Kenyon said.
The women also performed well and, like the men, ran well, finishing in third place out of eleven teams, and several athletes continued to improve in preparation for the NCAAs.
Sophomore Tara Chaplin won her event in the 5,000 in 16 minutes 51.56 seconds, and senior Carolyn Jackson tied for first place in the 400 with a 53.76.
Another winner for the UA women was sophomore Brianna Glenn, taking first in the 55-meter dash with a 6.84.
Glenn's time marks the fourth time she has broken the 55-meter record this season.
In the 55-meter high hurdles, junior Rori Kelly also had a strong performance, finishing in second place with a time of 8.10.
"I felt really good this meet. I finally ran to my level," Kelly said.
Wildcats who have not qualified for the NCAA Championships will run in the Bill Sawyer Invitational this weekend.
Arizona still winless on road
The Arizona gymnastics' team remained winless on the road this season after losing to Utah on Friday.
The No.23 Wildcats fell to the No.5 Utes, 193.475 to 196.525, bringing their record to 5-8 overall and extending Utah's winning streak to 156 consecutive wins at home.
"There are a lot more positives than negatives that came from this meet," head coach Bill Ryden said. "It was our highest road score of the year and will improve our rankings overall."
Senior All-American Heidi Hornbeek took first place on the vault for the second week in a row tying a season high 9.875. Hornbeek tied for third on the bars (9.875) and fourth on the floor (9.75). She also finished in third place in the all-around with a score of 39.325.
"It was good learning experience for me because all the corrections I needed to make from previous meets I made," Hornbeek said. "Now, of course, I have corrections from this meet to make. It is a never ending process."
Junior Kara Fry finished with a score of 38.825 in the all-around, putting her in fourth place overall.
Sophomore Emily Peterman tied for sixth place on the bars, setting a career-high with a score of 9.75. Meanwhile, junior Heather Straccia set a career-high on the vault with a 9.75.
"We did really well on vault and had one of our best beam performances as a team all year," Ryden said. "We made improvements where we needed them, but we still have some flukish problems to deal with."
After delivering strong performances on all four events and winning the all-around title last week, sophomore Randi Liljenquist struggled throughout the meet against the Utes. Liljenquist's best performance of the evening occurred on the floor where she earned sixth place with a score of 9.7.
"I think we all have some areas that need work," Hornbeek said. "We will focus a lot on bars and floor in practice this week."
Laxcats stunned by play of Bates
The Arizona Laxcats knew that Bates College would provide a tough challenge for them, but they never thought the Bobcats would dominate them.
The Laxcats (2-2) received a harsh reality check after losing to the Bobcats 21-5 at Wildcat Field on Friday.
"Bates showed us what type of team we need to be," junior midfielder Matt Wilkens said. "They showed us the level of play that we want to achieve."
Bates, a Division III varsity team, came out firing in the first quarter scoring seven goals on only 12 shots.
"The quick start shocked some people," junior defenseman Jeff Cady said. "It was hard to get back together after that and it did not make things easier." Arizona fought back somewhat in the second quarter showing some signs of life.
Trailing 9-0 they scored three consecutive goals and went into the locker room losing 12-4.
The Laxcats, though, could not muster a comeback in the second half and were beaten for nine more Bobcat goals.
Arizona took 24 shots on goal in the game, scoring on five of them. The Bobcats had a trio of senior goalies who combined for 13 saves.
"Bates just came out and played at a level we have not been playing or practicing at," Cady said. "I was expecting a good game but they beat us in every aspect of the game."
The defense, which has carried the Laxcats through the first two games of the season, struggled in the loss.
"We need to learn how to respond to different types of offensive sets," Cady said. "Bates offense was one we have never seen before."
The important factor for the Laxcats is the loss does not effect their playoff hopes since the game was a non-conference game.
Men's golf takes second place at John Burns Intercollegiate
With four holes left and Brigham Young holding a three stroke lead, the UA men's golf team was in striking distance of capturing the team title at the John Burns Intercollegiate in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Friday.
"The tournament was right there for us to win it," All-American Senior Derek Gillespie said.
The Wildcats, though, were unable to capitalize on their opportunity as the Cougars broke away from the pack by shooting a 33-under-par 831 to win the team title.
UA head coach Rick LaRose told his team to be aggressive on the last few holes.
"Coach said to attack the course and play as well as you can," freshman Ricky Barnes said.
Arizona finished the tournament tied for second place with Oklahoma State, shooting a 25-under-par 839.
Although the Wildcats couldn't bring the title back to Tucson, Barnes was not disappointed with his team's performance.
"We were pretty happy with our performance," Barnes said. "As long as we are in contention down the stretch, that's all we can ask for."
Gillespie was also pleased with his team's performance.
"We all played pretty well, which is good and that's what we have to do," Gillespie said. "You can't rely on one or two guys."
Gillespie was in the chase for the individual title throughout the tournament, but a few misplaced shots caused him to slip into seventh place with a seven-under-par 209.
Gillespie stayed poised, though and was able to shoot a six-under-par 66 on the last day of the tournament.
"I got in some tree trouble but still managed to shoot a 66. I played good all three days but just had a couple of bad holes," Gillespie said. "We were in second almost the whole tournament and we played pretty solid, we just played solid but didn't happen to get many breaks."
UA wins 2000 'Bama Bash
In their fourth tournament in the past four weeks, the No. 3 UA softball team swept throught 2000 'Bama Bash, capturing the tournament's championship.
Arizona, 20-1 overall, went a perfect 6-0 behind the solid pitching of junior Becky Lemke and sophomore Jennie Finch.
Lemke beat No. 15 DePaul twice and struck out 13 against No. 20 Alabama in a 5-2 victory.
Junior shortstop Allison Andrade also hit a home run in the Alabama game.
The UA also defeated Georgia Tech on Saturday.
The final victory against DePaul came in the championship game yesterday, a 6-1 win.
In the semifinals, the Wildcats had little problems with Drake, as they won 18-0, with Finch earning the victory.
Finch also pitched a perfect game against Drake earlier in the tournament, striking out 10 of the 15 batters she faced. Arizona won the contest 9-0.
For more individual statistics and team scores check the Arizona Daily Wildcat, Tuesday.
Women's hockey shut out by ASU
The Arizona Icers women's club hockey team knows it has a long way to go before it ranks among the nation's best.
The Icers (3-7-1) are in only their first season of existence, and like many first-year squads they have had some growing pains.
So Saturday night's 7-0 loss at the Gateway Ice Center to Arizona State, which has had a team for three years, shouldn't come as that big of a surprise.
"A lot of it is experience and they've got some new players, I was told, that added to their experience," UA team president Tami Thornburg said.
The She Devils scored four goals in the first period, with three coming in a two minute, 35 second stretch, to pull away easily.
ASU forward Alexis Schmidt-Pederson scored twice in the first period, while forward Diana Connor had two goals and an assist during the game. Forward Amy Graff scored two goals as well.
"They've been around longer, they've played together longer, they really have the shooting skills really honed," said UA goalie Stephanie Aronson, who had 31 saves on the night. "I think we've got the effort. And we hung in there, we just got flustered when they scored all those goals early on."
The Icers couldn't get any sort of offense going against ASU's tough defense, even when a tripping penalty gave them a power play in the third quarter.