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On your mark ...


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Senior Carolyn Jackson sprints at a meet last season. Jackson and the rest of the UA track squad open their season this weekend at the University of Nevada .

By Francisco Merced
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 27, 2000
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The Arizona men's and women's track and field team are focused on contending for the NCAA Championships in March.

But in order to finish strong, both teams will have to take care of business early in the season.

Arizona travels to Reno, Nev., tomorrow and Saturday to take part in the Silver State Games at the University of Nevada.

"We are taking this meet to kind of see where we are at this early in the season," said UA men's and women's head coach Dave Murray. "For most of the people ... this will be their first competition."

Both teams are poised to begin their respective seasons.

"I am very excited about the upcoming season," said senior Jeff Dutoit, men's team captain and an All-American. "The team looks very strong this year and with the return of several All-Americans, we should do very well come Pac-10 Championship time."

Dutoit, who will be competing in the pole vault, is joined by fellow All-Americans Esko Mikkola in the javelin and Patrick Nduwimana, a World Championship semifinalist, in the 800 meters. All three should challenge for national titles this season.

The rest of the men's team, according to Coach Murray, is strong up front but lacks depth in other events.

"The long and triple jumps may be our biggest problem," Murray said.

The men's team is trying to improve on last season, when they finished 14th in the NCAA Championships.

The men's team should be helped by junior Mike Kenyon, who transferred to Arizona from Sacramento State University. Kenyon was last season's Big Sky Conference champion in the 400 and 200. Accompanying Kenyon will be junior Eugene Kibby and senior Chris Golston.

In the mid- to long-distance races, Arizona has several members from last fall's cross country Pac-10 championship team to aid its efforts. Team captain senior Jeremy Lyons finished second last season in the steeplechase at the Pac-10 Championships and figures to be in the mix again this season.

Although the team lost Abdi Abdirahman, who placed sixth in the 10,000 meters last season, to graduation, junior David Lopez returns in the 5000 and 10,000.

The women's team will be led by senior team captain Carolyn Jackson, a three-time All-American, in the 400. Along with Jackson will be last year's freshman sensation Brianna Glenn, who lead the team in total points. She will be competing in a variety of events, including the 100, 200 and the long jump.

The rest of the sprinters include sophomore Alexandra Komnos, junior Rori Kelly and senior Nicole Thomas.

Junior pole vaulter Andrea Neary said she is anxious to see how the team performs this season.

"It will allow us to gauge ourselves and set the standards for the rest of the season," said Neary, whose 12-foot-4 pole vault is a school record.

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