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Track starts strong in outdoor opener

By Brian Savitch
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday Mar. 4, 2002

The Arizona men's and women's track and field teams wrapped up competition Saturday in the Bill Sawyer Invitational.

Although the meet in Tempe was a non-scoring event, the team was still able to check its progress on an outdoor level.

In the first outdoor meet of the season, the Wildcats accumulated seven Pacific 10 qualifiers and one NCAA provisional qualifier.

The Wildcat women had a stellar performance, accounting for three of the Pac-10 qualifiers and the one NCAA provisional qualifier, while the men produced the remaining four Pac-10 qualifiers.

On the women's side, senior Alexandra Komnos placed second in the 100-m high hurdles with a time of 13.79, which earned her a qualifying spot for the Pac-10 championships.

In the 400-m intermediate hurdles, sophomore Chelsea Powell finished second with a time of 1:02.48.

In the middle distance races, junior Danielle Price had a strong showing in the 800-m, and placed first with a time of 2:14.42. Sophomore Beth Hoge also finished third in the 800-m, just a few seconds behind Price, with a time of 2:17.22.

"This was kind of a fun meet," Hoge said. "Coach mixed everyone around for fun and everyone ran a different race. He threw me in for the 800 and I usually run the 3,000 or 5,000. I think people did well for the most part."

In the 1500-m, the women filled one of their Pac-10 qualifying spots with senior Cara Cline, who finished third in a time of 4:38.98.

Junior Kim Bates placed second in the 3,000-m with a time of 10:15.99, and freshman Andrea Schwartz finished second in the 2,000-m steeplechase with a time of 7:35.65.

The Wildcat women also swept the top three places in the pole vault. Junior Phyllis Brown came in first with a height of 11-foot-10 and junior Sarah Jacobs finished second with a height of 11-foot-6. Freshman Whitney Schauer placed third, reaching a height of 11-foot-2 1/2.

On the men's side, freshman Jeff Hunter finished first in both the 100-m high hurdles (14.27) and the 400-m intermediate hurdles (52.42). With the times, Hunter was able to qualify for the Pac-10 Championships in both events.

In the men's distance races, senior Tom Prindiville placed second in the 1,500-m, finishing in a time of 4:05.3 and freshman Aaron Powell placed second in the 800-m with a time of 1:57.43.

Also, sophomore Mark Anderson emerged victorious in the 2,000-m steeplechase, finishing in 6:07.17, and sophomore Mike Mortensen won the pole vault event with a final height of 15-foot-6.

"This was the first outdoor meet of the season, and it gave me an idea of where I stand," Anderson said. "We had some really good individual performances and it looks like it's going to be a pretty good year."

Richard Legarra and Matt Wagner also earned Pac-10 qualifying spots in the hammer throw and javelin, respectively.

With many athletes having the week off to rest for the NCAA Championships next weekend, practice will start on its normal schedule in preparation for Friday's championships in Arkansas.


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