By Christopher Wuensch
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday January 24, 2003
The Midwest is a popular destination for Arizona athletics this weekend, as UA men's (Kansas) and women's (Wisconsin) track and field travel to the central time zone.
Coming off of a solid opening weekend in northern Arizona, where Arizona saw 20 of its athletes qualify for post-season bids, the Wildcats continue their northern march, traveling to the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center this Saturday to compete in the Wisconsin Invitational.
Joining the UA for this indoor meet will be squads from Wisconsin, Indiana State and Marquette.
The full squad of women's runners and field athletes will be making the trip to Madison. Currently the women's team is ranked 16th in the nation. The men's team will bring a partial squad comprised of distance runners and field athletes.
Head coach Fred Harvey said this weekend's meet will be another step in building confidence and stamina for the upcoming indoor championships and outdoor season. Harvey looks to a number of his athletes to qualify for both Mountain Pacific qualifying times and scores, and NCAA post-season berths as well.
"We have confidence in the type of team that we are that we can give ourselves opportunities for success," Harvey said.
This weekend the Wildcats will look to face tougher competition than they competed against last weekend in Flagstaff.
"Wisconsin traditionally is one of the top distance-running schools every year," Harvey said.
For the men, distance runner Robert Cheseret from Kenya will be making his indoor track debut. Cheseret is the brother of 2000 Olympic bronze medallist Bernard Lagat. Lagat, a former Washington State standout, won his medal as a distance runner in the 1500m race.
On the women's side, Beth Hoge is the team's top mile runner. The sophomore looks to continue her past success that resulted in a 5,000-meter 13th place finish in last year's NCAA Championships in which she made her collegiate debut.
With the amount of newcomers the women's team has this season, UA track will look to travel more of them than ever. This is designed to prepare the women (and men) for the rigors of a long travel schedule.