Track teams impress at Seattle meet

By Tom Knauer
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, March 1, 2004

Spurred by strong finishes, Arizona's track teams turned in solid performances Saturday at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Seattle.

Though overshadowed by eventual champion UCLA, the men's team moved up one spot in the event's final day to take fourth place overall with 77.5 points. Wildcat senior Kyle Goklish led the charge with a 14:09.51 time in the 5,000 meters, setting a MPSF meet record.

Fellow senior Jevon Mason placed second in the 400 meters final with a time of 47.68 seconds. Earlier, Mason added a point in the standings with a fourth-place finish in the 200 meters final, clocking in at 21.70 seconds.

Sophomore Angel Perkins' victory in the 60 meters (an NCAA-qualifying 7.45 seconds) paced the women's squad, which maintained its fifth-place standing throughout the weekend.

Junior Sharifa Jones placed second in the 60-meter hurdles, improving her school record to 8.24 seconds.

The Stanford Cardinal took first place among the women with 148 points, followed by UCLA with 109 points.

Arizona finished with 62 points.

"The competition level was so high, in terms of the teams that competed at an NCAAlevel," said UA head coach Fred Harvey. "We exhausted our point potential."

Junior Connie Jerz solidified her NCAA eligibility in the women's pole vault final with a season-high of 13 feet 2 1/2 inches, good enough to finish in third place.

On the men's side, the 4x400 meter relay team, comprised of freshman Jeremie Brower, sophomore Daniel Olea and seniors Adrain Thomas and Mason, placed sixth with a mark of 3:15.45 another season high.

"We had, in my mind, one of the best championships that we have ever had," Harvey said. "We ended up with five champions out of the conference, seven NCAA qualifiers and 28 season bests."

While some Wildcats will continue indoor competition in Seattle next weekend, others look ahead to Arizona's first home meet of the season. The Wildcat Classic, which opens the teams' outdoor season, takes place March 6 at Roy P. Drachman Stadium.

The NCAA Indoor Championships start March 12 in Fayetteville, Ark.

"The NCAA qualifiers, we're really looking to get them fine-tuned for that championship," Harvey said. "The meet this weekend is really there to give a lot of the athletes the opportunity to get an outdoor competition in."