By J. Ryan Casey
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, March 24, 2005
The Arizona track and field teams play host to a number of different athletes at the Wildcat Combined Events held today at 11 a.m. at Drachman Stadium, but the Wildcats will be represented by only one member: decathlete Jake Arnold.
The sophomore, who competed in the NCAA Indoor National Championships March 11-12, will have some tough competition during the two-day event, including Wisconsin's Ben Roland, who also competed in the NCAAs.
"We have some good guys with decent marks coming in," Arnold said of the competition. "The biggest guy is (Roland)."
Arizona head coach Fred Harvey said that hosting this event is a good change of pace for Arnold.
"We put together this event because it gives him an opportunity to compete at home," Harvey said. "We have a great field right now coming in. He should have some great
Arnold agreed that it was nice to have a break from all the travel of late.
"We've been gone every weekend, so it's good to finally be home for a meet," he said.
In addition to Wisconsin, Tennessee, Kansas State and Pacific 10 Conference foe Oregon are also participating in the 10-event meet.
Harvey said that the tough competition shouldn't faze Arnold.
"The level of competition here will be no greater than what he's seen at the national championships," he said.
Arnold agreed that his experience at nationals will help him throughout the outdoor season.
"It gave me an experience that I've never had before because it's such a big meet," Arnold said. "I did some stuff wrong, and I did some stuff right. I just need to learn from that and bring it outdoors."
The Santa Rosa, Calif., native, who became Arizona's first heptathlete earlier this year, said that the indoor season helps him to train after the outdoor season gets out.
"It's been nice to have something else to do indoors while outdoors isn't going on," he said.
Being a decathlete requires rigorous training, ranging from four to six hours of practice a day, with minimal time off in between.
"It's pretty time consuming," Arnold said. "I have to definitely have the heart to get out there and do my stuff.
"Everyone pretty much gets one day off every week, but my days off, I'm usually throwing, so I just treat that as my day off," he said.
The event continues through tomorrow.