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Track continues charge for postseason

By J. Ryan Casey
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, February 14, 2005
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It was yet another successful weekend for the Arizona track and field teams, as they continued to increase the number of athletes participating in post season events.

The Wildcats won the 60-and 200-meter dashes on both the men's and the women's sides, thanks to underclassmen Bobby McCoy and Nikki Martin.

"It was really satisfying because that's where we're going to have the conference meet," Arizona head coach Fred Harvey said, referring to the Mountain Pacific Conference Championships Feb. 25-26.

"We wanted to be able to get all the athletes there and understand what the environment's going to be," he said.

McCoy, a freshman, won the 60 in 6.88 seconds, a week after breaking the school record in the same event with a time of 6.8 seconds. He also took the 200 in 21.62 seconds.

"Bobby McCoy ran exceptionally well," Harvey said. "He didn't run a real good preliminary round, but he made the changes he needed to make and then won."

Meanwhile, the sophomore Martin won her events in 7.52 seconds and 24.73 seconds, respectively.

"Right now she's really taking off in the sprints, and she's got to be one of the favorites at the conference meet in the 60-meter as well as the 200," Harvey said. The teams headed to two separate meets, with part of the distance team heading to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational Friday and Saturday, and the rest of the team traveling to Seattle for the Husky Invitational Saturday.

In Fayetteville, the members of the distance team enjoyed a successful meet, with the four-man medley team clocking their second-fastest time of the season (9:40.68).

The anchor of that team, junior Robert Cheseret, also placed sixth in the 3,000, automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships with a time of 7:54.89. Cheseret and fellow junior Jonah Maiyo also provisionally qualified in the mile run, coming in at 4:02.10 and 4:04.60, respectively.

On the women's side, senior Beth Hoge finished ninth in the mile run clocking in at 5:02.08. That time qualifies her for the MPSF Championships next weekend.

In Seattle, the Wildcats had a particularly strong day in the throwing events, with two athletes qualifying for the NCAA Championships March 11-12.

Senior Ilona Rutjes had a season-best throw of 51 feet 1/4 inches, placing third in the shot put and provisionally qualifying for the NCAAs in the process. Junior Sean Shields provisionally qualified for the championships in the shot put as well, placing third with a toss of 60 feet, 3 1/4 inches.

"Ilona is, really by trait, she's a discus thrower," Harvey said. "We're doing a lot of different things indoors with the shot put to keep her competing and get her more involved with what we're doing as a team."

The teams return to action next weekend in Flagstaff for the Springo Invitational hosted by Northern Arizona University.

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