By Drew Sibr

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona track and field team will match up against the nation's top collegiate competitors today and tomorrow at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

Pacific 10 Conference track and field Athletes of the Week David Loshonkohl and Trecia Roberts will lead the Wildcats against a field of over 7,000 collegians. The Drake Relays feature 20 NCAA champions, three of whom are from the UA.

The meet will prepare the Wildcats for the upcoming postseason. The Pac-10 Championships are May 20-21 at Washington State University in Pullman, and the NCAA Outdoor Championships are June 1-4 in Boise, Idaho.

Senior Brenda Sleeuwenhoek won the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 12. The Gouda, Holland, native has the NCAA's fastest time this season in the event at 16 minutes, 4.71 seconds.

Three-time NCAA outdoor high jump champion Tanya Hughes returns to action for the first time since the NCAA indoor meet. She has been rehabilitating from minor knee surgery on Feb. 14.

NCAA indoor high jump champion J.C. Broughton also will compete at the Relays. Broughton finished second at this year's NCAA Indoors.

Four Wildcats have automatically qualified for the NCAA outdoor championships, while nine others have qualified with provisional marks. Loshonkohl will throw the hammer, Oleg Krichenko will throw the javelin, Karen Bennett will run the 800 meters, and Sleeuwenhoek will attempt to defend her title in the 5,000 meters. The only thing that may slow the Wildcats down at the Drake meet is the weather, and the forecast is for wind and rain.

"We're not going to get a lot of qualifying times," said Murray in regard to the weather. "It will not be the ideal weather to run, jump or throw in."

Loshonkohl earned the Pac-10's weekly honor after breaking the UA hammer- throw record for the third time this season. His mark of 225 feet, 10 inches was the ninth-best in Pac-10 history.

Roberts received the Pac-10's award after she also broke an Arizona record. The senior transfer from Wyoming broke an eight-year-old school record in the 100-meter hurdles in 13.47, also the ninth- best mark in Pac-10 history.

In the conference standings, three UA men hold the top spot in events. Lorenzo Hathorne leads the conference in the 100 and 200 meters. Brian Williams' high jump of 7-1 3/4 is a Pac-10 best, and Krichenko is No. 1 in the javelin.

Sleeuwenhoek leads the 5,000 meters, and Kayla Montgomery has the longest triple jump in the conference. Read Next Article