By Ryan Gray
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The UA track and field team won eight events this weekend at the ASU Bill Sawyer Invitational at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.
Distance runner Jean Harvey turned in the top individual performance for the Wildcats.
The senior won the 5,000-meter in a time of 18:36.12, her first victory since the 1993 cross country season. Harvey was forced to sit out the entire '94 season with a stress fracture.
All-American David Loshonkohl won the hammer throw with a mark of 214 feet, 11 inches, ahead of teammate Aaron Corcorran, who finished second with a throw of 198-9. Corcorran's performance was a career best and the fourth-best in UA history.
Both individuals threw distances that qualified them for the NCAAs provisionally.
Junior Tim Smoak ran away from the field in the 400 with a time of 49.18, as did Viola Shaffer in the 1,500 (4:36.30). Art Jimenez won the 5,000 with a time of 14:51.45.
The UA also captured the men's and women's divisions of the 4x400 relay. The men also won the 4x100 relay.
"We got a chance to run our short relay for the first time," UA head coach Dave Murray said of the 4x100. "Our times were very respectable."
Team scores were not recorded because the meet was held as an all-comers.
The meet was a chance for athletes who have not competed much this season to get some work in.
"It was good because some of the kids who don't get much of a chance to compete got to compete," Murray said.
However, Murray said the season will begin to take on greater significance in the next two weeks, when members of his team will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championship and at the UA's Willie Williams Classic.
"Every meet we have will be an excellent, excellent meet with (individual) emphasis on the Pac-10s and NCAAs, plus winning some meets," he said.
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Five UA track and field athletes have officially qualified for this weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships in Indianapolis.
"We look at the NCAA indoor championships as an extra reward for our athletes who have performed well during our limited indoor season," Murray said. "Since our primary emphasis is on the outdoor season, we look at these championships as an individual outing, rather than a team event."
Murray said the nation's 16 best distances in each event qualify for the championships. The top 14 times qualify in most running events, with distance events taking as few as 10 athletes because no heats are held, only finals.
Loshonkohl leads the list of Wildcats competing in the meet.
Loshonkohl made the field with an automatic qualifying distance of 68-10 in the 35-pound weight throw, setting a new school record in the process. He will be attempting to better last season's performance in the championships, when he finished 14th with a throw of 62-4.
The remaining athletes who will be joining Loshonkohl are runners.
Leo Simmons and Michelle
Johnson will represent the UA in the men's and women's 55 hurdles. Simmons qualified with a time of 7.27 seconds in the triangular meet with ASU and NAU Feb. 11. Johnson qualified in the same meet with a 7.87.
Rounding out the list of qualifiers are distance runners Shaffer and Suzanne Castruita.
Shaffer qualified in the 5,000 by winning Feb. 18 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championships with a time of 16:43.63. Castruita earned an invitation in the 3,000 with a mark of 9:37.26, set at the Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational.
Freshman Bob Keino qualified in the mile but will not compete because of a bout with the flu, resulting in lost practice time.
"You don't throw him into the lion's den when he's not healthy," Murray said. "Being a freshman, he has a lot of (future NCAA championship) opportunities.
"Our goal is to ... achieve All-American status."
An athlete becomes an All-American by placing in the top eight finishes in a given event.
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