Track and field rack up wins at Willie Williams Classic
Arizona track and field opened the outdoor season last week with a slew of first-place finishes at the Willie Williams Classic.
The Wildcat women’s 4×100-meter relay and senior Julie Labonté in the shot put finished first in Arizona’s first home meet on Friday and Saturday.
Labonté won the shot put on Friday with a throw of 56-0 (17.07m). Labonté also finished second in the discus on Saturday with a throw of 172-3 (52.50m).
“Well, at first I had some adjustments to make, technically, but it went pretty well. I was consistently right around 55-0, so I was happy with that,” Labonté said in a press release about the shot put. “For the discus, my goal was to throw around 55m and open up with that, but I threw 52.50m. I know there’s a lot more there and, technically, there was not a lot of good things today, but I’m going to work on it and hopefully throw 55m next time out.”
Freshman Aaliyah Haggard runs the 4x100-Meter Relay at the Willie Williams Classic at Roy P. Drachman Stadium on Saturday. Haggard and senior Tamara Pridgett, senior Germe Poston, and sophomore Traci-Lynn Hicks won the 4x100 relay.
The 4×100-meter relay quartet of senior Tamara Pridgett, senior Germe Poston, sophomore Traci-Lynn Hicks and freshman Aaliyah Haggard won with a time of 45.61.
“We pieced that group together to see if we have some options,” head coach Fred Harvey said in a press release. “They ran a really nice time with a team that we just put together just after this last week of training. So now we know we have an option of four to six young ladies to pull from so we don’t have to overuse any of the ladies, like [senior] Shapri Romero or [sophomore] Nnenya Hailey.”
Individually, Poston won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.62 (-0.5 wind), which is the third-best time of her career.
Junior Elvin Kibet won the women’s 5K, with a time of 17:11.32.
Junior Stephanie Bulder, in her first time running the 1,500-meter as a Wildcat, won with a time of 4:37.25.
Freshman Jasper Gray, Poston, freshman Jasmin Pratt and Pridgett won the women’s 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:44.60. For the men, freshman Bryce Houston, junior Branden Helms, junior Neil Houlihan and freshman Miles Parish took second in 3:13.29.
Volunteer assistant coach and former Wildcat Georganne Moline won the women’s 800-meter race in 2:09.58.
Freshman Gerhard De Beer won the open discus competition with a throw of 181-5 (55.30m) while competing as an unattached athlete. De Beer is an offensive lineman on the football team and is redshirting the outdoor season.
Junior Daniel Whitham finished second in the shot put with a throw of a 51-4.5 (15.66m).
The Wildcats competed against NAU, Grand Canyon University, Vassar, Pima Community College and Central Arizona.
“It was a great workman-type meet for us this weekend,” Harvey said. “We got a lot of things accomplished; we moved a lot of athletes around into different events to try and get more volume in and strength-work in.”
—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520