Wildcats set records in split with in state rivals
Senior Nick Ross shakes hands with track and field director Fred Harvey during Arizona’s senior day ceremonies at the double dual against ASU and NAU on Saturday. Ross’ high jump of 7-6.5 at the meet was the No. 1 collegiate high jump mark of the year.
Arizona men’s and No. 11 women’s track and field teams went 3-1 against their in-state rivals and set a series of school and personal records on Saturday.
The No. 11 UA women beat ASU 106.5-91.5 and NAU 124-65. The Arizona men lost to the Sun Devils 104.5 to 95.5 but beat the Lumberjacks 120.5-62.5
Senior Nick Ross broke the school record in the high jump competition with a leap of 7-6.5 (2.30m). The record had been held since 1980 by James Frazier, who has also held the Roy P. Drachman Stadium record since 1981.
Ross’ jump is No. 1 in the country and No. 5 in the world this year. He said in a press release that it was a “big relief” to break the school record.
“It’s a big weight off my shoulders; I’ve been working so hard and training so hard,” Ross said. “I’ve been jumping at the school record in multiple meets now but it was nice to finally get it [Saturday] at our home stadium. … My family was here; the crowd was amazing so I couldn’t have asked for better conditions.”
Freshman Avery Mickens won the men’s long jump with a mark of 24-9 (7.54m, 0.0 wind), the second best in his career. Ross was second.
Ross did, however, win the triple-jump competition with a season-best leap of 51-1.75 (15.59m, 0.0 wind). Junior Ali Rodseth finished second in the women’s triple jump.
Junior Shakayla McEaddy won the women’s high jump with a personal record leap of 5-9.25 (1.76m) in the competition.
The 4×100-meter team, senior Tamara Pridgett, senior Shapri Romero, sophomore Traci-Lynn Hicks and senior Germe Poston finished second with a time of 44.27. However, that broke the school record they had set on April 12.
The women’s 4×400-meter relay team — sophomore Nnenya Hailey, freshman Jasper Gray, Pridgett and Romero — also took second but ran a season-best time of 3:37.18.
“That was an exciting race for myself and the group,” Romero said in a press release. “Tamara had a really good leg out of the hole. … We had a good exchange and then my exchange with Traci wasn’t bad. The handoff from Traci to Germe wasn’t the best, but we still got a school record, so as soon as we tune those up we’ll be ready.”
Romero won the women’s 400-meter race with a personal record time of 51.96, the second best in school history and in the Pac-12 this year.
“Breaking 52 seconds in the 400 meters felt so good,” Romero said. “We have been working for this for so long, I know I am a 51-second runner, and it just felt good from the beginning.”
Poston won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.56 (0.0 wind). Romero won the 200-meter, while Poston finished second.
Hailey won the women’s 100-meter hurdles in 13.48 (0.0 wind), the second-best time of her career. Sophomore Traci-Lynn Hicks was second, in 13.71, the second-best mark of her career.
Hailey also won the 400-meter hurdles, with sophomore Morgan Struble coming in second with a personal record time of 58.39.
Senior Julie Labonté won the women’s shot put, while senior Omotayo Talabi was third. Labonté took second in the discus, with a throw of 184-1 (56.12m), the fourth-best mark of her career.
Freshman Jordan Young won the men’s hammer throw while taking fourth in the discus with a personal best toss of 175-2 (53.39m). Freshman Gerhard De Beer took second in the discus and freshman Aaron Castle won the men’s shot put.
Senior Lawi Lalang won the men’s 1,500-meter, followed by freshman Collins Kibet in second place. Collins Kibet won the 800 meters, while Lalang was fourth.
On the women’s side, sophomore Kate Penney was third in the women’s 1,500-meter race, and junior Elvin Kibet was fourth with a personal-best time of 4:29.11. Senior Meg Bellino took second in the 800 meters.
—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520