Arizona track and field posts strong showing at ASU
Arizona track and field athletes Jasper Gray and Tatum Waggoner run a race against ASU on March 26 in Tempe. The team next competes at the Stanford Invitational this weekend in Palo Alto, Calif.
The UA track and field team competed in the ASU Invitational in Tempe over the weekend. The meet featured Pac-12 Conference and Big Ten schools.
The Pac-12 was represented by Arizona, ASU, California and Washington. Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan and Penn State all competed on the Big Ten side.
The highlight of the meet for the Wildcats would come in the form of both Sage Watson's and Tatum Waggoner’s performances in the 400-meter race, as well as the performances of all the Wildcats’ throwers in the meet.
Watson and Waggoner both put themselves in the Arizona history books once again.
Watson finished first in the race with a mark of 52.20 seconds, the best time in the country at this point in the outdoor season and the fifth-best time in Arizona history.
Waggoner finished right behind Watson in second with a time of 53.42, the seventh-best time in Arizona history for the event. Waggoner’s time sits at 10th-best in the country.
In a release from Arizona Athletics, head coach Fred Harvey said he was happy with his runners’ performances.
“The satisfying thing about any plan you put together is to be able to get results," he said. "We saw that with Sage running that big PR in the 400, a Canadian Olympic-Team qualifying mark, which was huge for her. Tatum running a PR in the 400 was great to see as well.”
As for the throwers, Viktor Gardencrans and Aaron Castle continue to improve on their seasons. In the discus event, both athletes threw new personal bests, with Gardencrans finishing in third and Castle in fourth. Gardencrans had a throw of exactly 180 feet (54.86m) and Castle had a mark of 178 feet, 10 inches (54.52m).
Both athletes also competed in the shotput event.
Castle finished in fourth, throwing the shotput 59 feet, 10.5 inches (18.25m). Gardencrans set another personal best on the day with a mark of 58 feet, 10 inches (17.93m), earning a seventh-place finish.
On the women’s side, Emma Ljungberg and Amarissa Hawker competed in the discus throw. Ljungberg had a mark of 162 feet, 5 inches (49.50m), earning herself fourth place. Hawker finished in 10th with a throw of 123 feet, 8 inches (37.70m) — a new personal record.
Freshman Hawker also competed in the shotput event, finishing in 10th with a throw of 44 feet, 9 inches (13.64m).
“The throwers continue to do things we knew they were capable of doing. We are seeing things beginning to translate from training to the competitions,” Harvey said in the release. “That was really exciting to see.”
Collins Kibet’s performance in the 800-meter race was another notable finish at the ASU Invitational, in which he finished second. Kibet had a mark of 1:46.90, just shy of his personal best. The mark currently stands at second in the nation behind the first-place runner in the race.
The next meet for the Trackcats will be in Palo Alto, California, next weekend for the Stanford Invite. The team is only expected to send some jumpers along with its distance crew to the meet.
Follow Hunter McAdams on Twitter