No cigar this year… but close.
The University of Arizona women ‘s team matched their best conference finish ever, while Arizona State once again dominated women’s discus.
Those were just a couple of the highlights from a Pac-10 Track & Field Championship concluded yesterday that saw UofA’s women’s team finish in second place, and the ASU women right behind in third. The Sun Devil men took home a fourth-place.
Oregon won both men’s and women’s team titles at the meet, hosted by University of California, but both Arizona schools enjoyed some significant accomplishments this year, and now prepare for the first round of the NCAA Outdoor Championships when they will face the other schools from the West Region May 27 in Texas.
The 109 points scored by the UofA women’s team were 13 more than ever scored before and matched their best conference finish ever. And, thanks to a handful of athletes scoring point in seven out of 12 events, the women’s runner-up finish is their first top-five conference finish since 1997.
The women throwers scored 49 of the Wildcats’ points with a very young team this year, which portends big things in the field events in the years ahead. The throwing squad included four freshmen, a red-shirt sophomore, two red-shirt juniors – and just one senior.
Arizona’s results included two All-Conference performances, one from LaTisha Holden in the 100m hurles (13.50) and the other from Deanna Sullivan in the 400m dash (55.08).
And perhaps the most exciting event for the Wildcats came in the women’s 800m, where Christina Rodgers missed a first-place finish by .14 seconds. But her 2:04.50 finish was good enough to put her second on the school’s all-time list for the event.
Meanwhile, Arizona State came back with some memorable moments as well.
Ryan Whiting, ASU’s throwing phenom who holds three NCAA indoor national titles and established a world record in the shot put earlier this year, swept the shot and the discus. But not without working for it.
Whiting, who is headed for Penn State next year, took care of the shot put title Saturday, but entered the final round of the discus on Sunday in second place behind Aaron Dan from USC. But his throw of 193’1″ was enough to wrap up first place and the sweep of both events.
His sweep was just the 13th ever recorded in Pac-10 history and the first in six years.
Cj Navarro took care of business on the women’s side in the field events. She came from behind, moving up from third place entering the finals to win the title with a 167’6″ toss. That gave the Devils a win in the event for the fourth year in a row.
Navarro’s toss of 176’4″ in the hammer throw was a personal best for her and not only gave her a third-place finish, but moved her up to No. 7 on ASU’s all-time Top 10 list.
Jasmine Chaney was the women’s High Point Award winner with 21.5 points, while Whiting tied with Jason Lewis for the men’s award, as each got 20 points.
(Photo: ASU Athletics)