Pac-12 teams win Jim Click Shootout; UA sets nat’l marks

The University of Arizona track & field program not only won the lion’s share of titles at the Jim Click Shootout over the weekend, but also helped the Pac-12 conference take the winner’s stand.

Since there were teams from multiple conferences taking part in this year’s Jim Click Shootout, hosted by UofA, the scoring was done on a conference-by-conference basis.  The Pac-12 was represented by Arizona, Arizona State, University of Colorado, and University of California.

The Pac-12 teams combined for 460 points, just enough to edge past the Big 10 (422.3) and the ACC (288.6).

Arizona’s No. 11 men’s team and No. 18 women’s team won a combined 13 events, and set a new school record in the process.

The record fell in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, where Georganne Moline crossed the tape in a time of 56.02 to win the event and set not only a personal-best mark, but the best time in the country so far this year.

Moline, a junior from Thunderbird High School in Phoenix, was running her first hurdle race of the year when she broke the school record that has stood for almost 16 years.

“Honestly, all I thought about was practice,” she said after posting the win.  “Coach (Fred) Harvey always tells me to run with confidence, so that’s all I really thought about.  I know how to run this race, I just had to put it into effect.”

Other Wildcat winners included Brigetta Barrett and Edgar Rivera-Morales who swept the men’s and women’s high-jump competition.  Barrett, the defending 2011 NCAA Outdoor Champion, cleared 6’4.25″ and Rivera-Morales won the men’s event with a leap of 7’4.5″.

The Cats also enjoyed a sweep of the 1,500-meter races, as Stephen Sambu won the men’s event with a personal-best time of 3:43.56, and Elizabeth Apgar took the women’s title in 3:46.69.  Sambu’s time is also the best in the country.

Additional distance victories came in the men’s steeplechase, where freshman Kenji Bierig clocked a personal-best of 9:37.77, and Jen Bergman won the women’s 3,000 meters with a 9:46.45 run.

Tyler Johnson and Alyssa Hasslen, both juniors added a couple more titles in the field events.  Johnson won the men’s hammer throw with a toss of 203’04” and Hasslen threw the iron ball 58’01” to win the shot put.

Rounding out the individual Wildcat wins were Echos Blevins in the 400 meters (53.38) and Lawi Lalang, who won the 800 meters in a time of 1:49.54.

Blevins and Moline also each ran a leg of the winning 4×400 relay, joining with Tamara Pridgett and Ariel Coleman to post a time of 3:34.37.

Arizona State sent just four athletes to the Jim Click, and it was the lone woman that made the big splash.  Keia Pinnick‘s performance in the heptathlon earned her a third place on ASU’s all-time list and her 5,622 points were good enough for a second place among collegiate athletes competing in the event.

Her 2:10.78 time in the 800 meters, the final event in the heptathlon, was a full two second better than the next competitor and is the fastest heptathlon 800-meter time in school history.

The Arizona Wildcat coach, Fred Harvey, was particularly pleased with the way his teams performed at the Jim Click, helping to prepare them for the competition immediately ahead this weekend at the Stanford Invitational.

“We wanted to see, as a team, what we could be in terms of being competitive with the top competition in the country,” he said following the event.  “Every single event had probably the top six or seven marks in the country for that event, and we were a part of that.”

(Photo: Arizona Athletics)