Barrett wins second NCAA high jump title
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Arizona junior Brigetta Barrett capped a strong day for the Wildcats' men's and women's track and field teams Friday at the NCAA championships, winning her second straight national title in the women's high jump with a clearance of 6-4 (1.93m) at Drake University.
Barrett added 10 points to the team's total and earned her third straight All-America honor in the event. Barrett has now won four NCAA championships in her career at Arizona, and her title is the seventh NCAA outdoor championship UA has won in the women’s high jump.
"I was really proud of everybody," Barrett said. "Everybody had a really good day. This is the most consistent I’ve ever been in my life. Constantly growing and growing and being able to see my growth -- freshman year I got third and sophomore year I won with 6-1. So 6-4 is a really good way to end the year for NCAAs and really good pace for Olympic trials."
In the men's 5K, sophomore Lawi Lalang earned a third-place finish and senior Stephen Sambu took fifth place. Lalang clocked a time of 13:42.20 before Sambu finished in 13:43.76. Lalang earned his second-straight All-America honor in the 5K, while Sambu earned his first All-America honor in the event. The Wildcats have now earned 16 All-America accolades in the 5,000 meters in school history.
Lalang will return to the track on Saturday for the 1,500-meter final.
“I’m not disappointed at all,” Lalang said. “This is really a blessing to me; I’ve been having a tough season, so finishing third in that race was really nice for me. I’ve been having hamstring problems, and coming here and doing well, I’m just really happy because I didn’t expect it.”
Junior Tyler Johnson took eighth place in the men’s hammer throw with a toss of 209-7 (63.88m). Johnson added one point to the team's total and earned All-America honors for the first time in his career. Johnson is Arizona’s first All-American in the men’s hammer throw since Tapio Kolunsarka in 1997.
In the men’s triple jump, junior Nick Ross and freshman Jovon Cunningham competed for the Wildcats, with Cunningham finishing in 11th place with a mark of 51-9.75 (15.79m) and Ross posting a best jump of 51-1.5 (15.58m), good for 15th place. Ross and Cunningham both earned All-Pac-12 honors in the event this year.
"Day 3 went pretty much according to plan," UA coach Fred Harvey said. "We’re right where we thought we’d be considering some of the mishaps that we had. We’re fighting really well and we’re in a great position right now, especially on the men’s side, to keep fighting for one of those trophies.
"I’m excited for Brigetta (Barrett) getting another NCAA championship -- she’s just absolutely amazing. It’s a great da, and we have to keep fighting."
On the men’s side, Florida leads with 36 points, Virginia Tech is in second with 28 points and Arizona is in third with 28 points.
In the women's standings, LSU and Oregon are tied for first with 40 points, Oklahoma is third with 24 points, Stanford is fourth with 22 points and Kansas and Tennessee are tied for fifth with 21 points. Arizona is in 14th place with 12 points.