The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 22 men’s and No. 15 women’s track and field teams will host the Tucson Elite Classic on Thursday, May 22 and Saturday, May 24. The meet, which is strictly for throwers and jumpers, brings some of the best professional track and field athletes in the world to Arizona’s Roy P. Drachman Stadium. On Thursday and Saturday, the competition starts at 4 p.m. MST and the last scheduled event is set to start at 8:30 p.m. on both days as well. All marks by collegiate athletes do not count towards qualifying for the NCAA West Preliminaries.
On Thursday for Arizona, senior Omotayo Talabi will throw the shot put at 7:30 p.m. At 5:45 p.m., senior Julie Labonté will throw the discus. In the men’s shot put competition at 8:30 p.m., redshirt freshmen Aaron Castle and Jordan Young will represent the Wildcats. Young and freshman Gerhard De Beer will throw the discus at 4 p.m. Young will also compete in the men’s hammer throw at 5:45 p.m.
Notable professional athletes competing on Thursday include, former Wildcat All-American Alyssa Hasslen. A.G. Kruger (Nike) will compete in the hammer throw; he has represented the U.S. in the last three Olympic Games in the event. Stephanie Brown Trafton (Nike) is entered in the women’s discus competition; she won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in the event for the U.S. In the men’s shot put competition, Reese Hoffa (Nike) will compete and he earned the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. He is also a three-time USA Outdoor Champion and a two-time World Champion.
On Saturday for the Wildcats, senior Amber Passalaqua and junior Shakayla McEaddy are entered in the high jump competition at 6 p.m. along with former Wildcat Brigetta Barrett (Nike). Passalaqua and freshman Aleah Hurst will also compete in the long jump at 5 p.m. Labonté and Talabi will throw the shot put at 7:30 p.m. Labonté is set to throw the discus again, this time at 5:30 p.m. Redshirt senior Nick and former Wildcat Edgar Rivera-Morales will high jump at 5 p.m. Freshman Avery Mickens will long jump at 5 p.m. Castle and Young are set to throw the shot put once more, at 8:30 p.m. again. At 4 p.m., De Beer and Young will throw the discus. Also at 5:45 p.m., Young will compete in the hammer throw.
One of the notable professional athletes competing on Saturday is Cyrus Hostetler (OTC Elite), a 2012 Olympian for the U.S. in the javelin. Zack Lloyd, a former Wildcat who represented the U.S. at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in the shot put. Russ Winger (Asics) will throw the discus; he was the runner-up at the 2013 USA Outdoor Championships. Vikas Gowda (Nike) has represented India in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in the discus. Jordan Clarke (Nike), a former Arizona State Sun Devil will compete in the shot put, he was a four-time NCAA Champion. Britney Henry will throw the hammer along with former Wildcat All-American Taylor Bush. Also in the hammer throw competition is the American-record holder, Amanda Bingson (Nike), the 2013 USA Outdoor Champion and the 2012 Olympian for the U.S. Sultana Frizell (Nike) of Canada will also be in the hammer throw, she currently holds the Roy P. Drachman record in the event. She competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat men’s and women’s track and field, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and follow @ArizonaTrack on Twitter.