Neary Sixth in Pole Vault
DURHAM, N.C. - University of Arizona junior Patrick Nduwimana became the second Wildcat to win a NCAA individual title Friday, winning the men's 800m and setting a school record by almost a second at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Duke University's Wallace Wade Stadium.
Nduwimana, a native of Burundi, made his move with 150 meters left in the race, taking the lead from Brown's Trinity Gray with 100 meters remaining.
Down the homestretch, he held off the defending NCAA champion, Missouri's Derek Peterson. Nduwimana finished in 1 minute, 45.08 seconds, bettering his own school record of 1:46.03, which he ran last season in a European meet. His time is also No. 4 in Pacific-10 Conference history and is the fastest collegiate time in the nation this year.
"I thought that the race went out really fast in the first 200 meters, but I felt like I had enough left to go in the end," Nduwimana said. "I had nothing to lose, so I went for it with 100 (meters) to go."
Earlier in the day, Wildcat senior Esko Mikkola won the javelin competition, the second NCAA title of his career, with a throw of 238 feet, 2 inches. He became the ninth person to win multiple NCAA javelin titles. He won the title in 1998, as well.
The two titles and a third place finish by senior Jeff Dutoit in Thursday's pole vault final gave the Wildcat men 26 points and sole possession of third place after two days of competition.
The Women's team scored its first points of the competition. Junior Andrea Neary tied her school record in the women's pole vault final, clearing 13-1 (4.00m) to finish sixth to score three points.
Neary became the first Wildcat to earn All-American honors in the women's pole vault, which is in its third year of competition at the NCAA Championships.
On the women's side of the competition, sophomore Brianna Glenn advanced to Saturday's 100m final. She ran 11.33, setting a school record in the process. Friday night was the fifth time she reset the school record this season. Thursday night she ran 11.42 in the quarterfinals, which stood for one day as the school record. Friday's time is No. 7 in Pac-10 history.
"You could not ask to have a day better than what we had today with two national champions and Brianna making the finals of the 100m," Arizona director of track and field Dave Murray said. "We knew that Esko and Patrick were going to be capable of scoring big points, and they came through for us. We got some more great points from Jeff (Dutoit) yesterday."
Last season, the roles in the 800m were reversed as Peterson outkicked Nduwimana down the stretch. Nduwimana finished 0.25 seconds behind Peterson in at the meet in Boise, Idaho.
"I went all-out too early last year and he was able to get to me," Nduwimana said. "It was not enough at the end, but this year the strategy was a little bit better. I think that we were all so tight (packed) that I came out of the pack with a better position."
Gray led the pack through the first lap in 50.66 seconds, but Nduwimana and UCLA's Jess Strutzel caught Gray with 250 meters remaining. Peterson also ran a PR, 1:45.18, to finish second, while Gray was third in 1:45.68, also a PR.
Nduwimana broke ahead of Gray with 100 meters to go, as Peterson moved to the outside from fifth place and started sprinting. Peterson pulled to within a meter of Nduwimana with 20 meters left, but Nduwimana held him off.
Friday's final was only Nduwimana's fifth 800m race of the season. He did not compete until the April 22 Arizona Elite Classic because of a left Achilles' tendon injury. He edged Strutzel at the final to win his second straight Pac-10 title May 21.
"I hurt my Achilles' getting ready for the World Championships last summer," he said. "It never really had a chance to get better, and I just needed to sit out for a little while and rest it. It felt pretty good today, but that doesn't matter now."
Nduwimana finished seventh at the 1998 NCAA Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. as a freshman, and then finished second last year. He later ran 1:46.03, setting a school record at a meet in Malmo, Sweeden. Then, Nduwimana advanced to the semifinals of the World Championships in Seville, Spain.
In the final race of the night, sophomore Tara Chaplin finished 11th in the 5,000m final. She ran 16:29.31 two days after finishing 12th in the 10,000m two nights ago.
The Wildcat women conclude the competition Saturday with two runners in the finals. Senior Carolyn Jackson and Glenn will run in the 400m and 100m finals, respectively.