NCAA track & field: UA's Barrett, Lalang win titles

Arizona women tie for 6th place; men's team finishes 10th
2013-06-09T00:00:00Z NCAA track & field: UA's Barrett, Lalang win titlesEmerald Mediawire Emerald Mediawire Arizona Daily Star
June 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

EUGENE, Ore. - National collegiate high jump record-holder Brigetta Barrett of Arizona added one more NCAA championship to her trophy case Saturday.

Barrett out-jumped the remaining three jumpers - Courtney Anderson of University of Southern Florida, Maya Pressley of Auburn and Leontia Kallenou of Georgia - clearing 6 feet 2 1/4 inches on her first attempt to secure her third consecutive outdoor title. She has also won the last three indoor titles.

Barrett continued to raise the bar and cleared the next height of 6-4 3/4 on her third and final attempt.

With her national collegiate record - 1.99 meters (6-6.34) - on her mind, Barrett decided to attempt 2 meters (6-6.74) and break the record at her final track meet as a collegiate athlete.

The Historic Hayward Field crowd encouraged Barrett by participating in a slow clap on each of Barrett's attempts to break her own collegiate national record. Just as each of the perfectly synched slow claps leading up to her jumps ended, a disappointing sigh would follow.

"Today I was pretty disappointed because I did want to jump higher, but its like, 'Wow, it's finally over,'" Barrett said. "So I feel very fulfilled. I mean I can't take anything back, but I don't want to take anything back."

The UA women's team tied for sixth place with Stanford at 33 points. Kansas won with 60 points, followed by Texas A&M (44), Oregon (43), LSU (40) and Central Florida (35).

Arizona's Lawi Lalang won the men's 5,000-meter race, finishing in 13:35.19, and helping the Wildcats to a 10th-place finish with 20.5 points. Florida and Texas A&M tied for first place with 53 points, followed by Arkansas (46.5), Oregon (44) and USC (42).

Lalang won the men's 10,000 meters Thursday, and he was the only athlete, men or women, to claim two individual titles this week.

On Saturday, Lalang led the pack for the entire run. Texas A&M's Henry Lelei was still running with Lalang when there were eight laps to go but fell behind further into the race. Lelei finished eighth.

Lalang made a big break from the pack in the final laps.

"Actually, it really wasn't that easy. It was kind of odd, that I could win it from the start," he said.

North Carolina-Greensboro's Paul Chelimo was second in 13:40.41.

Lalang said this year he felt more prepared and had the drive to win, compared to last year, even though he also won the 5,000 meters last year.

"This year I was out, I trained really good, so I knew it was going to end well," he said.

Arizona's Julie Labonté finished fifth in the shot put with a throw of 56 feet 3 1/4 inches.

Tia Brooks of Oklahoma was the heavy favorite and did not disappoint. She had a winning throw of 62- 1/2.

Arizona's Alyssa Hasslen was 24th with a 47-2 1/2.

Labonté became a first-team All-American in the event for the second time. In 2011, she won the title indoors and outdoors, and she redshirted the 2012 season.

Labonté was happy about being an All-American but would have liked to have finished higher.

"My series was kind of down. My six throws were not that great," she said in a news release. "It wasn't really a great meet for me. … I got fifth and I'll take it; I'm still an All-American, and I'm happy about that."

Notable

• Lalang has won seven NCAA titles: one cross country, four indoors and two outdoors.

• Barrett is the first woman in collegiate history to win three straight indoor and outdoor titles. She also owns the most high jump titles in collegiate history with six. Amy Acuff of UCLA had five.

• Barrett is the second woman in collegiate history to win three straight outdoor titles; former Wildcat Tanya Hughes is the other, in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

• Labonté became the first Wildcat to earn first-team All-America honors in both the women's shot put and discus since Carla Garrett in 1989.

• Lalang is the only 12th man in collegiate history to complete the 5K/10K double at the NCAA outdoor championships. He's the third man to win two individual distance events at both the indoor and outdoor championships in the same year.

• Lalang is the first man to double in the mile and 3K during the indoor season and the 5K and 10K during the outdoor season.

• Coming into the meet, Barrett was nervous, but not because this NCAA championships would be her last; it was because Barrett was going to sing the national anthem on the third day of the meet.

"I'm not going to lie, I definitely was more nervous to sing," Barrett said. "It was very cool to go out there and to sing the national anthem. … I've been wanting to do that since I was a freshman."

• Ron Allice, who coached USC to the 2001 NCAA women's track and field championship and helped the school's men's and women's track athletes win 32 individual NCAA titles, announced his retirement after 19 years.

Includes material from a news release

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