Arizona junior Karla Teran finished fifth in the high jump to gain first team All-America honors as the Wildcats’ track and field season came to a close Saturday at the NCAA outdoor championships in Austin, Texas.
Teran easily cleared 5 feet, 11¼ inches on her first attempt on a sunny afternoon with the temperature hovering near 100. But after the bar was raised to 6-0½, she had three misses. The athlete from Nogales, Sonora, cleared her personal-best height, 6-2, at the Pac-12 meet last month.
Teran was the only Wildcat to compete in the women’s finals after three runners and the UA’s record-setting 4x400 relay team failed Thursday to qualify in their semifinal races.
Arkansas won the women’s championship with 64 points. Defending champion USC finished second with 57, followed by LSU, 43, Texas A&M, 38, and Oregon, 34. The Trojans shattered the world record in the 4x100 relay by running 42.21, but their 4x400 team placed only eighth after they dropped their baton.
Among other Pac-12 schools, Colorado was ninth with 24 points, Stanford tied for 10th with 20 and ASU was 22nd with 12. With Teran’s four points, Arizona finished tied for 48th out of about 140 schools who sent athletes to Austin.
UA coach Fred Harvey said both his women’s and men’s teams “grew a lot this year and had some great highlights.” However, he said, “We weren’t able to maximize our opportunities here in the finals.”
In reviewing the long indoor and outdoor seasons, Harvey praised the third-place finish by the men’s team in the Pac-12 championships and the women’s fifth-place finish in the Mountain Pacific finals, the meet that combines both the Pac-12 schools and a number of top Rocky Mountain-area universities.
The women’s team got a boost recently when it learned the NCAA had approved another year of eligibility for sprinter Tatum Waggoner. She missed the final part of her sophomore year with injuries in both feet. She holds the UA’s second fastest time in the 400-meter dash.
Also returning next year will be high jumper Lillian Lowe, who won All-America honors in the NCAA indoor meet but was not able to compete outdoors because of an injury. Teran will redshirt next year as she concentrates on her studies and attempts to qualify for the Mexican Olympic team.
Of the 10 men who competed in the national championships, only Bailey Roth has completed his eligibility. They will form a strong nucleus for the team, which will be led by Jordan Geist, who finished third in Austin in the shot put and also competes in the discus and hammer throw.
Geist will compete in the USA championship meet in July.