FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. Arizona senior Brigetta Barrett claimed her third straight NCAA indoor title in the women's high jump Saturday on the first day of the NCAA Indoor Championship.
Barrett has now won the last five NCAA championships in the event, three indoor and two outdoors. She won with a season-best clearance of 6-4.75 (1.95m), which also stands as the top collegiate mark in the country for the 2013 indoor season. Barrett is the first woman in collegiate history to claim three consecutive high jump titles at the Indoor Championship. Overall, Arizona has claimed the last four high jump titles at the Indoors; alumnus Liz Patterson was victorious in 2010. Barrett has now won 20 straight collegiate competitions.
Three in a row? Ive had a great collegiate career, Barrett said. Ive had the best college experience, in general, that I could have ever asked for. To win three, it definitely means a lot, because I didnt realize how many people I inspire or how many people are watching me. To let them know that anything is possible ... to be a living example of that is a great thing.
"I wanted (the collegiate record) bad, but God has a plan for me. It just gives me more fuel for outdoors. It was great to be able to pull it off, but its too bad I didnt get the record.
Also for the 13th-ranked Arizona women, Georganne Moline clocked a personal-best time of 52.21 in the 400-meter run, breaking her own school record for the third time this season. Her previous record was 52.27, set on Feb. 8 in Albuquerque, N.M. Molines time was the fourth-best time overall in the event, good for a spot in the final on Saturday.
I was shaking, Moline said. Im always nervous, but it was kind of more excitement, I wanted to see what I could do here. I made it on to the final so that is all that matters. Anything is possible; Im definitely looking to drop my time quite a bit. Its my first NCAA Indoor Championships, so for me, thats where the nerves are coming from. But, I got it done when I needed to.
Senior Jen Bergman earned a 10-place finish in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 15:56.35. It was the second-fastest time of her career. Bergman was competing in the first NCAA Indoor Championship of her career.
For the 12th-ranked men, junior Lawi Lalang posted a time of 3:58.52 in the preliminary round of the mile, good for first place in his heat and the fastest time overall. Lalang will compete in the final of the event on Saturday. He will also run the 3,000-meter race on Saturday.
The Arizona women sit in a tie with five other teams for fifth place with 10 points. Kansas is in first place with 20 points, UCF is in second place with 14 points, and Arizona State and Michigan are tied for third with 13 points.
The UA men have yet to compete in a final. Arkansas leads after the first day with 30 points. Texas Tech is second with 18 points, Wisconsins tally of 15 points is good for third place, Florida is fourth with 14 points and Arizona State is fifth with 13 points.
The day went pretty much according to plan, Arizona coach Fred Harvey said. People are really stepping up at the championship meet and really getting it done. Brigetta (Barrett) winning another national title in the high jump is huge; it gives us 10 points going into tomorrow. Georganne (Moline) getting that fourth-fastest time (in the 400 meters) going into the final is huge because it puts her in a position to be able to score really well. Jen Bergman ran a really nice race, she was just out of scoring position but Im still really proud of the way she performed. Lawi (Lalang) did a fabulous job today -- he looked really comfortable getting the fastest seed time in the mile.
"Were in the right position. We have great point potential going into tomorrow. Today was a great day for the Wildcats, and were looking forward to getting another day under our belts tomorrow.