Editor’s note: With several sports going on, Wildcat Wrap serves as a recap that focuses on the Arizona programs that we do not have the time to cover on a regular basis but are certainly worthy of recognition.
Arizona men’s golf competed at the Jackson Stephens Cup in Dallas this week where junior Tiger Christensen claimed the individual title, shooting a 19-under par across three rounds of stroke play.
Christensen’s 19-under set a program record for a 54-hole tournament.
The record was previously held by Chris Nallen, who shot 18-under at the 2004 Arizona Intercollegiate.
Arizona shot 46-under as a team to finish second in stroke play behind Florida State. The Wildcats went on to fall to the Seminoles in match play 3-2.
“Obviously we came up a little short of sweeping the championship titles this week, but our entire team played three days of elite golf,” said head coach Jim Anderson. “We were at our best for 54 holes of stroke play and came right back in great form for match play. I am proud of our team for competing at the highest level in a postseason golf environment. We broke some incredible team records this week and are ending our fall schedule on a high note.”
The No. 18 Wildcats will tee off the spring season in January when they compete in the Copper Cup in Maricopa.
Arizona sent two nationally ranked players to the ITA Men’s All-American Championship in Tulsa, Okla. last week and each finished with 5-1 records.
No. 23 Colton Smith and No. 87 Jay Friend both took down multiple ranked players at the event.
Smith’s highlights include a 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 13 Jeffrey Von der Schulenburg of Virginia, the defending national champion.
“Proud of the way he finished beating No. 13 from Virginia, especially against an experienced player,” said head coach Clancy Shields. “He is getting better all the time and I’m happy to see the results follow the hard work he is putting in.”
Friend, meanwhile, knocked off four ranked players before taking on Texas’ Eliot Spizzirri, the No. 1 ranked player in the country. Friend took Spizzirri to three sets, falling 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3.
“For Jay to qualify and make the quarterfinals of the premier fall event speaks volumes to his growth and improvement,” said Shields. “He is a future star in college tennis and made a huge statement this week. He fell within a couple of points of beating the top ranked player in the country. If he learns from this, stays hungry, and keeps dedicating himself to his craft, we have one of the best players in the country in Jay.”
Men’s tennis next competes at the ITA Southwest Regional in Malibu, Calif., Oct. 19-23.
Arizona triathlon will compete this Saturday in the NCAA West National Qualifiers, held at Fellows Lake in southwest Missouri.
The race will include 750 meters of swimming, a 20-kilometer ride and culminating with a 5-kilometer run.
For the first time this season, all of Arizona’s team will be competing.
“We’ve had a few great weeks of training and development here in Tucson in preparations for this weekend, and I know our student-athletes are eager to get out there and race,” said Arizona coach Wes Johnson.
The event features 17 teams. It begins at 8 a.m. MST on Saturday.