Arizona’s universities offer programs that challenge any kind of athlete, whether it’s biking around campus, pounding a drum, or training for the Olympics or Paralympics. Wildcats, Sun Devils, and Lumberjacks showcase the exceptional athletes that enrich their campuses and our communities.
Arizona State University Sun Devils
Arizona State University holds the nation's longest streak of women's golf National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship appearances. In May 2012 the team advanced to the NCAA Championship for the 21st consecutive year! This long-respected team can brag about a few outstanding achievements, but nothing tops their undefeated season in 1994 and 1995, a “magical year” that finished 155-0-1 and swept the national title.
For the past three years, the Sun Devils have nailed the shot put competition at track and field events. Ryan Whiting took the NCAA Championship in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, sophomore Jordan Clarke won the title. In March 2012, Clarke beat his personal record at the NCAA Indoor Championships. His 20.85 meter (68 feet, 5.25 inches) throw earned him his second national crown and first indoor first-team All-America award.
Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks
Since 1968, Flagstaff has been one of the world’s leading altitude training locations. The Northern Arizona University (NAU) Center for High Altitude Training, open from 1994 to 2009, has hosted more than 6,000 team members from 4 countries in 16 different sports. NAU’s Wall Aquatic Center, one of the finest high altitude swimming facilities in the world, continues to draw elite athletes from around the globe. Individual runners and some teams are still seen on or around the NAU campus.
Olympic runner Lopez Lomong inspires excellence beyond athletics. Some people recognize Lomong as bearer of the American Flag at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Others know him as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. The two-time U.S. National Champion in the 1,500 meter dash graduated in from NAU in December 2011. Look for him next at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Taking advantage of the natural features of the Colorado Plateau, NAU programs and facilities heighten enjoyment of the great outdoors. NAU’s climbing wall lets students develop climbing skills before scaling nearby rock formations. The football field is home to the summer training camp of the Phoenix Cardinals. Now the Yellow Bike program encourages fitness for all with free, green transportation. Yellow bikes are available for loan so students cruise around campus and the City of Flagstaff. Student-powered transit is part of NAU’s successful campaign to become a more bike-friendly campus. The plan worked—the League of American Bicyclists recently named NAU a silver-level bicycle-friendly university.
University of Arizona Wildcats
The largest and most successful program of its type in the country, Adaptive Athletics offers differently abled athletes the opportunity to compete nationally and internationally in wheelchair track, quad rugby, tennis, and men's & women's basketball. The April 1997 issue of Sports Illustrated included the Adaptive Athletic program as a reason for the University of Arizona’s #12 rating in the top overall Division I athletic programs in the country. Operational expenses for all five teams come from fund-raised dollars.
The Pride of Arizona
University of Arizona's marching and pep bands truly are The Pride of Arizona. The program enjoys a reputation as one of the finest athletic band organizations of its kind in the country. The 250 members of battery unit drumline and award winning units of baton twirlers, pompon dancers and color guard captivate crowds with socially relevant artistic statements while performing challenging musical arrangements and contemporary, drum-corps style drill design.