ASU captures six events at Sun Angel Track Classic
Ryan Whiting punctuated the highly successful 31st Sun Angel Track Classic inside Sun Angel Stadium with an improvement upon his world-leading shot put mark and the fans were once again treated to fast competition on the track across several age-group levels as the meet came to a close Saturday night on campus. Nearly 2,500 athletes competed in the three-day event in Tempe with several impressive marks recorded.
Whiting, a four-time NCAA champion, came into the meet with the world's best mark in the shot put at 21.25m and recorded two tosses further than that in the men's premiere shot put, including a fourth-round heave of 21.40m before his best of the night, a mark of 21.71m (71-02.75). With that mark, he not only won the event by nearly 12 feet (11-11.75), he also broke a meet and venue record that had stood for 28 years when Brian Oldfield threw 21.52m in 1982. Whiting, who opened at 21.21m and had a second-round toss of 20.62m, was just two centimeters shy of equaling his all-time best of 21.73m, which he threw at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships.
The win for Whiting was one of five overall on the day for the Sun Devils and one of four recorded by the men's team. Individually on the track, Brandon Bethke won a fast-paced premiere 1,500m run and took the victory with a time of 3:43.77, just off his personal-best of 3:42.46 that he ran last year at the Classic.
The sprinters also posted wins as the Sun Devils swept the premiere runnings of the 4x100m and 4x400m relays. Up first was the 4x100m with Michael Stokes, Allante Battle, Lawrence Trice and Ray Miller combining to run 39.60 to win the event before Miller was joined by Justin Kremer, Donald Sanford and Joel Phillip to take the long relay in 3:05.94, the eight-best time in the nation so far this year. Three of those same 4x400m relay members also recorded fast times in the premiere 400m dash with Sanford taking second overall in 45.72, Phillip in third at 46.32 and Kremer in fifth at 46.91.
The lone women's victory came in the field as freshman Christabel Nettey won the premiere long jump with a leap of 6.28m (20-07.25). Jasmine Chaney posted a fast time in the 400m hurdles as she was third with a time of 58.01, which is the fifth-best time in school history. Chaney ran 58.19 last year before bettering that mark Saturday.
Next up for the Sun Devils will be a trip to the Mt. SAC Relays that will be held next Thursday through Saturday in Walnut, Calif.