ASU claims three gold medals at NACAC under 23 champs
Sarah Stevens won two events and Matt Turner captured one as the first of three days of competition at the 2008 NACAC Under 23 Championships concluded July 18 in Toluca, Mexico, for three members of the Arizona State University track and field program. Competing for the United States in the meet for nations from North America, Central America and the Caribbean, Stevens won the hammer throw and the shot put while Turner was victorious in the long jump.
Despite competing at over 8,000 feet above sea level, all three Sun Devils won medals on the day with Ryan Whiting adding a silver in the men's discus. Stevens, a rising senior for the Sun Devils, won the hammer throw with a toss of 62.79m as the Americans swept the Top 2 places in the event. Stevens followed that victory with a win in the shot put with her toss of 16.04m. She was the overall leader following her third throw of the event before Keisha Walkes of Barbados took the lead in the fourth round with a toss of 15.98m. Stevens, who was the leader at 15.96m, reclaimed the lead on her final toss to win the meet.
Turner, who recently completed his eligibility with the ASU program, recorded fouls on his first two jumps and, needing a mark in the third round to move onto the finals, hit a jump of 7.92m, moving him into the lead. In the finals, Turner jumped 7.96m, 7.92m and 7.92m, meaning all four of his marks would have won the meet as runner-up Andre Black of the U.S. had a top leap of 7.83m.
Whiting, who will be a junior during the 2009 season for the Sun Devils, had a toss of 53.47m to place second with fellow American Matt Lamb winning the event with a toss of 58.70m. Whiting will have a chance to pick up another medal on Saturday as he competes in the shot put, an event that he has recorded the fourth-best throw in the world for any age level, this season.
2008 NACAC Under 23 Championships (Toluca, Mexico)
Women's Shot Put - Final
1. Sarah Stevens - 16.04m - GOLD MEDAL
Women's Hammer Throw - Final
1. Sarah Stevens - 62.79m - GOLD MEDAL
Men's Long Jump - Final
1. Matt Turner - 7.96m - GOLD MEDAL
Men's Discus - Final
2. Ryan Whiting - 53.47m - SILVER MEDAL