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ASU track & field productive on first day of NCAA

June 11, 2008

The Arizona State University track and field team opened competition at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on the Blue Oval of Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday with 12 of the Sun Devils' 19 entries on the day advancing through to the semifinal and final rounds of competition slated for later this week. Despite a rain storm that delayed the start of competition by two hours, the Sun Devils took care of business by sending through several of their top entries in the meet.

The women, on a quest for their fourth national team title in a row and their second outdoor crown in as many years, fared well in the field events as all three in the discus and two of the three in the hammer each posted marks that ranked in the Top 12 of the field and sent them onto the finals. In the discus, 2007 NCAA runner-up Tai Battle, sitting on two fouls, hit a toss of 52.09m to move into second overall and lead the ASU qualifiers that includes Jessica Pressley (sixth at 51.49m) and Sarah Stevens (eighth at 51.39m). Both Pressley and Stevens also qualified for the finals of the hammer throw, placing ninth (61.35m) and 12th (61.14m), respectively, while Battle was 23rd at 56.56m.

April Kubishta, the defending outdoor champion in the event, was one of 14 athletes to clear 4.10m in the pole vault to earn a place in the finals on Friday to round out the qualifying women. Also on the day, the 4x100m relay of Dominique' Maloy, Jordan Durham, Stephanie Garnett and Charonda Williams placed 12th in 44.76 while Willliams was 19th in the 100m dash preliminary round (11.99) and Jeavon Benjamin was 18th in the 400m dash preliminary in 53.79m. Garnett also competed in the long jump, finishing 15th at 6.29m.

On the men's side, only two athletes did not advance while five secured berths into the later rounds. On the track, Joel Phillip was third in the 400m dash at 46.23 and will run in the semifinal on Friday. True freshman Nectaly Barbosa advanced to the semifinal of the 800m run as he was eighth in the preliminary round at 1:50.40 while Kyle Alcorn was seventh in the 3,000m steeplechase qualifying in 8:48.40 to earn a berth in the final.

In the field, Matt Turner hit an automatic-qualifying mark in the long jump with a leap of 7.95m, the third-best in the competition, to earn a place in the final on Thursday while Ryan Whiting posted the 12th-best mark in the discus at 53.54m to earn a place in the final on Friday.

The Championships continue Thursday in Des Moines.

NCAA Outdoor Championships - Day 1 (Wednesday)
Men 100m - Preliminary
23. Calvin Abram - 10.93 - did not advance

Men 400m - Preliminary
3. Joel Phillip - 46.23 - advances to semifinal (Friday)

Men 800m - Preliminary
8. Nectaly Barbosa - 1:50.40 - advances to semifinal (Thursday)

Men 3,000m Steeplechase - Preliminary
7. Kyle Alcorn - 8:48.40 - advances to final (Friday)

Men Long Jump - Qualifying
3. Matt Turner - 7.95m - advances to final (Thursday)

Men Discus - Qualifying
12. Ryan Whiting - 53.54m - advances to final (Friday)

Men Javelin - Qualifying
20. Brad Roth - 61.77m - did not advance

Women 100m - Preliminary
19. Charonda Williams - 11.99 - did not advance

Women 400m - Preliminary
18. Jeavon Benjamin - 53.79 - did not advance

Women 4x100m Relay - Preliminary
12. Arizona State - 44.76 - did not advance
(Dominique' Maloy, Jordan Durham, Stephanie Garnett, Charonda Williams)

Women Pole Vault - Qualifying
1. April Kubishta - 4.10m - advances to final (Friday)

Women Long Jump - Qualifying
15. Stephanie Garnett - 6.29m - did not advance

Women Discus - Qualifying
2. Tai Battle - 52.09m - advances to final (Friday)
6. Jessica Pressley - 51.39m - advances to final (Friday)
8. Sarah Stevens - 51.39m - advances to final (Friday)

Women Hammer - Qualifying
9. Jessica Pressley - 61.35m - advances to final (Friday)
12. Sarah Stevens - 61.14m - advances to final (Friday)
23. Tai Battle - 56.56m - did not advance