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Sun Devils enjoy day of celebration at White House

November 12, 2008

The Arizona State University softball and track & field teams traveled to the nation's capital Nov. 12 and met with President George W. Bush to celebrate the national championships each team won during the past academic year. Eleven teams in all were on hand for the celebration, including five representing the state of Arizona.

The men's and women's indoor track and field national champions, who were celebrating the women's third title in two years (indoor twice and outdoor once) and the men's first indoor crown, joined the first-time champion softball squad by taking a tour of the White House, including much of the East Wing. After seeing many historic artifacts on the tour, the teams readied themselves for their meeting with the Commander in Chief.

The softball team met the President first and presented him with a jersey adorned with his name and the number one on the back. The President then met with other teams before revisiting with the track and field team. After talking and joking with the team, he accepted a gift of a Sun Devil track suit (black and gold) before posing for two pictures; the second showing the President with the pitchfork.

From there, both squads were announced to the crowd on the South Lawn as the Marine Corps Band played the fight song. Selected team captains meet with the President and then joined him on stage where he addressed the crowd and posed for pictures with the captains. With the ceremony concluded, both teams headed out to Pennsylvania Avenue for pictures in front of the White House where preparations are underway for the January inauguration of President-Elect Obama.

After a little down time, the Sun Devils made the trip to Arlington, Va., and Crystal City Sports Pub were the ASU Alumni Association National Capital Chapter welcomed the teams for a reception. The Chapter met with the coaches and athletes before Vice President for University Athletics Lisa Love, Head Coach Greg Kraft (track & field) and Head Coach Clint Myers (softball) each addressed the crowd.