Track and field shines at Pac-10 Championships
The 2010 Pac-10 Track & Field Championships came to a close for the Arizona State University program on Sunday afternoon at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., with the women climbing to third place overall and the men tied for fourth at the annual meet hosted this year by California. Ryan Whiting captured his second title in as many days by winning the discus on his final throw while Cj Navarro also won the women’s discus to lead the Sun Devils on the second day of action.
Oregon won both team races with the women scoring 215 points and the men 168.5. In the women’s standings, UO was followed by Arizona (109 points), ASU (89.5), USC (89) and Stanford (88) in the Top 5 while the men’s race saw UO trailed by USC (156), Stanford (92) and both ASU and UCLA (85).
Whiting, already the champion of the shot put one day earlier, took to the discus circle and sat in second heading into the sixth and final round where he popped a toss of 58.85m (193-1) to take over the lead from Aaron Dan (USC), who had thrown 58.74m (192-8) in Round 3. The win gave Whiting his first Pac-10 discus crown and also made him the ninth different man to sweep both the shot put and discus in the same meet. His sweep was the 13th ever recorded in Pac-10 history and the first since Dan Ames (UCLA) in 2004.
For the fourth year in a row, the Sun Devils also won the women’s discus, but it was a Navarro who won this year after Sarah Stevens (2007, 2009) and Jessica Pressley (2008) won the previous titles. Navarro was the overall leader through the first half of the preliminary round throws and entered the finals in third place before taking her fourth toss deep for a mark of 51.06m (167-6) to give her the victory. Earlier in the day, the 2009 NCAA All-American in the discus also recorded a personal-best toss of 53.75m (176-4) to take third in the hammer and move up to the No. 7 position on the school’s all-time Top 10 list.
While Navarro accounted for 16 points on the second day, Jasmine Chaney was the women’s High Point Award winner as she led the team with 21.5 points accumulated over five events while Whiting and Jason Lewis both scored 20 points to tie for the men’s title. Chaney was third in three individual events, including the 100m hurdles (13.46), the 100m dash (11.74) and the 200m dash (23.72) while also helping the 4x100m relay of Dominique’ Maloy, Kayla Sanchez and Christabel Nettey to a third-place finish (44.76) and the group of Maloy, Keia Pinnick and Sanchez to runner-up honors in the 4x400m relay (3:36.31).
Whiting earned 10 points each of his two victories while Lewis accumulated his points with Top 3 finishes in the three weight event. After placing third on the first day in the shot put to earn six points and another eight points in the hammer by placing second overall, he took third in the discus for his final six points on the second day of competition. Adding in the 11 points that Jordan Clarke earned in the shot put (eight points for second place) and the discus (three points for sixth place), the three throwers accounted for 51 of the men’s team’s 85 points.
Back on the track for the women, five women scored in various races to help the team move from fifth place to third overall by the end of the meet. Included in that group is Pinnick, a true freshman, who placed fourth overall in the 400m hurdles with a time of 58.86, which is the eighth-fastest time in school history and improved upon the time of 59.32 that she ran in the preliminary round one day earlier that also stood as the eighth-best in ASU history. Her relay teammates of Maloy and Sanchez also scored, including Maloy in the 400m dash (53.92) and the 200m (24.00), both with fourth-place finishes, and Sanchez in the 400m hurdles (1:00.20) with a sixth-place run. The final points for the women came with eighth-place finishes from Kari Hardt in the 1,500m run (4:24.58) and Ali Kielty in the 5,000m run (16:27.62).
The men also picked up more points on the track with the shorter distances bringing in 25 points on the day. Donald Sanford ran a personal-best 45.51 to take runner-up honors in the 400m dash while Justin Kremer was fifth (47.07) and Joel Phillip sixth (47.11) in the same race. All three of those men joined with Allante Battle to run 3:06.80 to take second in the 4x400m relay as well. Earlier in the day, Battle and Phillip joined with Ian Caracciolo and Ray Miller to run 41.50 and take seventh in the 4x100m relay. Brandon Bethke was fifth in the 1,500m run (3:43.06) and Mason McHenry was eighth in the 800m run (1:50.69) to round out the ASU scoring.
The Sun Devils will now prepare for the NCAA Preliminary Round Championships to be held in Austin, Texas, in 13 days. While the majority of those that qualify for the meet in Austin will prepare with practice, the throwers will also compete in the Tucson Elite Throws Meet this Thursday through Saturday in Tucson. Marks attained in Tucson cannot be used for qualification to the NCAA meet, but will be used for record purposes.