Track & field faces Arizona, Northern Arizona in Tucson
The Arizona State University track and field program is heading into its final weekend of preparation for the upcoming championship season this week as the Sun Devils will face intrastate rivals Arizona and Northern Arizona in the annual Double Dual, taking place Saturday in Tucson, Ariz. The meet will be scored and pit ASU vs. UA, ASU vs. NAU and UA vs. NAU. Several individuals will also travel to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Payton Jordan-Cardinal Invitational on Sunday on the Stanford campus.
This weekend's meets in Tucson and Palo Alto will mark the final competitions for the Sun Devils before they head into the championship season. Next weekend, Arizona State will play host to the heptathlon and decathlon portion of the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships presented by 76 Gasoline before welcoming the rest of the competitors from the conference to compete in all the other events on May 16-17.
For the 22nd time, the state's three major universities will meet for the Double Dual with this year's edition being held in Tucson. Overall, the Sun Devil men trail Arizona in the all-time series, 13-8, while the ASU women hold an 11-10 lead all-time. Against the Lumberjacks, the ASU men are 16-4-1 all-time while the Sun Devil women stand 18-3.
LAST YEAR'S DUAL
Last year in Tempe, the Sun Devils swept their intrastate rivals on both sides as the men downed Arizona, 110-86, and Northern Arizona, 134-59, while the women took down the Wildcats, 115-80, and the Lumberjacks, 133-57.
DISTANCE FOR DISTANCE
While the majority of the Sun Devil roster will travel south to compete in the Double Dual, two men and two women will travel to Palo Alto for the Cardinal Invitational on Sunday. Set to compete are Kyle Alcorn in the men's 3,000m steeplechase, Jeff Helmer in the men's 5,000m run and both Jenna Kingma and Ali Kielty in the women's 5,000m run.
AMOO IN AFRICAN GAMES
Former Sun Devil Seth Amoo, a seven-time All-American sprinter, is in Ethiopia this weekend competing for Ghana in the 16th African Athletics Championships in Addis Ababa. Amoo will be competing in a pair of events as he will run in the 200m dash while also running one of the legs of the 4x100m relay.
The day before the Sun Devils compete in Tucson will be just seven days out from the Pac-10 heptathlon and decathlon championship starts in Tempe and two weeks from the start of the remaining events at the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships presented by 76 Gasoline.
GET YOUR TICKETS
Fans can purchase their tickets to one of the top collegiate conference meets in the nation by visiting the home of the ASU ticket office online at thesundevils.com. Tickets for the championships will be $15 for general admission and $13 for juniors (18 and younger)/seniors (60 and older) for single-session (single-day passes) while full session passes (both Friday and Saturday included) are $20 for general admission and $18 for juniors/seniors. Tickets will also be available at the entrance to Sun Angel Stadium on both days of competition (May 16-17). Admission to the heptathlon/decathlon weekend is free.
At the Drake Relays last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, the Sun Devils battled the elements of the cold and windy Midwest to secure several impressive finishes in the 99th running the Relays. In the throwing events for the women, Jessica Pressley became just the seventh woman in Drake Relays history to sweep the discus and the shot put, winning the first with a toss of 51.65m (169-05) before claiming the shot put with a mark of 17.33m (56-10.25). The last time the double was accomplished came in 2004.
TAKE TWO, THREE TIMES
With Pressley winning two events, Sarah Stevens finished behind in both the discus and shot put as she recorded marks of 51.44m (168-09) and 16.78m (55-00.75). Stevens also added a third runner-up finish as the junior placed second in the hammer throw as well, hitting a toss of 65.92m (214-02).
TURNER TAKES THE LEAP
Matt Turner was the lone Sun Devil male to capture a title at the Drake Relays as he won the long jump with a leap of 7.53m (24-08.50) in cold temperatures and breezy conditions. He also finished in a tie for sixth place in the high jump with a clearance of 2.05m (6-08.75).
RUNNING RELAY FAST
The women's relays had strong showings as well with the 4x400m squad of Jordan Durham, Jeavon Benjamin, Dominique Maloy and Shauntel Elcock clocking a time of 3:36.88 to win the Drake Relays event. Maloy, Durham and Elcock also joined with Charonda Williams to run 45.15 and place third in the 4x100m relay earlier in the day.
Maloy not only helped a pair of relays to success at the Drake Relays, she also ran in the 100m dash, placing fifth overall with a personal best time of 11.72, lowering her previous college-best of 11.80.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
In the men's hammer throw, Jason Lewis placed 10th overall with a personal-best toss of 61.65m (202-03) to become only the fifth Sun Devil to launch the implement over 200 feet in competition. His mark now stands as the fourth-best in school history and, along with a mark of 204-05 from Tomas Navarro (third all-time), gives ASU a pair of 200-feet hammer throwers in the same year for the first time since 1986 when Dave Ryer (No. 2 at 208-09) and Terry Payne (No. 5 at 201-01) accomplished the feat.
The latest national rankings (April 30) have the Sun Devil women accumulating 315.25 points and holding the No. 2 position while LSU continues to lead with 343.80 points. The men's rankings are led by LSU with 278.93 points while the Sun Devil men slipped to No. 11 with 160.50 points this week. Of the two other schools set to face the Sun Devils in Tucson this weekend, only the Arizona women (No. 23) are ranked.
WHERE IN THE WORLD
Sifting through the latest update of the world Top 20 lists, two current Sun Devil men and two women are amongst the top performers in the world so far this year with one former Sun Devil man and one women also rank in the Top 20. On the men's side, Matt Turner appears in a pair of events as he is 14th in the long jump (7.94m) and tied for 17th in the high jump (2.20m) while teammate Joel Phillip is seventh in the 400m dash (45.34). Former Sun Devil Dwight Phillips is No. 2 in the long jump (8.24m). On the women's side, Jacquelyn JohnsonApril Kubishta is tied for 20th with a clearance of 4.21m in the pole vault. Former Sun Devil Latosha Wallace is currently ranked 12th in the 400m hurdles at 56.39. continues to lead the world in the heptathlon with 6,143 points while
In the latest update of the national order lists (April 30), the Sun Devils have four men and eight women's marks that rank in the Top 8 nationally. For the women, Jacquelyn Johnson leads the nation in the heptathlon while Sarah Stevens (sixth, fifth and third) and Jessica Pressley (fourth, sixth and fifth) rank in the Top 8 of the shot put, discus and hammer, respectively. Also on the list is April Kubishta, who is tied for fourth in the pole vault. Ont he men's side, Matt Turner is second in the nation in the long jump and tied for the fifth in the high jump while Joel Phillip is third in the 400m dash and Ryan Whiting is sixth in the discus.
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADERS
According to the latest Pac-10 lists, a Sun Devil holds the top mark in 11 total events, including seven on the women's side and four by the men. For the women, conference leaders include Jacquelyn Johnson (heptathlon, long jump), Sarah Stevens (shot put, discus), Ali KieltyApril Kubishta (pole vault) and the 4x400m relay. The men are led by Marcus Duncan (100m), Matt Turner (long jump), Ryan Whiting (shot put) and the 4x400m relay. (10,000m),
SUPER SUN ANGEL
The Sun Devils recorded several top performances at the 29th Sun Angel Track Classic two weeks ago as eight women's marks and five men's marks rank among the Top 10 all-time in ASU history. The women recorded marks in four running events, including both relays, and four in the field events while the men picked up marks in one running event and four fields.
At the Sun Angel Track Classic two weeks ago, junior Sarah Stevens broke her own school record in the hammer throw, tossing the implement 66.52m (218-03). Her mark currently ranks third in the nation and places her sixth on the all-time Pac-10 ledger.
One of the fastest events of the Sun Angel was the men's 400m dash that produced two of the top three times in the collegiate ranks so far this year as Jordan Boase of Washington won in 44.82 and Sun Devil Joel Phillip turned in a time of 45.34, the ninth-best time in school history.
The women's relays both recorded fast times at the Sun Angel Track Classic as both times rank among the Top 10 on the all-time lists in Arizona State history. In the 4x100m relay, the team of Dominique' Maloy, Charonda Williams, Jordan Durham and Shauntel Elcock combined to run 44.66, placing their names at the No. 9 position all-time. To close out the meet, the group of Maloy, Elcock, Durham and Jeavon Benjamin ran 3:33.73 to place their names into the No. 10 position on the lists.
For only the third in program history, a female athlete cleared 4.00m (13-01.50) in competition as Alana Waterford hit that clearance at the Sun Angel Track Classic. Waterford joins record-holder and defending outdoor national champion April Kubishta (4.26m/13-11.75) and second-place Angela Tavlarides (4.10m/13-05.25 in 2005).
HAMMERING IT HOME
The Sun Angel Track Classic also produced a solid day in the hammer throw for the Sun Devils as four athletes (two men and two women) recorded marks good enough to be on in the Top 5 all-time in program history. Already standing first and second on the women's record ledger, Sarah Stevens improved her top mark to 66.52m (218-03) while Jessica Pressley improved her second-place mark to 64.92m (213-00). On the men's side, Tomas Navarro improved upon his third-place ranking with a toss of 62.31m (204-05) while Jason Lewis moved into the Top 5 with his toss of 60.50m (198-06).
The MPSF announced its annual indoor academic honors this week with nine Sun Devil men and seven women earning placement on the list. The men's honorees included Kyle Alcorn, Ben Engelhardt, Andy Haas, Joey Heller, Jeff Helmer, Jeff Helwig, Justin Kremer, Jason Lewis and Ryan Whiting while the women's honorees included Jacquelyn Johnson, Ali Kielty, Jenna Kingma, April Kubishta, D'Metra Macedon, Sarah Stevens and Alana Waterford.
To say Johnson had a strong opening in the heptathlon would be an understatement as the senior and three-time defending NCAA champion scored a school-record 6,143 points, bettering the mark of 6,125 points by Gea Johnson in 1990. Johnson won all seven events of the Jim Click Combined Events heptathlon and regionally qualified in four of those events, including the 100m hurdles, the high jump, the long jump and the javelin. Her javelin throw of 46.45m (152-05) also is the school record, giving her two on the day.
SPEEDY SUN DEVIL
The second weekly award winner from the Pac-10 was junior transfer Charonda Williams, who had a hand in three victories, three regional qualifiers and a pair of times that rank among the Top 10 all-time in Arizona State history. Williams opened the day by winning the 100m dash in 11.50, the ninth-best time in school history, before she ran the third leg of the victorious 4x100m relay (45.04). In the final sprint of the day, Williams clocked a time of 23.48 to win the 200m dash and record the eighth-best mark in school history.
The top marks were not just recorded by the women as one man had a big day as well. Brad Roth, on his birthday, entered the meet with a personal best of 69.99m, just one centimeter from qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. On his second throw of the competition, he broke the 70m mark before hitting a toss of 72.24m (237-00) in the finals. His mark moved him up to third on the all-time Arizona State chart and pushed him into sixth on the NCAA lists currently.
JUST REMOVE WATER
In the women's javelin at the Baldy Castillo Invite, Addison McGrath qualified for the regional meet and finished fifth in the meet with her toss of 44.34m (145-06), the fourth-best throw in school history. The mark, which came on her second attempt, also came on her second attempt ever as she joined the team this season to give the event a try. McGrath was already a student-athlete at Arizona State before joining the team as she is a member of the No. 7-ranked water polo team, leading the team in scoring with 64 goals (fourth in the nation).
TWICE AS NICE
On March 14-15, the Sun Devils traveled 21 student-athletes to the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships and returned with both the men's and women's national team titles, accomplishing the feat for just the second time in NCAA history (LSU did so in 2004). The women scored 51 points with LSU finishing second with 43 points in the women's race while the men edged out favorite Florida State, 44-41, for their first indoor team crown.
BY THE NUMBERS
The titles earned by the Sun Devil men and women are the 134th and 135th national titles captured by Arizona State in school history. The wins are the 39th and 66th national titles for the men and women, respectively, while 30 other titles were won in coed events (20 in mixed archery and 10 in mixed badminton).
With the team victory, the Sun Devil women successfully defended their first national tittle won last year when the team captured the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. The Sun Devils, ranked No. 1 last year, edged No. 2 LSU, 38-33, to win their first indoor crown. This year, the rankings were reversed, but the Sun Devils still won.
Arizona State's women have been dominant over the course of the past year as the Sun Devils have won seven championship meets in a row. Those meets include the 2007 MPSF Indoor Championships, the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships, the 2007 Pac-10 Championships, the 2007 NCAA West Region Championships, the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the 2008 MPSF Indoor Championships and the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships.
FIRST AND SECOND TIMES
With 44 points, the Sun Devil men won their first indoor championship and became the 14th different men's program to capture the indoor crown since the NCAA began sponsoring an indoor meet in 1965. The title is the second in program history for the men as the 1977 team captured the outdoor championship, the first team title in ASU track & field history.
The men's team victory at the NCAA Indoor Championships marked the first men's team title earned for the Sun Devil athletic department since 1996 when the men's golf team captured their second championship (also won in 1990). Prior to the women winning last year and this year, the previous Sun Devil national champions were the 1998 women's golf team.
The women's team, which is one of only seven programs to win an NCAA indoor title since the association began sponsoring the event in 1983, repeated as national champions, marking just the fifth time in NCAA history that a team has won back-to-back titles. The last to do so was LSU (2002-2003-2004). The other schools to do so were UCLA (2000-2001), LSU (1993-1994-1995-1996-1997) and Nebraska (1983-1984).
The women's team was not the only repeat winners on the weekend for the Sun Devils as Jacquelyn Johnson secured her third indoor pentathlon crown in a row, scoring a collegiate and meet record 4,496 points. In her career, Johnson has three titles and one runner-up finish (second as a true freshman in 2004).
MORE ON JOHNSON'S TRIPLE
When Jacquelyn Johnson successfully defended her indoor pentathlon crowns she won at the 2006 and 2007 NCAA meets, she became just the ninth woman to win the same event three times in a career at the indoor championships and the second Sun Devil, joining Maicel Malone, who won the 400m dash in 1990, 1991 and 1992. Other three-time champions include Regina Cavanaugh of Rice (shot put, 1984-85-86), Suzy Favor of Wisconsin (mile, 1987-89-90), Vicki Huber of Villanova (3,000m, 1987-88-89), Carlette Guidry of Texas (55m, 1988-90-91), Amy Wickus of Wisconsin (800m, 1993-94-95), Amy Acuff of UCLA (high jump, 1994-95-96) and Trecia Smith of Pittsburgh (long jump, 1997-98-99).
The teams and Johnson were not the only champions over the weekend as two men captured individual titles in remarkable fashion. Ryan Whiting led off by winning the shot put with a huge toss of 71-03.50 (21.73m) to set the collegiate record in the event. In the second-to-last event of the meet, Kyle Alcorn stormed to the front of the pack late in the 3,000m race to capture the national crown and put the Sun Devils in a position to win the team title.
FOR THE RECORD - JOHNSON
Jacquelyn Johnson and Ryan Whiting both set collegiate records in winning their national crowns over the weekend. Johnson, who entered the meet with a best of 4,312 points in the pentathlon, ended the meet with 4,496 points, breaking the collegiate record of 4,439 points set in 2002 by Austra Skuyte (Kansas State) and bettering the meet mark of 4,412 points scored by Hyleas Fountain (Georgia) in 2004 when she defeated Johnson for the first NCAA pentathlon crown.
FOR THE RECORD - WHITING
While Johnson broke a record that was set a few years ago, Whiting broke the 31 year-old mark of Terry Albritton (Stanford), who threw 70-06.50 (21.50m) in 1977. Whiting, who recorded a toss of 71-03.50 (21.73m) on his final throw of the competition, is now the collegiate, meet and Pac-10 indoor record holder while ranking third all-time on the Pac-10 lists as two marks recorded outdoors are ahead of Whiting.
Needing some big points in the 3,000m run at the end of the meet, Kyle Alcorn stepped onto the track as the 14th-ranked runner in the race. Alcorn surged ahead mid-way through the race and took the lead before relinquishing it. Sitting in fifth place with two laps to go, Alcorn again surged ahead and captured the lead that he held onto for the remainder of the race, crossing the line in 8:00.82 to not only win his first national title, but giving ASU 10 team points and tying it with Florida State at 38 points heading into the 4x400m relay.
SEALING THE DEAL
With the team race down to ASU and FSU and only the 4x400m relay remaining, all the Sun Devils had to do was finish ahead of the Seminoles in the standings of the race to secure a team crown. In the three-heat race, FSU ran first and clocked a time of 3:07.47, meaning ASU had to finish faster, which it did as Jimmie Gordon, Darryl Elston, Justin Kremer and Joel Phillip clocked in at 3:06.34 to win the third heat and place third overall, pushing FSU to sixth in the race and giving ASU the team title.
The United States Track & Field, Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its national award winners following the NCAA Indoor Championships with four Sun Devils garnering five of the eight national accolades available. Greg Kraft was selected as the Women's National and Men's National Coach of the Year; David Dumble was voted the Women's National Assistant Coach of the Year; Jacquelyn Johnson was named the Women's National Field Athlete of the Year; and Ryan Whiting was selected as the Men's National Field Athlete of the Year.
CLOSE TO THE TOP
The women had three runner-up finishes and the men added a pair to help both teams to victory in Fayetteville. On the men's side, second-place finishes were recorded by April Kubishta (pole vault), Sarah Stevens (shot put) and Jessica Pressley (weight throw) while the men's second-place finishers included Joel Phillip (400m dash) and the distance medley relay of Joey Heller, Justin Kremer, Nectaly BarbosaKyle Alcorn. and
From the results recorded at the NCAA Indoor Championships, five women's marks and three men's rank among the Top 5 all-time in ASU history, including three women's and two men's school records. On the women's side, school-records went to April Kubishta in the pole vault (4.30m), Jessica Pressley in the weight throw (22.04m) and Jacquelyn Johnson in the pentathlon (4,496 points) while the men's records included Ryan Whiting in the shot put (21.73m) and the distance medley relay of Joey Heller, Justin Kremer, Nectaly Barbosa and Kyle Alcorn. Both 4x400m relays rank among the Top 3, including the second-best time of 3:33.53 by the women (Dominique' Maloy, Shauntel Elcock, Jordan Durham, Jeavon Benjamin) and the third-best time of 3:06.34 by the men (Jimmie Gordon, Darryl Elston, Kremer, Joel Phillip). The final Top 3 mark came from Johnson in the 60m hurdles (8.23).
Overall, nine women and nine men each earned All-America honors from the USTFCCCA, including two women and four men that earned two honors each. Multiple honors were earned by Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon & long jump) and Jessica Pressley (shot put & weight throw) for the women and men's competitors Kyle Alcorn (3,000m & DMR), Jimmie Gordon (400m & 4x400m), Justin Kremer (4x400m & DMR) and Joel Phillip (400m & 4x400m). Other women's All-Americans included Jeavon Benjamin (4x400m), Jordan Durham (4x400m), Shauntel ElcockStephanie Garnett (long jump), April Kubishta (pole vault), Dominique' Maloy (4x400m) and Sarah Stevens (shot put) while the men included Nectaly Barbosa (DMR), Darryl Elston (4x400m), Joey Heller (DMR), Matt Turner (long jump) and Ryan Whiting (shot put). (4x400m),
Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium went under the knife recently as the home of Arizona State University track and field was resurfaced with the latest product from Mondo, Mondotrack FTX. ASU's home venue is the first in the world to be surfaced with the product, which also will be installed at Beijing's Olympic Stadium in time for the 2008 Summer Games. Along with the new surface came an expanded shot put area and the addition of a second 'D' zone (at the north end of the infield). The majority of the surface will be maroon/red in color with the only exceptions being the three exchange zones on the track and the non-runway areas of both 'D' zones, which will be gold. The project was complete Jan. 29.
IN THE BLOCKS
The Sun Devils will play host to the first of two weekends of action at the 2008 Pac-10 Track & Field Championships presented by 76 Gasoline on May 9-10 in Tempe with the heptathlon and decathlon. All other events will be held the following weekend (May 16-17).