Track & field heads to three meets

<p><a href="… Indoor Season Stats</a> (pdf)</p><separator></separator><p>The Arizona State University track &amp; field team will split its ranks this weekend and head to a trio of meets as the indoor season rolls along for the Sun Devils. Members of the team will travel to Flagstaff to compete in the Northern Arizona Invitational, to Seattle for the Husky Classic and to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational with all three meets taking place on Friday and Saturday.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Nationally known</strong><br /> The U.S. Track &amp; Field, Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its latest national rankings on Tuesday with the Sun Devil men moving up one position while the women remained unranked. The men, who were No. 8 last week, rose one place to No. 7. Texas A&amp;M, Florida State and Florida are the Top 3 teams in the men's rankings while the women's Top 3 is TAMU, BYU and LSU.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Watching Whiting</strong><br /> The U.S. Track &amp; Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Thursday the 10 male collegiate track &amp; field athletes named to the official preseason watch list for the 2010 awarding of The Bowerman as selected by The Bowerman Men’s Watch Committee with returning NCAA champion <a href="">Ry… Whiting</a> earning a spot on that list. The defending champion in both the indoor and outdoor shot put, Whiting is entering his senior year and is on the watch list for an award that will be given to the top male and top female collegiate track &amp; field athlete at the end of the season. (</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Take me to your leader</strong><br /> Speaking of Whiting, the senior has picked up where he left off last year by winning his first two shot put competitions of the year with both marks being the best in the national collegiate ranks and improving each week from the last. Over the weekend, Whiting competed in the New Mexico Classic and hit a mark of 21.24m (69-08.25) to extend his national lead by nearly seven feet.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Take three</strong><br /> On the current national descending order lists, the Sun Devil men have a handful of individuals ranked among the Top 20 nationally with three men holding that distinction in the same event as <a href="">Ry… Whiting</a>, <a href="">Jas… Lewis</a> and <a href="">J… Clarke</a> are all ranked highly in the shot put. Whiting is the current national leader at 21.24m (69-08.25) while Lewis stands eighth with a mark of 18.87m (61-1.00) and Clarke, a redshirt freshman, is 14th at 18.54m (60-10.00).</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Rookie qualifier</strong><br /> True freshman <a href="… Nettey</a> has improved her long jump mark each of the past three weeks with last week's win in Flagstaff her best yet with a top jump of 6.20m (20-04.25). Her mark surpassed the provisionaly qualifying standard (6.13m) to put her in line to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships while also placing her ninth on the school's all-time Top 10 list. While her jumping is improving, her hurdle times also have improved as she ran 8.49 (converted for altitude) last weekend, which ties her for fourth all-time in ASU history.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Speedy devil</strong><br /> At the NAU Team Challenge last weekend, <a href="">… Chaney</a> entered the 400m dash and blazed a huge personal best indoor mark as she won the event with a time of 53.89 to earn provisional qualifying status for the NCAA Indoor Championships. A national qualifier in the hurdle events outdoors, Chaney recorded the sixth-best time in school history with her run.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Lewis lets it fly</strong><br /> <a href="">Jas… Lewis</a> has been having another successful season in the throwing ring so far in 2010 as the defending national champion in the weight throw has won both meets he has entered, most recently winning the New Mexico Classic in Albuquerque last weekend. Lewis captured the NMC title with a heave of 21.59m (70-10.00) for his second-consecutive week with a 70-foot-plus mark after winning the previous week with a toss of 21.92m (71-11.00). Currently, Lewis ranks fourth in the nation in the weight throw based on top marks.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Where men rank</strong><br /> Along with the three men in the shot put and Lewis in the weight throw, three other individuals and one relay currently have recorded times that rank them among the Top 20 nationally. Individually, <a href="">… Trice</a> has run 6.70 (converted for altitude) in the 60m dash, which ranks him 15th in the nation, while <a href="">… Sanford</a> and <a href="">J… Kremer</a> rank 14th (46.85) and 18th (47.06), respectively, in the 400m dash. Sanford and Kremer are also part of the 4x400m relay with <a href="">… Battle</a> and <a href="">Jo… Phillip</a> as the team ranks 15th overall with a time of 3:09.38.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Where women rank</strong><br /> Two women currently hold marks that rank them among the Top 20 in their respective events with one on the track and one in the field. <a href="">… Chaney's</a> time of 53.89 in the 400m dash ranks as the 20th-best in the country while <a href="… Nettey's</a> mark of 6.20m (20-4.25) in the long jump ranks as the 19th-best in the nation.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Top VIII</strong><br /> Last Friday at the NCAA convention in Atlanta, former Sun Devil standout <a href="">S… Stevens</a> was presented with the NCAA Top VIII Award, which is one of the highest honors handed out each year by the Association. Awarded for excellence in the classroom, in competition and in the community, the Top VIII recognized eight individual student-athletes from all divisions of NCAA governance. Just the second Sun Devil to earn the distinction, Stevens was a two-time NCAA champion and earned the most All-America honors in program history with 15 total, including five during her senior season.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Trice's provisional</strong><br /> At the season-opening meet - the Friday Night Challenge - the Sun Devils turned in several strong performances, but perhaps none better than <a href="">… Trice</a> in the 60m dash as the senior won the race with a time of 6.66 (converted to 6.70 for altitude). His time, which he has since equalled in another meet in Flagstaff, also ranks as the fourth-fastest in school history and is the first mark added to the ASU list since <a href="">Seth Amoo</a> clocked in at 6.72 in 2005.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Returning champions</strong><br /> A pair of Sun Devil men are back for their seniors seasons with both carrying the distinction of defending national champion after winning a throwing event last year. <a href="">Ry… Whiting</a> returns and will look to become a three-time champion in the indoor shot put after winning the past two titles while also adding the 2009 outdoor crown to give him a sweep of the event last year. Also returning is <a href="">Jas… Lewis</a>, who hit a personal-best and school-record mark of 75-00.75 last year to win the weight throw for his first title and All-America honor.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>More on Whiting</strong><br /> With a victory in the shot put at the 2010 NCAA Championships, Whiting would become just the third man to win the shot put three years in a row and the first since Hans Hogland (UTEP) did so in 1973-1974-1975. He also would become only the fourth to win the event three or more times in a career and first to do so since Michael Carter (SMU) won crowns in 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1984.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>More on Lewis</strong><br /> Lewis not only will look to defend his national title this year, but also continue a recent streak of success in the event that was started in 2005. That year, Spyridon Jullien (Virginia Tech) won the title and then again in 2006. Following that, Egor Agafonov (Kansas) won the next two titles in a row (2007, 2008) before Lewis won last year.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Returning All-American men </strong><br /> Last year, three men earned All-America honors from the USTFCCCA, including both returning national champions and one true freshman. <a href="">Jas… Lewis</a> collected the first honors of his career by winning the weight throw and taking fourth in the shot put while Whiting added another All-America honor by winning the shot put. Lewis (discus &amp; hammer) and Whiting (shot put &amp; discus) also earned a pair of accolades during the outdoor season. Rookie <a href="">M… McHenry</a> ran in the 800m event and earned All-America honors as well.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>More All-American men </strong><br /> Four other men also return that have earned All-America honors in recent years, including <a href="">… Bethke</a>, who earned national honors at the 2009 NCAA outdoor meet in the 5,000m run before taking seventh overall this past fall at the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The three other returning All-Americans earned their honors during the 2008 season: <a href=""… Barbosa</a> was an All-American outdoors in the 800m and on the indoor distance medley relay team; <a href="">J… Kremer</a> was a member of two indoor All-American relays, including the 4x400m and the DMR; and <a href="">Jo… Phillip</a> earned honors in the indoor and outdoor 400m dash along with the indoor 4x400m relay.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Returning All-American women </strong><br /> Five women earned All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships one year ago with just one athlete, <a href=""…; Maloy</a>, returning this season. Maloy was a member of the 4x400m relay team that finished second in the nation. She also was a member of the All-American 4x100m and 4x400m relays outdoors while adding an individual honor in the outdoor 200m dash.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>More All-American women </strong><br /> Three women return this year that earned All-America honors during the 2009 outdoor season, including two that were freshmen. <a href="">… Chaney</a> is back after helping the 4x100m and 4x400m relays to All-America status last year while <a href="">K… Sanchez</a>, a member of that same 4x100m relay, also is back. In the field <a href="">Cj Navarro</a> is back after placing eighth in the discus in her first national meet appearance last spring. Two distance runners also return this winter after earning All-America honors in cross country during their careers, including 2007 honoree <a href="">Ali Kielty</a> and 2008 honoree <a href="">Kari Hardt</a>.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Back for more</strong><br /> Speaking of returning, head coach <a href="">Greg Kraft</a> is back to lead the way for the 14th year in a row and will look to guide the Sun Devils back to the top of the podium at the NCAA Championships as his squads did in 2007 (women's indoor and women's outdoor) and 2008 (men's and women's indoor). Since taking over the program in 1996, Kraft has built Arizona State into one of the top all-around programs in the nation. Among the coaches that have led the program, his tenure with the Sun Devil men is surpassed only by the 17 years of service legendary coach Senon 'Baldy' Castillo put in (1954-79 and 1985) while his 14 years leading the women's program is the longest in ASU history (Anne Pittman, 1958-67).</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Hello, my name is... </strong><br /> This year's roster features over 90 student-athletes with several newcomers joining the program. The Sun Devils have added 29 newcomers this season, including 16 women and 13 men while 24 women return and 41 men return from last year.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>New to the staff</strong><br /> The coaching staff also has two newcomers this year with the additions of <a href=""… Williams</a> and Isley Gonzalez. Williams was brought in to work with the men's sprinters while Gonzalez helped with the cross country team and will continue on during the track and field season with the mid-distance/distance runners as the program's graduate assistant.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Recap: 2009 cross country</strong><br /> The cross country team wrapped-up its 2009 season in November as the Sun Devils competed in the NCAA Championships, placing 19th in the men's standings and 24th in the women's. The women advanced to their 12th-consecutive national meet (the third-longest active streak) and were led by <a href="">A… Kieffer</a>, who was 49th overall and just nine places from All-America honors. On the men's side, the program's fifth national appearance was led by <a href="">… Bethke</a>, who finished seventh in the men's 10,000m race, earning All-America honors while finishing the highest of any ASU man in program history. Both teams opened the championship season by finishing third at the Pac-10 Championships before the women took fourth and the men tied for fifth at the NCAA West Region Championships.</p><separator></separator><p><strong>Next time out</strong><br /> Arizona State will send several athletes to Flagstaff once again next weekend as the Sun Devils will compete in the NAU Tune-up on February 19. The following weekend, the Sun Devils will travel to Seattle to compete in the MPSF Championships.</p>