Track & field hold final home meet
Two meets are on the slate this weekend for the Arizona State University track and field program, including the final home competition of the 2010 season, as the Sun Devils are set to play host to the Sun Devil Open on Saturday in Tempe while several individuals will compete at the Triton Invitational in La Jolla, Calif., on Friday and Saturday.
Down to the wire
Following the two competitions this weekend, the Sun Devils will have just one weekend remaining to prepare for the championship portion of the season with May 1 signaling the end of the 'regular' season. That weekend, the team will compete against Arizona and Northern Arizona in the annual Double Dual before the Pac-10 Championships take place May 8-9 (heptathlon and decathlon) and May 15-16 (all other events) at California. In just over one month, the Sun Devils will travel to Austin, Texas, to compete in the NCAA First and Second Round competition, which will lead into the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. in June.
Who is in: Sun Devil Open
The majority of ASU athletes competing this weekend will do so in Tempe as they participate in the Sun Devil Open. Other teams that will be represented in the SDO include a trio of intrastate schools in Arizona, Northern Arizona and Central Arizona, along with other individual unattached competitors. All events will be held on Saturday starting with the hammer at noon. Running events will start at 4 p.m.
Who is in: Triton Invitational
Five Sun Devils will travel to La Jolla for the UCSD meet that features representatives from numerous teams throughout the nation. Jordan Clarke, Jason Lewis, Ryan Whiting, Constance Ezugha and Cj Navarro are all set to compete in the Triton Invitational that will include competitors from Akron, Auburn, Kentucky, Kansas, Long Beach State, San Diego, San Diego State, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, UNLV and USC. Numerous club teams and individual competitors also will be on hand for the meet that runs Friday and Saturday.
Bethke brings it
At the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., last weekend, Brandon Bethke competed in invitational section of the 5,000m run and took fourth overall behind a trio of professional competitors with a time of 13:27.83. His time ranks 14th in the world this year, second in the NCAA and first in the Pac-10. That time also was just 0.04 seconds off the school record time of 13:27.79 that he ran last year.
Relay close finishes
The men's sprinters competed in a pair of invitational runs at Mt. SAC and finished second overall in both by the slimmest of margins. First, in the 4x100m relay, the team of Michael Stokes, Ray Miller, Allante Battle and Lawrence Trice combined to run 39.97 with a professional squad from HSI International winning in 39.90, just 0.07 ahead of ASU. Then, in the final event of the weekend on the track, the 4x400m relay of Justin Kremer, Miller, Donald Sanford and Joel Phillip combined to run 3:03.78 to finish 0.08 behind race winner and Pac-10 foe USC (3:03.70).
Sun Devil athletes won four events at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., with two earned by the men and two by the women. For the women, Dominique' Maloy won the open 100m dash in 11.97 while Cj Navarro took the open discus with a toss of 51.24m (168-01). On the men's side, Austin Prince won the open ('c') division of the pole vault with a team-leading 5.05m (16-06.75) clearance while Jordan Clarke won the open discus with his toss of 55.19m (181-01).
Navarro to the lead
Cj Navarro not only won the open division of the women's discus at Mt. SAC, but she did so with a mark that currently leads the Pac-10 Conference as well. Navarro's mark of 51.24m (168-01) leads the league by nearly five feet with USC's Lauren Guerrieri in second with a toss of 49.77m (163-03).
Clarke has solid weekend
Jordan Clarke put together as strong showing at the Mt. SAC Relays last weekend as he did not lose to a fellow collegiate competitor with a win in the discus and a fifth-place showing in the invitational shot put. After taking the discus with a toss of 55.19m (181-01), Clarke entered the shot put as the ninth-ranked competitor of nine entries and finished fifth with a toss of 18.31m (60-01.00) with the four ahead of him being professional competitors.
The Sun Devil men remained among the Top 10 in the most recent release of the USTFCCCA National Top 25 rankings as they come in this week at No. 7, down one spot from their season-high No. 6 ranking attained last week. The women are not among the Top 25 this week. Overall, the men's Top 4 is comprised of Florida, Texas A&M, Oregon and Florida State while the women's Top 4 is Texas A&M, LSU, Oregon and Florida State.
Along with the national rankings, the USTFCCCA released it's latest regional rankings with both Sun Devil squads ranked among the Top 4 in the West. On the men's side, ASU is No. 2 behind Oregon and ahead of USC and UCLA while the women are No. 4 with Oregon, USC and Arizona ahead of them. Overall, the Top 7 teams in the men's rankings are all in the Pac-10 while the Top 6 women's teams (UC Santa Barbara is No. 7) are from the Pac-10.
On top of the world
Ryan Whiting continued to climb closer to the collegiate record mark of 22.00m as he easily won the shot put at the Sun Angel Track Classic with a toss of 21.71m (71-02.75). The world leader heading into the meet, Whiting's improvement kept him on top of the world as the next closest competitor is Andrei Mikhnevich (Belarus), who was the leader at 21.04m thrown on March 20. Whiting's mark not only broke his own school record for the second time this year, it also took down the venue and meet record of 21.52m that Brian Oldfield threw 28 years ago at the Sun Angel Track Classic.
More world marks
Five athletes with ties to the Sun Devil program are currently ranked among the Top 20 in the world following the Mt. SAC Relays last weekend, including three current members of the team. Along with Whiting, Brandon Bethke is highly ranked for the men as he stands 14th in the 5,000m run with a time of 13:27.83 while the other current Sun Devil on the list comes in the women's shot put as redshirting freshman Anna Jelmini stands 18th with a toss of 17.27m. The two other women on the list are Charonda Williams, who is fourth in the 200m (22.97) and seventh in the 100m (11.28), and Sarah Stevens, who is 11th in the shot put (18.23m).
In the NCAA Top 10
Following last weekend's competition at Mt. SAC, seven marks recorded by the men rank among the Top 10 in the nation so far this year, including one national leader (Whiting in the shot put) and one that stands second (Bethke in the 5,000m run). The other highly-ranked Sun Devils include Donald Sanford in the 400m (4th at 45.72), Jason Lewis in the hammer (6th at 67.07m) and discus (7th at 58.85m), Jeff Helmer in the 3,000m run (8th at 8:13.21) and the 4x400m relay (5th at 3:03.78).
Leaders of the Pac(-10)
Three men's marks and one women's mark currently lead the Pac-10 Conference. For the men, Brandon Bethke is tops in the 5,000m run at 13:27.83; Ryan Whiting is first in the shot put with a toss of 21.71m; and the 4x100m relay of Michael Stokes, Allante Battle, Lawrence Trice and Ray Miller at 39.60. The women's lone league leader is Cj Navarro in the discus with her toss of 51.24m.
For his accomplishments at the SATC, Ryan Whiting as selected as the Pac-10 Men's Field Athlete of the Week. Along with his outstanding mark in the shot put, Whiting also posted a toss of 56.94m in the discus at the Mesa Classic on April 9, a mark that stands currently as the 10th-best in the NCAA.
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) announced its annual list of MPSF All-Academic honorees for the indoor season with 13 Sun Devil men and eighth women named to the list. The men honored included Brandon Bethke, Ian Caracciolo, Ben Engelhardt, Kyle Fugit, Duggan Grant, Justin Kremer, Jason Lewis, Jeremy Marcinko, Mason McHenry, Jamie Sandys, Michael Stokes, Lawrence Trice and Ryan Whiting while the women's honorees included Courtney Golden, Ashley Lampley, Dominique' Maloy, Cherise McNair, Cj Navarro, Lisa Navarro, Lisa Nelson and Ashley Wimmer.
Jason Lewis had another strong weekend in the throws as he improved his season-best marks in a pair of events, including the hammer and the discus on the same day at two different meets. First up, Lewis won the premiere section of the hammer at the Sun Angel Track Classic with a toss of 67.07m before he traveled over to the nearby Mesa Classic, where he was second in the discus with a toss of 58.85m. Both marks currently rank seventh overall in the NCAA while his toss in the discus ranks fifth-best in the history of the ASU program.
A trio of sprinters also had a solid weekend as the three posted fast times in the 400m dash while also posting a top time in the 4x400m relay. Individually, Donald Sanford ran 45.72, Joel Phillip ran 46.32 and Justin Kremer ran 46.97 in the premiere section with Sanford beating everyone except Lancford Davis, the Jamaican 4x400m World Indoor Championships member that ran 45.45. Currently, Sanford ranks 12th in the world while standing fourth in the NCAA while Phillip is 13th in the collegiate ranks. The trio, along with Ray Miller, closed out the meet with a winning time of 3:05.94 in the 4x400m relay, posting the eighth-best time in the college ranks.
Sun Angel produces
At the 31st Sun Angel Track Classic, the action was outstanding as 23 different marks recorded in Tempe ranked among the Top 20 on the world lists this season with four of those marks recorded by former Sun Devil women and three total by current Sun Devils. On the track, Charonda Williams ran 11.34 in the 100m dash and 22.97 in the 200m dash to post a pair of Top 10 times, including the 10th-best in the 100m and the second-best in the 200m. Also on the track, meet honoree Desiree Davila clocked a personal-best time of 15:55.81 to run the 15th-best time in the world and also lower the meet and venue record in the 5,000m run. Sarah Stevens improved her standing on the world list to No. 10 in the shot put with her personal-best toss of 18.23m.
World report: take three
On March 28, former Sun Devil All-American Amy Hastings represented the U.S. at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, where the American women finished third overall as a team to capture the team's first medal since 2003. Hastings was the fourth finisher for Team USA, covering the 8,000m course in 26:20 to finish 25th overall. This most recent race was Hastings' third at the world level in cross country as she also had competed in the 2008 senior meet (68th) and the 2003 junior world meet (20th).
Heading into the outdoor season, one Sun Devil returns to competition as the defending national champion and that is Ryan Whiting in the men's shot put. The senior captured his first outdoor title last year in Fayetteville, Ark., and the middle of what is three in a row overall (2009 indoor, 2009 outdoor, 2010 indoor). Whiting won the competition with a heave of 20.11m (65-11.75) and gave him a sweep of the indoor and outdoor crowns, marking the 18th time in the past 45 years a man has accomplished the sweep. He is the 12th different man to do so and the first since 2007.
More on Whiting
With his indoor shot put championship back in March, Ryan Whiting now has four total NCAA titles in the event, including a three-peat in the indoor event and one outdoors. In the history of the shot put at the NCAA meets, Whiting is currently tied for fifth all-time with Carl Myerscough (Nebraska), who won two indoors and two outdoors, and a title outdoors this year for Whiting would move him into a three-way tie for third-most with Hans Hogland (UTEP) and Janus Robberts (SMU). Whiting concluded his indoor campaign with three titles, making him one of four men to win at least three in a career. Should he win the outdoor title this year, his two crowns would tie him 11 other men that won twice and make him the 19th man to win two or more in a career.
Returning All-Americans: men
Three men return for their senior seasons after earning All-America honors outdoors. Ryan Whiting is back to defend his shot put title and improve upon his second-place finish in the discus while Jason Lewis, the only man in the nation last year to qualify for all three weight events outdoors, is back after sixth-place showings in the discus and hammer. Brandon Bethke also is back after taking fourth place in the 5,000m run.
Returning All-Americans: women
Four women that earned All-America honors last year are back this season, including two with individual honors. On the track, the returning All-Americans include Jasmine Chaney (4x100m and 4x400m relay), Dominique' Maloy (200m, 4x100m and 4x400m relay) and Kayla Sanchez (4x100m relay) while the lone returning field event All-American is Cj Navarro (discus).
Next time out
The battle for the State of Arizona is next up for the Sun Devils as they travel to Tucson on May 1 for the annual Double Dual with Arizona and Northern Arizona. The meet will be a scored team event that will have results of ASU vs. UA, ASU vs. NAU and UA vs. NAU.