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Track & field hosts UA and NAU in dual

April 29, 2009

The battle for the Grand Canyon State is once again upon us this week as the Arizona State University track and field team will face intrastate rivals Arizona and Northern Arizona in the annual Double Dual inside Sun Angel Stadium on Saturday. The hammer will be the first event of the day, starting at 2 p.m., while the running events get underway at 6 p.m.

Both Sun Devil squads moved up to No. 4 in the latest USTFCCCA national rankings this week. The men made the biggest jump as they climbed nine positions from their No. 13 spot last week while the women rose one spot from No. 5. Florida is the new No. 1 on the men's side while Texas A&M, Oregon and LSU remained the Top 3 in the women's rankings. Of the teams competing in Tempe this weekend, Arizona's men's team is the only other squad ranked in the Top 25 this week as they moved up to No. 22.

On Tuesday, Sarah Stevens was named as one of 29 women selected for the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, a one-time, non-renewing $7,500 scholarship that is given annually to scholar-athletes that have excelled academically and athletically and are completing their senior seasons. Stevens, the lone woman from the Pac-10 to be honored with the scholarship among winter sports, is a two-time NCAA champion and 12-time All-American while also having earned numerous academic honors, including twice being named the USTFCCCA Women's Division I Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year (indoor 2007, outdoor 2008).

The Double Dual and Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational (Stanford) are the final two meets of the regular season and will be the final competitions before the Sun Devils begin their push for championships. First up will be the

This year's meet is the 23rd in the Double Dual that features the three major universities in the state. With a sweep of both rivals last year, the Sun Devil men trail the Wildcats, 13-9, in the all-time standings while the ASU women have the upper hand over UA, 12-10. Against the Lumberjacks, the Sun Devils lead both series, including a 17-4-1 all-time mark in the men's meets and 19-3 in the women's meets. The Sun Devils swept both teams in 2007, the last time the Double Dual was held in Tempe.

Among the three schools competing this weekend, Arizona State has six men and five women that hold marks ranking them among the Top 10 nationally in the NCAA while Arizona has two men and one woman and Northern Arizona has one man. Of that collective group, eight of those individuals hold marks ranking them in the Top 3, including a pair of national leaders. For the Sun Devils, the men have Brandon Bethke (#1 in the 5,000m) and Ryan Whiting (#2 in the shot put and discus) and the women have Charonda Williams (#1 in the 200m) and Sarah Stevens (#2 in the shot put). The Wildcats have a pair of athletes ranking third in their respective events, including Zach Lloyd (shot put) and Elizabeth Patterson (high jump), while the Lumberjacks have one highly ranked athlete in David McNeill (#3 in the 5,000m). All but McNeill will be competing in the meet this weekend.

The men's and women's shot put should be one of the top events contested this weekend as the Top 2 men and Top 3 women in the Pac-10 standings are all entered into the meet. In the men's event, UA's Zach Lloyd is the top ranked Pac-10 thrower with a toss of 20.77m (indoor) while Ryan Whiting stands second at 20.01m (indoor). When using only their top outdoor marks of the year, Whiting has the No. 2 toss in the nation at 19.61m while Lloyd is No. 3 at 19.55m. On the women's side, No. 1 Sarah Stevens (18.00m), No. 2 Nicole Lloyd (16.32m indoor) and No. 3 Megan Howard (16.08m indoor) are all in the event after all three faced one another in the NCAA Indoor Championships in March earlier this year.

Two other women's throwing events will also feature some of the conference's best competitors as the Top 3 in the women's discus and two of the Top 3 in the women's hammer will all compete. In the discus, Sarah Stevens is the leader at 54.58m while teammate Cj Navarro is second at 50.85m and Nicole Lloyd is third at 50.33m. In the hammer, Stevens is ranked second at 68.87m while Megan Howard is third at 56.90m.

The Sun Devils won all four duals last year in Tucson to sweep their rivals while collecting 26 event victories and 43 total regional qualifying marks. The women swept all the sprints contested and also captured titles in all four throwing events on the way to the team wins while the men won four of the sprints and four of the throws to pace the team to victory. Several Sun Devils recorded multiple wins, including Charonda WilliamsJessica Pressley (shot put, discus, hammer), Calvin Abram (100m, 200m), Marquis Profit (110m hurdles, 400m hurdles), Matt Turner (long jump, triple jump) and Ryan Whiting (shot put, discus). (100m, 200m),

The Arizona State University track and field team captured nine different event titles and recorded five regional qualifying marks as the Sun Devil Invitational came to a close on Saturday night in Tempe. Along with the marks attained at home, four throwers added one victory and four regional berths in competition held in La Jolla, Calif., at the UCSD Triton Invitational. Facing athletes from Arizona, Northern Arizona, Mesa Community College and a handful of unattached individuals, the Sun Devils won six women's and three men's events on a windy day in Tempe. The women won four sprint events, including Dominique' Maloy in the 100m (11.90), Jasmine Chaney in the 200m (24.32), Kayla Sanchez in the 400m hurdles (1:03.09) and the 4x400m relay (4:02.41). Also victorious for the women were Stephanie Garnett in the long jump (5.99m) and Erika Simington in the javelin (43.29m). Simington's winning toss ranks as the sixth-best in ASU history. Marcus Duncan led the way for the men as he won the 200m dash in 21.21 while anchoring the 4x100m relay to a winning time of 40.75. The 4x400m relay also was victorious in 3:14.95. Duncan's win in the 200m also led a sweep of the Top 3 positions as all three qualified for regionals, including Allante Battle (21.28) and Darryl Elston (21.33). In the pole vault, Corey Phallen cleared 5.05m to meet the regional standard for the men while Cara Carpenter qualified for the women with her clearance of 3.85m. In that same women's event, Stacy Orosz cleared 3.55m to move into a tie for the seventh-best clearance in ASU history. In La Jolla, Jason Lewis recorded the fifth-best discus mark in program history as he improved his all-time best by six feet with a throw of 58.62m (192-04) for a sixth-place finish. Lewis also placed fifth in the hammer with a mark of 62.19m (204-00) while Jeff Helwig was seventh in 59.15m (194-1) as both met the regional standard. On the women's side, Sarah Stevens won the shot put with a toss of 16.90m (55-05.50) while Cj Navarro was 22nd overall with a mark of 12.05m (39-06.50).

For the second week in a row (April 18), Charonda Williams took to the track and broke a school record, this time shattering the 100m dash mark. At the Mt. SAC Relays, Williams ran 11.29 to finish second only to current world leader Carmelita Jeter's 10.97. Williams' mark, which stands 14th in the world this week, broke the previous mark of 11.33 that was run by Sharon Ware in 1983 (26 years ago). One week earlier, Williams moved to the top of the charts on ASU's 200m list by running 22.82 and breaking the previous standard of 22.91 that Maicel Malone ran in 1991.

Along with her two records set outdoors in the past two weeks, Williams also is the indoor record holder in the 60m (7.30) and 200m (22.89). She also has helped several relays move up the rankings this year, including the 4x100m that ran 43.92 to move into second all-time at ASU and become only the second team to run a sub-44 in the event. Indoors, she helped the 4x400m relay clock the fourth-best time of 3:34.30 at the NCAA Championships where the team placed second overall in the meet.

Jasmine Chaney also had a fine weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays (April 16-18) as she a part of four regional qualifying marks, including both relays and both hurdles. In the hurdles, however, Chaney improved her personal best times while also winning both events. First up, Chaney ran in the 400m hurdles and won with a time of 58.57 to move into the No. 6 position on the all-time ASU list while also becoming only the seventh woman to run a sub-59 in the event. One day later, she competed in the 100m hurdles and won with a time of 13.61, improving on the No. 9 time in program history. She also helped the 4x100m (44.17) and the 4x400m (3:37.10) to regional qualifying marks.

At the Mt. SAC Relays, 13 different marks attained by Sun Devils met the regional qualifying standard with five of those times placing on Sun Devil in the regional meet for the first time this year. Brandon Bethke was the lone man to earn a new spot as he qualified in the 5,000m run while Kauren Tarver earned her first berth in the steeplechase. The women's sprints captured the remaining three new additions, including Jeavon Benjamin and Shauntel Elcock in the open 400m dash as well as both women in the 4x400m relay with Jasmine Chaney and Dominique' Maloy.

On the latest release of the NCAA descending order lists, two Sun Devils currently have the top mark in the nation. For the women, Charonda Williams' time of 22.82 is the best run this year in the 200m dash while the men's 5,000m run is led by Brandon Bethke (13:27.79).

Five other marks for the women also rank among the Top 10 with three belonging to Sarah Stevens, who currently stands second in the shot put (18.00m), fourth in the hammer (64.87m) and fifth in the discus (54.58m). Williams is currently ninth in the 100m dash (11.29) to go along with her national-leading time in the 200m while the 4x100m relay of Dominique' Maloy, Shauntel Elcock, Jasmine Chaney and Williams is currently fifth (43.92).

After qualifying in three events last year at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships and earning All-America honors in all three, including the national title in the discus, Sarah Stevens is once again in position to add to her career haul of 12 All-America honors. As it stands now, Stevens is the only woman in the NCAA that is ranked in the Top 10 in all three throws so far this season.

Along with Bethke's national leading mark in the 5,000m run, five other marks on the NCAA list currently rank among the Top 10, including Ryan Whiting, who ranks second in both the shot put (19.61m) and the discus (60.73m). Jason Lewis moved into the Top 10 in the discus to place himself among the top athletes in a pair of events as he stands fourth in the hammer (68.15m) and seventh in the discus (58.62m) while Mason McHenry rounds out the Top 10 position holders as the true freshman ranks fifth in the 800m (1:48.25).

On the latest world lists, eight women's and five men's marks held by current and former Sun Devils are currently ranked among the Top 20 internationally. For the current Sun Devils, Charonda Williams leads the way as she is ranked fifth in the 200m dash (22.82) and 17th in the 100m dash (11.29). Also ranked is Sarah Stevens in the women's shot put (20th at 18.00m), and men's athletes Brandon Bethke in the 5,000m run (11th at 13:27.79) and Ryan Whiting in the shot put (20th at 19.61m).

On the same world lists are three men and five women with ties to the program, including world leader Jacquelyn Johnson, who holds the top score in the heptathlon with her total of 6,020 scored at the Drake Relays last week. Also on the list for the former women's team members are: Desiree Davila (third) and Amy Hastings (10th) in the 10,000m run; Lisa Galaviz (sixth) in the steeplechase; and Latosha Wallace (13th) in the 400m hurdles. On the men's side, Marcus Brunson (10.12) and Matt Turner (8.04m) are ranked sixth in the 100m dash and long jump, respectively, while Fasil Bizuneh is 10th in the 10,000m run (28:00.22).

According to the latest release of the Pac-10 Conference's descending order lists, the Sun Devils hold the top marks in five men's events and six women's events, including both 100m and 200m dashes, both 4x400m relays and the shot put. For the women, Charonda Williams leads the way in the 100m (11.29) and the 200m (22.82) while also running on the leading 4x100m (43.92) and 4x400m (3:34.30) relays. Sarah Stevens is the leader in a pair of events as well as she holds the top mark in the shot put (18.00m) and the discus (54.58m). On the men's side, Marcus DuncanRyan Whiting has the top mark in the discus with his toss of 60.73m and Jason Lewis is tops in the hammer throw with a mark of 68.15m. holds the top times in the 100m (10.41) and 200m (20.80) and is the anchor of the leading 4x100m relay (39.79). In the field,

On March 13-14, the 2009 indoor season came to a close for the Sun Devils as eight members of the team traveled to College Station, Texas, for the NCAA Indoor Championships and returned to Tempe with a pair of fifth-place team finishes and 12 total All-America honors. Jason LewisRyan Whiting (shot put) each won national titles to pace the three men while Charonda Williams earned All-America honors in three events to lead the five women at the meet. (weight throw) and

All three men and all five women that competed in the NCAA Indoor Championships over the weekend earned All-America honors with three athletes earning multiple awards. Jason Lewis was the lone man to earn multiple honors as he finished first in the weight throw and fourth in the shot put while Sarah Stevens earned honors in the same women's events with finishes of fourth and second, respectively. Charonda Williams led the way, though, as she was an individual All-American in the 60m dash (sixth) and 200m dash (third) before joining Dominique' Maloy, Shauntel Elcock and Jeavon Benjamin to place second in the 4x400m relay. The final All-American was true freshman Mason McHenry in the men's 800m run, where he placed ninth overall and was the eighth American to finish.

The start of the championship season is up next for the Sun Devils with one entry in the Pac-10 Multi-Championships that will be held in Eugene, Ore., next Saturday and Sunday. The following weekend (May 16-17), the remaining members of the team will head to Oregon for the Pac-10 Championships where the women will look to win their fourth title in a row and the men will try to capture their first since 1981 after placing second each of the past two years.