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Track & field sends seven to NCAA Indoors

March 09, 2011

Sun Devil Meet Notes and Statistics (pdf)

The first of two national meets awaits the Arizona State University track and field program this weekend as seven Sun Devils will travel to the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station, Texas, to compete in the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday and Saturday. Overall, ASU qualified individuals in four events and one relay, including three individual women, one man and one women's relay.

• The ASU women are #21 in this week's USTFCCCA Top 25 rankings
• In the West, the women are No. 4 and the men No. 5 this week
• On the Web: & will bring the action to your computer
• ASU qualified four individuals (3 women, 1 man) and one women's relay
• It's automatic: three women's entries gained by automatic qualification
• Of the 7 in the meet, six are making their NCAA Indoor debuts
• Of the 7 in the meet, 2 have not competed in an NCAA event before
• Three head to the meet as All-Americans from past outdoor meets
• Shot Put qualifies one in each gender (only 2 schools nationally did so)
• Relay runs to a fast time at Last Chance Meet
• Tough to beat: women have Top 2 relays in reach, one from 1991

ON THE AIR: LIVE WEB STREAMS and will be bringing all the action live to a computer screen near you with live web streams that are free of charge. On Friday, will air coverage from 10 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. (9 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. Arizona) before picks up coverage from 3:55 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. (2:55 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. Arizona). On Saturday, both sites will again offer coverage with taking over from noon to 4:55 p.m. (11 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. Arizona) before steps in from 5 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. (4 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. Arizona). Then, on Wednesday, March 16, ESPN2 will air a tape-delay broadcast of the meet from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Arizona). Check your local listings to verify broadcasts.

The USTFCCCA released the final indoor rankings for the year on March 7 with the Sun Devil women remaining at No. 21 and the men outside of the Top 25. The Top 5 teams in the men's standings heading into the NCAA Indoor Championships include No. 1 Florida, No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 4 Texas A&M and No. 5 BYU while the women's Top 5 is No. 1 Oregon, No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Arkansas and No. 5 Texas A&M.

In the West region rankings, the women remained at No. 4 while the men slipped one position to No. 5.

Arizona State qualified four individuals and one relay to the Championships this weekend, including two individuals and one relay that automatically qualified. Individually, Jasmine Chaney (200m), Anna Jelmini (shot put) and Christabel Nettey (long jump) will compete for the women and Jordan Clarke (shot put) will compete for the men. Chaney also will join Sarah Geren, Keia Pinnick and Kayla Sanchez to run the 4x400m relay.

Of the five entries into the NCAA Championships, three by the women were earned by eclipsing the NCAA automatic standard during the season. Earlier this year, Jasmine Chaney ran faster than the automatic mark in the 200m and then did it twice more, posting a season and career-best time of 23.16 on the very track she will run on this weekend to earn her berth. Two weeks ago, at the MPSF Championships and for the second time in her career, Christabel Nettey met the automatic standard in the long jump, this time winning the event with a leap of 6.44m (21-01.50). Then, last week, at the Iowa State Last Chance Meet, the team of Sarah Geren, Keia Pinnick, Kayla Sanchez and Chaney combined to run 3:33.72, slipping just under the automatic time of 3:34.00 on the final week of qualification to earn the auto.

Of the seven Sun Devils headed to College Station this weekend, two will be making their national meet debuts, including Anna Jelmini and Sarah Geren. Jelmini is a redshirt freshman and will compete in the shot put while Geren is a true freshman that will run one leg of the 4x400 relay.

Only one of the seven Sun Devils in the meet have competed at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the past and that comes by way of Christabel Nettey in the long jump, who placed 17th last year. Jasmine Chaney (2009, 2010), Kayla Sanchez (2009, 2010), Keia Pinnick (2010) and Jordan Clarke (2010) all have competed in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the past.

Chaney, Sanchez and Clarke all head to the indoor meet having earned All-America honors in past national meets, including Chaney (400m hurdles) and Clarke (shot put) at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. Chaney is a three-time All-America after taking fifth in the hurdles last year and helping the 4x100m (sixth) and 4x400m (fifth) relays to honors at the 2009 meet with Sanchez also being a member of the 4x100m relay. Clarke took fifth last year to give Arizona State three Top 8 finishers in the men's shot put.

Over the past 10 years, David Dumble has continued to bring in top talent and build the throws program at Arizona State, which has collected 11 total national titles, including four in the indoor shot put and one in the weight throw. This season, the Sun Devils have entrants in both shot put events, making them one of only two schools nationally to do so (Buffalo is the other that has one man and one woman in the field of competitors in the event).

At the Iowa State Last Chance Meet, the women's 4x400m relay entered the weekend ranked in the Top 10 nationally at 3:35.99, putting them in position to make the national meet, but also in danger of being left out should other relays run faster at last chance meets. With the team of Sarah Geren, Keia Pinnick, Kayla Sanchez and Jasmine Chaney, the Sun Devils won the race in Ames and clocked in at 3:33.72 to automatically qualify for the NCAA meet. That time, which ranks them fifth nationally heading into the race this Saturday, also stands as the third-best time in school history.

After running 3:33.72 and moving up to No. 3 on the school's all-time list, just two relays have run faster than those Sun Devils from last week. Second place on the list is just ahead of current relay as Dominique' Maloy, Shauntel Elcock, Jordan Durham and Jeavon Benjamin ran 3:33.53 to take third place at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships, helping the women's team to its third NCAA title in a row. The school record, however, is 3:32.46, which was set in 1991 and anchored by Olympian Maicel Malone.

The Sun Devil men scored 21 points and placed seventh overall to earn their fourth-consecutive Top 10 national finish as seven men combined to collect four All-America honors in the two day event in Fayetteville, Ark. Ryan Whiting won his third indoor shot put national title in a row with a toss of 21.52m (70-07.25) and Jason Lewis earned a pair of honors as she was sixth in the weight throw (21.15m/69-04.75) and seventh in the shot put (18.64m/61-02.00) while the two running events produced All-America honors in Brandon Bethke in the 3,000m run (fourth in 8:11.61) and the men's 4x400m relay of Donald Sanford, Justin Kremer, Ray Miller and Joel Phillip, who were eighth in 3:08.51. Constance Ezugha, who finished 14th in the long jump, earned All-America honors as the eighth American in the standings.

A small group of Sun Devils competed at the Iowa State Last Chance Meet last weekend with the women's 4x400m relay of Sarah Geren, Keia Pinnick, Kayla Sanchez and Jasmine Chaney combining to run an NCAA-automatic qualifying time of 3:33.72 to win the event in Ames. Chaney (60m hurdles), Jordan Clarke (men's shot put), Anna Jelmini (women's shot put), Corey Phallen (men's pole vault) and Shaylah Simpson (women's pole vault) also competed in the meet, but did not improve upon their season bests.

According to the most recent update of the World Top 20 lists, current Sun Devil Jasmine Chaney and three former Sun Devils rank among the best in the world, including Ryan Whiting, who finished his indoor season as the world leader with a toss of 21.35m in the shot put. Chaney is currently tied for 11th in the 200m dash with her time of 23.16 while former ASU All-American Charonda Williams is 17th at 23.24 in the same event. The final Sun Devil on the list is former national champion Sarah Stevens Walker, who is 15th in the shot put at 17.96m.

Last year, Keia Pinnick's best run in the indoor 400m dash produced a time of 55.32 before she hit the outdoor surfaces and ran 55.48. Two weeks ago, in her first 400m dash competition of the season, the national qualifier in the outdoor 400m hurdles lowered her personal-best time in the open quarter to 53.73. That time, which ranks 19th in the nation currently, is the seventh-best time in ASU history.

This season, 39 total marks were added to Arizona State's all-time Top 10 indoor lists, including 23 by the women and 16 by the men. In all of those marks, one school record was achieved as Ben Engelhardt ran the 5,000m race in 13:50.42 to finish fourth at the MPSF Championships and break a five year-old record in the process. Overall, the women's sprints/hurdles/relays group accounted for 11 of those 39 marks added to the lists while the men's group that produced the most marks came from the distances with six.

Looking at the school's all-time lists, Jasmine Chaney did a lot to etch her name onto the lists in her senior season and still has this weekend to improve on two times. So far in 2011, Chaney moved up to No. 2 in the 200m dash with a time of 23.16, No. 3 in the 60m hurdles at 8.22 and No. 3 in the 400m dash at 53.37. She also is a member of the No. 3 4x400m relay that is just over one second away from equaling the school record set in 1991.

Perhaps one of the best debuts for a Sun Devil came in the women's pole vault as true freshman Shaylah Simpson won the event in collegiate debut, clearing 4.20m (13-09.50). Having just missed on her attempt at the NCAA Automatic qualifying mark of 4.30m, Simpson put her name on the Arizona State record books at No. 2 all-time, behind April Kubishta, who cleared 4.30m (14-01.25) to take second at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships. Simpson, who ranks tied for eighth in the nation right now, is now only the fourth Sun Devil woman to clear 13-feet during an indoor competition in program history.

Two other vaulters also had a strong first weekend as both Cara Carpenter and Corey Phallen posted all-time Top 10 marks. In the women's event, Carpenter cleared 3.90m (12-09.50) to tie for third place and moved up to fifth on the all-time Sun Devil lists. Carpenter would later move up to fourth overall as she would clear 4.01m (13-01.75) to tie for seventh at the MPSF Championships and become the fourth ASU woman to clear four-meters. In the men's vault, Phallen, back on the runway after redshirting last season, cleared 5.22m (17-01.25) to move into fourth all-time at ASU and become only the fourth Sun Devil man to clear 17-feet in an indoor competition. Phallen currently ranks 17th in the nation with his clearance.

Four men and four women on the roster in 2011 enter the season having earned All-America honors at some point in their careers, including two men (both outdoor) and two women (one indoor and one outdoor) that earned that distinction last year. In 2010, Constance Ezugha (indoor long jump) and Jasmine Chaney (outdoor 400m hurdles) both earned honors for the women while the men's team has Allante Battle (outdoor 4x400m) and Jordan Clarke (outdoor shot put) returning. Also returning for the men this season are a pair of 800m All-Americans in Nectaly Barbosa (indoor 800m) and Mason McHenry (outdoor 800m). On the women's side, the Sun Devils have Cj Navarro (outdoor discus) returning along with Dominique' Maloy, who has collected six career honors, the most of any Sun Devil on the 2011 roster.

Last week marked the start of a new season, as well as the beginning of the end for 13 seniors. The 2011 roster features six women and seven men that are seniors this year, including a pair of men that also are in their first year with the program. On the women's side, the seniors include Jasmine Chaney, Samantha Henderson, Dominique' Maloy, Cherise McNair, Brianna Smith and Anna Young (formerly Sperry). The men's seniors include Nectaly Barbosa, Ian Caracciolo, Ben Engelhardt, Casey Fonnesbeck, Corey Phallen, Michael Rodriguez and Zeke Van Patten. The two men that are in their first seasons with the program are Fonnesbeck, who graduated from Illinois last year and has one more year of eligibility as a graduate student at ASU, and Rodriguez, who spent the past three years on ASU's club team.

Twenty-seven athletes, including 10 women and 17 men, have joined the Sun Devil program for the first time in 2011. The true freshmen include women Sarah Geren, Asia Gooden, Taylor Hagood, Alex Hartig, Kelsea Hawkins, Alycia Herring, Maddie Nossek and Shaylah Simpson and men Garrett Baker-Slama, Jordan Benesh, Justin Freeman, Jared Gonzales, Ryan Healy, William Henry, Brody Howe, Erik Lindahl, Bryan McBride, Jesus Molina, Jesus Rivera and Kevin Scheuerman. The non-rookie newcomers include women Eliza Gawryluk (junior) and Hailey Hanna (junior) and men Daniel Auberry (junior), Chris Benard (junior), Casey Fonnesbeck (graduate student), Giorgio Giurdanella (junior) and Michael Rodriguez (senior).

In 1996, Pal Arne Fagernes won the men's javelin title at the NCAA Championships. It was not until 2004 that Arizona State had another national champion as Jacquelyn Johnson won the outdoor heptathlon as a true freshman. Starting in 2005, ASU had at least one returning NCAA champion on its roster for six years in a row, a streak that comes to an end this season because of graduation. The 2010 and 2009 rosters featured two returning individuals each (Ryan Whiting and Jason Lewis in 2010, Whiting and Sarah Stevens in 2009) while the 2008 roster featured four returning champions in Johnson, Stevens, Jessica Pressley and April Kubishta, all who won titles in 2007.

As the season begins, there are 19 Sun Devils on the roster that were teammates before they came to Arizona State, including transfers from two colleges and five high schools represented. Prior to their joining the Sun Devils, Eliza Gawryluk, Cameron Liston and Darius Terry all were teammates at Northern Arizona while both Daniel Auberry and Chris Benard join the team this season after two years together at Riverside Community College. Teammates have been reunited from five high schools as well, including four from the Valley. Freshmen Asia Gooden and Alycia Herring are both starting their first years with ASU after running together at Ranch Verde HS in California. Locally, Desert Vista is represented by Allante Battle, Matt Boughton, John Kline, Cory Kraft and Shaylah Simpson; Sandra Day O'Connor is represented by Camille Olson, Lindsay Prescott and Bryan McBride; Corona del Sol has Garrett Baker-Slama and Josh Walker; and Boulder Creek alums include Roger Dolan and Daniel Lovell.

Ryan Whiting was clearly one of the top collegiate competitors in the nation in 2010, winning NCAA titles in all three events he entered and earning a place in the Top 3 finalists of the Bowerman Award (collegiate track & field athlete of the year). The winner of the indoor shot put for the third year in a row, the outdoor shot put for the second year in a row and the discus champion, Whiting ended his career as the Track & Field News Male Athlete of the Year, USTFCCCA Co-National Field Athlete of the Year (outdoor), Pac-10 Co-Field Athlete of the Year, Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Pac-10 Tom Hansen Medal of Honor recipient. Whiting, who graduated from ASU in May and is pursuing a Master's degree at Penn State while competing professionally, closed out his days on campus as the NCAA record holder in the indoor shot put (21.73m) and second all-time in the outdoor shot put (21.97m), just three 3cm shy of the record mark on his final collegiate attempt.

In a vote of coaches around the nation, Sun Devil throws coach David Dumble was selected as the 2010 USTFCCCA Men's Division I National Assistant Coach of the Year, both indoors and outdoors. The West Region honoree both indoor and outdoor as well, Dumble has now been selected for the national honor for the fourth and fifth times, respectively, and the first on the men's side of competition. He was honored for his efforts with the women's throws three times previously as well.

In the classroom, numerous Sun Devils found great success, led by Ryan Whiting, who was named the USTFCCCA Division I Indoor & Outdoor Field Scholar of the Year. Whiting, one of 13 Sun Devils to earn national all-academic honors from the USTFCCCA, also led the way for the ASU men, who also were named the USTFCCCA Division I Outdoor Scholar Team of the Year.

In 2010, the USTFCCCA began a new award to be handed out annually to the top all-around program in the nation and naming the men's award after former Arkansas coach, John McDonnell. Based on points earned in national team finishes at the three NCAA events (cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field) with the lowest total winning, the Sun Devil men finished second overall in the inaugural awarding with 30 points while Oregon earned the trophy with 7.5 points. Arizona State, who finished ahead of Northern Arizona (42.5), Florida State (51.0) and Washington (55.0), scored finishes of 19th at the cross country meet, seventh indoors and fourth outdoors. ASU is not in the running for the 2010-11 award as the cross country team did not score as a team at the 2010 championships.

Senior Ben Engelhardt was led the way for the Sun Devil men's cross country team during the 2010, earning a berth into the NCAA Championships as an individual qualifier where he finished 51st overall in the national meet. An All-West Region honoree (13th place) and Second Team All-Pac-10 selection (14th place), Engelhardt was the team's top finisher in all but one race on the season and placed in the Top 20 in five races, including 18th at the NCAA Pre-National Meet.

On the women's side, the 2010 cross country team was led by the emergence of Lindsay Prescott, who was the team's top finisher in all six races she entered. The runner-up at the Dave Murray Invitational, Prescott earned Second Team All-Pac-10 honors after placing ninth overall at the conference meet, one of three meets in which she placed in the Top 10. She added Top 25 finishes at the NCAA Pre-National Meet (17th) and the Roy Griak Invitational (22nd).

At the end of the season, 11 different Sun Devils earned Academic All-Pac-10 honors in cross country, including four Sun Devils (three men, one woman) that were selected for first team recognition. Catherine Loden, Ben Engelhardt, Nick Happe and Steven Schnieders all were selected First Team Academic All-Pac-10 while Daniel Lovell and Doug Smith were Second Team Academic All-Pac-10 selections. Earning honorable mention were Alyssa Allison, Kate Lydy, Karlee Owens and Kauren Tarver for the women and Cameron Liston for the men.

Head Coach Greg Kraft is entering his 15th year as the leader of the Sun Devil program, a tenure that has brought Arizona State back to the top of the standings in both the NCAA and Pac-10 events. Since his hiring, the program has continued to evolve into one of the more well-rounded in the nation with strength on the track and in the field as well as in cross country. Kraft and his staff have worked diligently to reach their goals of championships and success in education and that has not been more clearly seen than in the past five years as the hardware has continued to roll in. His program has annually produced some of the top individuals in the nation with 23 of the program's 55 individual and relay national titles won since 2004 while both his teams and individual student-athletes have garnered national academic acclaim. Prior to his arrival, the program boasted one NCAA Championship (men's outdoor track & field, 1977) and one Pac-10 Championship (men's outdoor track & field, 1981). In the last five years, his Sun Devils have captured four national crowns (2007 women's indoor and outdoor track & field, 2008 men's and women's indoor track & field) and added three Pac-10 Championships (women's outdoor track & field, 2006-08). Kraft's teams have finished in the Top 10 of the NCAA Track & Field Championships on 20 occasions in 14 years while the program had done so just 14 times prior to his arrival in Tempe.

As he begins his 15th year at Arizona State, Kraft's tenure ranks as the second-longest in Sun Devil track & field history and the fourth-longest active streak among all current ASU head coaches. The only coach that has led the track & field program longer than Kraft is legendary coach Senon `Baldy' Castillo, who led the way for 26 years (1954-79). Among current Sun Devil head coaches, Kraft's 15th year ranks behind John Spini, who is in his 31st year with gymnastics; Sheila McInerney, who is in her 27th year with women's tennis; and Randy Lein, who is in his 19th year with the men's golf program.

The outdoor season awaits the Sun Devils next weekend as they will play host to the first of five home events this season with the Baldy Castillo Invitational on March 18-19. The hammer and pole vault will be held on the 18th with all other running events taking place on the 19th. A complete schedule can be found on the Home Meet Info page, which is located below the main story area on the track and field page of