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Track & field travels to 51st Mt. SAC relays

April 15, 2009

Coming off its third home meet of the season last weekend in Tempe, the Arizona State University track & field team will send a handful of athletes on the road this weekend as they will travel to Walnut, Calif., to participate in the 51st Mt. SAC Relays. Six women and seven men will make the trip to the meet that starts on Thursday afternoon and runs through Saturday evening.

The Sun Devils won half of the Pac-10 Athlete of Week honors that were announced on Monday, including both women's awards as Charonda Williams and Sarah Stevens were named the Pac-10 Women's Track and Pac-10 Women's Field Athletes of the Week, respectively. Both women won events at the 30th Sun Angel Track Classic in Tempe last weekend. Williams won the 100m dash in 11.44 after taking the 200m dash in 22.82, breaking an 18 year-old school record in the process. Stevens won the shot put with a toss of 18.00m while also posting improved regional qualifying marks in the discus and hammer.

Charonda Williams has greatly improved from last year to this year and that was evident on the track Saturday at the 30th Sun Angel Track Classic as the senior blazed the 200m with a time of 22.82 to place second overall behind Olympic bronze medalist Kerron Stewart (22.62). Williams' time broke Maicel Malone's 1991 record time of 22.91 and stands as the ninth-best in the history of the Pac-10. Her time also ranks as the fourth-best in the world currently while leading the NCAA.

Sarah Stevens competed in the shot put for the first time this outdoor season and recorded a mark of 18.00m (59-00.75) to win the premiere portion of the event at the 30th Sun Angel Track Classic. The 2009 indoor runner-up, Stevens currently ranks second in the nation by just 4cm. Also on the weekend, Stevens improved her regional qualifying marks in the hammer and the discus, toss marks of 64.87m and 54.58m, respectively.

While Williams and Stevens were the lone event winners for the women, the men had one athlete that won two events as Ryan Whiting captured the premiere shot put and the invitational discus at the SATC. Whiting started the day with the top mark of 58.04m to win the discus and then came back later in the meet to take the shot put with his toss of 19.61m.

Jason Lewis continued to impress as the 2009 NCAA Indoor Champion in the weight throw took second in the hammer throw with a personal best toss of 68.15m. Now the second-ranked thrower in the program's history in the hammer, Lewis improved his personal best on four of his five fair throws in the competition and, when it was all said and done, Lewis had recorded a 21-foot personal best.

Four marks recorded at the 30th Sun Angel Track Classic rank among the Top 10 all-time in program history. Along with Williams' school record, two other women added their names to the list while one man did so. On the track, Angela Spadafino ran 10:32.56 in the 3,000m steeplechase to better her No. 8 time while Brandon Bethke added his name to the men's 1,500m list for the first time, running 3:42.82 to move into the No. 4 position. In the field, true-freshman Cara Carpenter cleared 4.00m in the pole vault to tie her for third and make the fourth woman in ASU history to clear 4.00m in competition.

Arizona State athletes recorded 23 times/marks that earned qualification into the NCAA West Region Championships later this season with 11 marking the first time that athlete had qualified in that event in 2009. For the women, Charonda Williams punched her ticket in the 100m (11.44) and 200m (22.82) while fellow sprinter Shauntel Elcock added her name in the 400m (54.47). Angela Spadafino qualified in the steeplechase (10:32.56) while Cara Carpenter (4.00m) and Sarah Stevens (18.00m) qualified in the pole vault and shot put, respectively. On the men's side, Nectaly Barbosa (1:49.40) and David Mehlhorn (9:01.05) were the lone runners to add their names to the list, qualifying in the 800m and steeplechase, respectively, while Ryan Whiting (19.61m) joined in the shot put and Jason Lewis made the list in both the shot put (18.55m) and hammer (68.15m).

Arizona State has a pair of athletes that are currently leading the nation in their respective events with both coming on the track. Charonda Williams is the top 200m runner so far this year with her time of 22.82 while Mason McHenry remains the top-ranked 800m runner on the men's side for the third week in a row at 1:48.25.

The Sun Devil men have 21 regional qualifying marks attained this season with eight of those marks ranking among the Top 10 nationally. Along with Mason's mark in the 800m, the Arizona State men also have two marks ranked second in the nation with both belonging to Ryan Whiting, who is second in both the shot put (19.61m) and the discus (60.73m). Other Top 5 performances include Brandon Bethke in the 1,500m (5th at 3:42.82) and Jason Lewis in the hammer (4th at 68.15m).

Arizona State's women have 17 qualifying marks with 16 going toward the regional meet and one (Ali Kielty in the 10,000m run) going toward the national meet. Along with Williams' top mark in the 200m, the Sun Devils have eight marks that rank among the Top 10 with three standing among the Top 3. All three of those Top 3 marks are held by Sarah Stevens, who is second in the shot put (18.00m) and third in both the discus (54.58m) and hammer (64.87m). The women also have two 4x100m times that rank in the Top 10.

According to the latest world lists, four men and three women with ties to the Sun Devil program are currently ranked among the Top 20, including two men and three women that are on the team this year. For the women, Charonda Williams has the fourth-best time in the world at 200m (22.82) while Ali Kielty (33:56.97) ranks 14th in the 10,000m run and Sarah Stevens stands tied for 16th in the shot put (18.00m). On the men's side, current Sun Devil Ryan Whiting is 13th in the shot put (19.61m) while Mason McHenry stands tied for 15th in the 800m run (1:48.25). Former Sun Devil Matt Turner is currently sixth in the long jump (8.04m) while Marcus Brunson stands tied for fifth in the 100m dash (10.12).

Despite an early morning downpour and the threat of showers throughout the day, the fans that filled Sun Angel Stadium on Saturday were once again treated to an exciting Arizona State University track and field competition as some of the top athletes from across the nation came together to put on a show at the 30th Sun Angel Track Classic presented by Coca-Cola. The host Sun Devils walked away from their third home meet of the season with 23 regional qualifying marks while also capturing four individual event titles. Available to be viewed on, the Classic brought out more stellar marks from the Sun Devils, but none better than the runs by Charonda Williams as the senior won the premiere portion of the 100m dash in 11.44 before taking the premiere 200m dash in a school-record 22.82 to finish second overall. While her time in the shorter sprint was a mere 0.03 off her personal best, her 200m time smashed her previous best and broke the 18 year-old record of 22.91 set by Maicel Malone in 1991. Williams was not the only ASU woman to win an event as Sarah Stevens, who regionally qualified in all three throwing events, won the premiere portion of the shot put with a huge toss of 18.00m (59-00.75). Stevens, who placed among the Top 4 in her two other events, recorded regional marks in the discus at 54.58m (179-01) one day after qualifying in the hammer throw at 64.87m (212-10). The throws also produced a pair of victories for the men as Ryan Whiting captured both the premiere shot put and the invitational discus. In the shot put, the two-time defending NCAA indoor champion won a competition that featured the Top 4 indoor finishers from one month ago with Whiting hitting a mark of 19.61m. He also won the discus with a toss of 58.04m. Three other marks recorded on the day joined Williams' record run on the ASU all-time Top 10 list, including two by the women and one by the men. On the track, Angela Spadafino ran a five-second personal best to move into No. 8 all-time in the steeplechase with her time of 10:32.56 while newcomer Brandon Bethke blazed to a time of 3:42.82 in the men's 1,500m premiere to add his name to the list at No. 4 all-time. In the field, true freshman Cara Carpenter cleared 4.00m (13-01.50) in the pole vault to become the fourth woman to do so and moved into a tie for the No. 3 position on the charts. Overall, the Classic, which saw nearly 1,000 collegiate and post-collegiate competitors entered, produced 278 regional qualifiers. The women totaled 140 qualifiers while the men produced 138.

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.

ASU will return home next weekend when it plays host to the Sun Devil Invitational on April 24-25. The meet will be the fourth of five home meets for the Sun Devils this season with the finale coming on May 2 with the Double Dual with Arizona and Northern Arizona.