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Track heads to Flagstaff for Lumberjack Invite

February 17, 2011

Sun Devil Meet Notes and Season Top Marks (pdf)

The Arizona State University track and field team will travel north to Flagstaff this weekend as the Sun Devils are set to compete in the Lumberjack Invitational hosted by Northern Arizona on Saturday inside the Walkup Skydome. The meet is the final preparations for the Sun Devils before the championship season gets underway next weekend in Seattle with the MPSF Championships.

• The ASU women are #20 in this week’s USTFCCCA Top 25 rankings
• In the West, ASU remained where it was last week: No. 4 (w), No. 6 (m)
• Chaney ranked in the Top 10 nationally and in the world at 200m
• Two former Sun Devils also on the world Top 20 lists
• Chaney a part of four times that rank in the Top 13 nationally
• Elite company: Chaney is 1-of-3 women to rank Top 20 in 200m, 400m
• Pinnick posts big personal best in 400m
• Jelmini leads the nation’s freshman class in the women’s shot put
• Phallen consistent in three pole vault competitions (over 17 feet in all three)
• In the ASU Top 10: nine marks recorded at Texas A&M Conference Challenge
• ASU wins three events at Texas A&M Conference Challenge
• Alumni update: Whiting wins in Poland; Kieffer finishes 10th at USATF XC

The USTFCCCA released the National Top 25 rankings for the week with the Sun Devil women climbing four spots to No. 20 this week after another strong showing in the sprints at the Texas A&M Conference Challenge. The men are not among the Top 25 teams based upon points earned from positioning on the NCAA descending order lists.

In the West region rankings, both teams remained where they were from one week ago as the women are ranked fourth and the men sixth.

According to the most recent update of the World Top 20 lists, current Sun Devil Jasmine Chaney and two former Sun Devils are currently ranked in their respective events. On the women’s side, Chaney stands eighth in the 200m dash at 23.16 while Charonda Williams, in the same event, is 12th at 23.24. On the men’s side, Ryan Whiting remains the world leader in the shot put with his toss of 21.31m.

In recent weeks, Jasmine Chaney has put herself into the national rankings in three individual events and one relay for the Sun Devils, with all four of those times she is a part of ranking in the Top 13 nationally and in the Top 10 all-time in Sun Devil history. On the national lists, Chaney is currently seventh in the 200m (23.16), 10th in the 400m dash (53.37) and 13th in the 60m hurdles (8.22) while also helping the relay of Dominique’ Maloy, Kayla Sanchez and Keia Pinnick run 3:35.99, the ninth-best time in the nation.

Looking at the NCAA descending order lists, Chaney is in rare company this week as she is one of three women nationally to rank in the Top 20 in both the 200m and 400m dash events. Jessica Beard of Texas A&M is No. 1 in both events while Chaney ranks seventh (200m) and 10th (400m). The third woman on the list is Shavon Greaves of Penn State, who ranks 10th (200m) and 13th (400m). In fact, when you expand your look at the national lists, Chaney is the only woman in the nation to have run a time that ranks her in the Top 20 in the 60m hurdles and the 200m dash this year.

Through the first thee weeks of competition for the Sun Devils, eight women’s marks currently rank in the national Top 20, including two by freshmen and two by one sophomore. Jasmine Chaney leads the way as she is seventh in the 200m (23.16), 10th in the 400m (53.37) and 13th in the 60m hurdles (8.22) while Keia Pinnick is 18th in the 400m (53.73) and 15th in the pentathlon (3,908). The sophomore standout and Chaney both also helped the 4x400m relay to the ninth-best time (3:35.99) so far this year. The remaining two Top 20 marks come in the field from rookies as Anna Jelmini stands 11th in the shot put at 16.68m while Shaylah Simpson is 13th in the pole vault at 4.20m.

With her toss of 16.68m in the shot put at the Texas A&M Conference Challenge last weekend, Jelmini not only posted a big improvement in her season best, she also put herself on the national lists as the top performing freshman in the event. Jelmini is in position to earn a berth into the NCAA Championships in her first season competing for the Sun Devils and has three more weeks to improve her mark and perhaps hit the automatic qualifying standard of 16.80m.

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. Last week, 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 18th in the nation currently, is the seventh-best time in ASU history.

In Texas, nine marks were posted by Sun Devils that rank among the Top 10 all-time in program history, including five women and four men. On the women’s side, Jasmine Chaney lowered her time in the 200m dash to 23.16, the second-best time in school history, before she ran 8.22 in the 60m hurdles, to move into No. 3 all-time. Chaney also helped the 4x400m relay of Dominique’ Maloy, Keia Pinnick and Kayla Sanchez run 3:35.99, the eighth-best time in ASU history. Pinnick is seventh in the 400m dash (53.73) while Anna Jelmini is fourth in the shot put at 16.68m. On the men’s side, Corey Phallen cleared 5.22m in the pole vault for the second time this year to record the fourth-best clearance in school history while Zeke Van Patten ran 4:10.11 to post the eighth-best mile time in ASU history. Also on the track, Nick Happe ran 8:12.25 to post the 10th-best time in the 3,000m run while Darius Terry, Giorgio Giurdanella, Nectaly Barbosa and Cameron Liston ran 10:05.12 in the distance medley relay to record the ninth-best time in ASU history.

At the Texas A&M Conference Challenge, Sun Devil athletes captured three event titles, including two by the men and one by the women. The women’s 4x400m relay of Dominique’ Maloy, Keia Pinnick, Kayla Sanchez and Jasmine Chaney took gold in the event with a time of 3:35.99 while Ben Engelhardt won the men’s 3,000m run in 8:11.18. The final win came in the men’s pole vault as Corey Phallen cleared 5.22m for the second time this season.

The distance corps ran their first races of the season at the Texas A&M Conference Challenge with several top performances on the day. In the men’s 3,000m, the Sun Devils crossed the line 1-2-3 with Ben Engelhardt winning the race, followed by Nick Happe and Daniel Lovell. In the end, however, Lovell was disqualified for a lane violation, with the Sun Devils still taking the Top 2 finishes in the race.

Perhaps one of the best debuts for a Sun Devil last week 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. 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.

Next up for the Sun Devils will be their annual trek to Seattle as they will take part in the 2011 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Indoor Championships, hosted by Washington, on February 25-26. From there, the Last Chance Meets await the team on March 4-5 before the NCAA Indoor Championships take place on March 11-12 at College Station, Texas. One month from this weekend, the team will open the outdoor season by hosting the Baldy Castillo Invitational.