ASU set to host track and field double dual
The Arizona State University track and field team will play host to the annual Double Dual in Tempe this weekend as competitors from intrastate rival schools Arizona and Northern Arizona will be on hand Saturday for the scored team event at Sun Angel Stadium. The hammer competition opens the day at 2 p.m. with the running events getting underway at 6 p.m.
Unlike the previous four meets held in Tempe this year, the Double Dual will feature only athletes representing the three schools (ASU, UA and NAU) with no unattached and/or professional competitors in the event. Each team will score points based upon the Top 2 finishers in each event compared to the team they face with the winner of that event earning five points, second taking three, third taking two and fourth taking one. No team will score more than two places in each event regardless of the number of entries. At the end of the night, six team scores will be produced (three men’s, three women’s) with team winners being decided in duals between ASU vs. UA, NAU vs. UA and ASU vs. NAU.
LAST OF THE YEAR
The Double Dual will be a final event for the Sun Devils in two regards. First, the Dual will serve as the final tune-up for the Sun Devils before they begin competition in the Pac-10 Conference Championships over the next two weekends. Second, this weekend’s meet will mark the last appearance in Tempe for several seniors as they compete for the Sun Devils at home for the final time in their collegiate careers.
Ryan Milus, a redshirt freshman sprinter, was twice honored this week following an impressive display on the Sun Angel Stadium track last week at the Sun Devil Open. The Pac-10 Conference selected Milus as the Pac-10 Men’s Track Athlete of the Week while the Sun Devil Athletic Department selected him for the Bronze Pitchfork (one of the Top 3 performers of the week across the entire athletic department). Milus turned in a stellar performance on the track as he won three events, including a sweep of the 100m and 200m dashes. Not scheduled to run the 100m dash originally, Milus got out quick and used a tailwind of 3.9 to run 10.07, moving him up to No. 5 nationally this year. Had the time been wind-legal, it would have been a school record. Milus also ran the team’s first sub-21-second time in the 200m dash this season as he clocked in at 20.91 with a wind of 3.1 in his face. Before both individual races, Milus anchored the 4x100m relay to victory in 40.36. Milus is the second Sun Devil in as many weeks to be honored by the Pac-10 as Jasmine Chaney earned the women’s track honor last week.
IN THE RANKINGS: USTFCCCA TOP 25
Both Sun Devil squads appear in the USTFCCCA National Top 25 rankings this week with the women remaining at No. 10 and the men entering the list at No. 25. Five men’s and five women’s teams in the Pac-10 are currently ranked in the Top 25 this week, including women’s teams No. 3 Oregon, No. 5 USC, No. 7 Arizona, No. 10 ASU and No. 21 Washington State and men’s programs No. 8 USC, No. 9 Arizona, No. 20 Oregon, No. 23 Stanford and No. 25 ASU.
In the regional index, the Sun Devil men rose two positions to No. 2 in the West behind Oregon while UCLA, Arizona and Washington round out the Top 5. On the women’s side, Oregon remained No. 1 with Arizona, ASU, Stanford and USC rounding out the Top 5 in the West.
WATCH OUT FOR JELMINI
On April 5, the Bowerman Award committee added freshman Anna Jelmini to its watch list, making her one of 10 women the committee is keeping its eye on this season for the award given annually to the top male and top female collegiate track and field competitors. Jelmini, the national leader in the discus and sixth-ranked in the shot put, is the only freshman on the list with also includes two sophomores, one junior and six seniors. Jelmini also is one of three Pac-10 competitors on the list. Last year, Ryan Whiting was one of three men’s finalists for the Bowerman.
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADERS
Heading into this weekend’s action, Anna Jelmini remains as the NCAA leader in the discus as she threw 60.54m at the UCSD Triton Invitational over the weekend to extend her lead by several inches. This weekend, Jelmini will be one of four individual national leaders that will be on hand in Tempe for the Double Dual, which also includes three Arizona athletes, including the national leaders in the men’s and women’s high jump and the women’s shot put.
NATIONAL TOP 10
Two men’s marks and seven women’s marks (including Jelmini in the discus) currently rank in the Top 10 nationally, according to the latest order lists. For the women, Jelmini not only leads the discus, but ranks No. 6 in the shot put (17.24m) while Jasmine Chaney (56.61) stands third in the 400m hurdles and is part of the No. 6 4x400m relay with Keia Pinnick, Alycia Herring and Kayla Sanchez. Pinnick (5,455) and Samantha Henderson (5,424) currently stand eighth and 10th, respectively, in the heptathlon while Christabel Nettey is eighth in the long jump (6.38m). For the men, Ryan Milus is now No. 5 in the 100m dash (10.07w) while Jordan Clarke is No. 7 in the shot put (18.81m).
At the Mt. SAC Relays, the Sun Devil women’s intermediate hurdle crew swept the Top 3 places in the event with Jasmine Chaney winning in 57.71 while Kayla Sanchez was second (57.76) and Keia Pinnick third (57.97). The times for Sanchez and Pinnick rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in ASU history. With those times, ASU is now the only school with three women to run under 58-seconds in the event so far this year, surpassing the two turned in by Texas.
ON THE LIST: WORLD TOP 20
Counting current and former Sun Devils, one man and six women are currently ranked in the Top 20 internationally, including three current women. Jasmine Chaney’s time of 56.61 in the 400m hurdles ranks her eighth in the world while Anna Jelmini stands 12th in the discus at 60.54m. Christabel Nettey is the final current Sun Devil on the list as she stands tied for 20th in the long jump (6.38m). The remaining Sun Devils on the list include Charonda Williams (6th at 22.85) in the 200m dash; Desiree Davila (5th at 2:22:38) in the marathon; and Sarah Stevens-Walker (10th at 18.09m) in the shot put. The lone man on the list right now is Ryan Whiting, who stands fifth in the shot put at 20.70m.
ON THE LIST: WORLD JUNIOR TOP 20
Currently, the Sun Devils have three individuals that are ranked among the Top 20 in the world in the junior division (can’t turn 20 before December 31, 2011) as well, including two women and one man. For the women, Alycia Herring ranks No. 7 in the long jump with her leap of 6.25m while Shaylah Simpson stands seventh in the pole vault with her clearance of 4.02m. On the men’s side, William Henry is currently ranked among the Top 20 in a pair of events, including 13th in the 400m dash (46.76) and tied for 20th in the 200m dash (21.15).
LEADERS OF THE PAC(-10)
Four marks earned by Sun Devils currently are the best among Pac-10 competitors, including two each by the men and women. For the men, Ryan Milus’ wind-aided time of 10.07 in the 100m dash put him in the lead while Jordan Clarke remained the leader in the shot put at 18.81m. For the women, Anna Jelmini continues to lead the discus with her toss of 60.54m while Jasmine Chaney also is tops in the 400m hurdles (56.61).
OFF THE CHANEY
When looking over the Pac-10 Top 10 lists, one name continues to appear on the women’s ledgers and that name is Jasmine Chaney. Currently, Chaney is ranked in the Top 4 in four individual events and is part of both relays as well. Individually, Chaney still leads the Pac-10 in the 400m hurdles (56.61) while sitting third in the 100m hurdles (13.18) and 400m dash (53.37i) and fourth in the 200m dash (23.16i). The Sun Devil 4x400m relay (3:33.22) ranks second while the 4x100m relay (44.53) is third, both with Chaney as the anchor leg.
CLARKE LEADING THE WAY
On the men’s side of things, Clarke is the only Sun Devil ranked in the Top 5 in more than one individual event as he is ranked highly in all three weight events. Clarke leads the Pac-10 in the shot put at 18.81m and is third in the discus at 56.66m. He also is fifth in the hammer at 62.00m.
MILUS STEPPING UP
In his first outdoor season in uniform for the Sun Devils, Ryan Milus is starting to make a name for himself as his performance at the Sun Devil Open pushed him into the Top 3 of two individuals sprints. With his time of 10.07, Milus now leads the Pac-10 in the 100m dash while standing third in the 200m dash in 20.91. Earlier in the season, he helped the 4x100m relay to a time of 40.18, which still ranks second in the Pac-10.
KRAFT LEADS THE WAY
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.
LONG TENURE 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 TIME OUT
The championship portion of the season gets underway next week as several Sun Devils will head to Tucson and Roy. P. Drachman Stadium to compete in the opening weekend of the 2011 Pac-10 Conference Championships. The first two events of the Championships, the women’s heptathlon and the men’s decathlon, will lead off the event on Friday and Saturday (May 6-7) with all other events of the Championships taking place one week later on the Arizona campus.