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ASU track & field set to open 2012 season

January 13, 2012


The Arizona State University track and field teams will open the 2012 indoor campaign on Saturday, Jan. 14, as the team heads just north to take part in the Lumberjack Open in Flagstaff, Ariz.  Head coach Greg Kraft won’t be holding back this weekend as he plans to send the entire team to the competition to get some early-season experience under their belts.  Field events are slated to begin at 9 a.m. MST at the J.L. Walkup Skydome and will continue with the running events at 10 a.m. MST. 


•The ASU women are #21 in this week’s USTFCCCA Top 25 rankings

•Jordan Clarke returns to the Sun Devils as the defending outdoor NCAA shot put champion

•This is the earliest the Sun Devils have opened a season since 2004

•Anna Jelmini returns as the lone Sun Devil to earn first team All-America honors from last year’s indoor campaign, a fifth-place finish in the shot put

•The Sun Devil women return three of the four 4x400-meter runners that set the third-fastest time in school history last year (3:33.72) in Sarah Geren, Keia Pinnick and Kayla Sanchez

Saturday’s competition will mark the earliest the Sun Devils have opened a season since 2004 when the team also opened at the Lumberjack Invitational on Jan. 17 of that year.  The early start is due in large part to the Arizona State academic schedule which brings the students back a bit earlier than it has in the past.  This will allow the team to get its competition wheels set before the brunt of the season begins at the end of January, starting with the Texas A&M Invitational on Jan. 27-28.

The USTFCCCA released its preseason computer rankings this week and the ASU women came in at No. 16 to start the season.  The purpose and methodology of the national team computer rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national-title race – not as a method to compare teams head-to-head.  The computer uses mathematical formulae based on the current season’s marks to determine which teams have the best potential of doing well at the national championships.  The preseason rankings utilizes results from the 2011 season to help dictate its answers.

A regional ranking will not be available until January 24. 

ASU returns five All-Americans from last year’s indoor season.  Sophomore Anna Jelmini represents the lone first-team All-American after her fifth place finish in last year’s shot put competition.  ASU also returns three of the four members of the women’s 4x400-meter relay that set the third fastest time in school history last year in Sarah Geren, Keia Pinnick and Kayla Sanchez.  The team finished 12th last season, earning second-team All-America honors.  On the men’s side, defending outdoor shot put champion Jordan Clarke returns to the field after earning second-team honors with a ninth place finish at last year’s indoor championships.

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 12 total national titles, including four in the indoor shot put and one in the weight throw.  ASU returns indoor All-Americans in Anna Jelimini (First Team) and Jordan Clarke (Second Team) this season.  

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.