National championship bids on the line for Sun Devil track and field
The Arizona State University men’s and No. 9 women’s track and field team will open up the first rounds of NCAA Championships this weekend as the squad heads to Austin, Texas, for the NCAA West Preliminaries at Mike A. Myers Stadium. The Sun Devils will be in action beginning Thursday, May 23 and continuing through Saturday, May 25 with events running over the course of the day on all three days. The NCAA Preliminaries are, in essence, the qualifying or advancement rounds for the NCAA Championships, which are set to take place in Eugene, Ore., beginning June 5.
The top 48 student-athletes per event per region (East and West) advance to the NCAA Preliminaries where the fields will face off in an elimination format until only 12 student-athletes per event in each region are remaining. Those 24 final student -athletes will converge in Eugene for the NCAA Finals. The lone exception to the rule is the relay events, where only the top 24 relays per region have advanced to the preliminaries with 12 eventually advancing to the finals.
OUT OF THE BLOCKS
• The ASU women finished in the top 10 at the indoor championships for the first time since 2009 while the men posted a top-25 finish for the eighth time in the last 10 years
• The Arizona State women currently have three student-athletes ranked No. 1 in the country in their respective events: Christabel Nettey (long jump), Anna Jelmini (discus) and Chelsea Cassulo (hammer)
• Two of ASU’s longest-standing school records were dropped this past season at the Sun Angel Classic, with Christabel Nettey knocking off Jacinta Bartholomew’s 24-year old school record in the long jump and Shelby Houlihan taking the reins in the 1,500-meter run after unseeding Priscilla Hein’s 14-year old record as well.
• Chelsea Cassulo set the NCAA Dual Meet hammer throw record with her winning mark of 69.52m (228-01) at the Double Dual. She set the eighth-best throw in NCAA history earlier this season
• Cassulo, Nettey and Ryan Herson (5k) have all been named Pac-12 Athletes of the Week with their performances this season
• In finishing third overall, the ASU women have been in the top-three at the conference championships in eight of the last nine seasons (since 2005). No other school can lay such a claim.
• On the men’s side following the team’s fourth-place at the Pac-12 Championships, the Sun Devils have been a top-four team in 11 of the last 14 seasons (since 2000). Only USC and Oregon (both 12 of 14) have a better track record in that time.
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