Skip to main content

Sun Angel Classic gives potential students a taste of ASU

April 09, 2015

During this week’s Sun Angel Classic, more than 1,500 track and field athletes from 61 high schools are expected to step foot on ASU’s Tempe campus and get a taste of college life.

The 36th annual event – hosted by ASU – brings many high schoolers to campus who might not otherwise see Arizona State University in the years leading up to their choosing a college.

For Ashley Weber, current sophomore thrower on the ASU track and field team, the first time she came to Tempe to participate in the Sun Angel meet was during her senior year of high school.

“I’m from three hours southeast of here, so we didn’t get out to Tempe or any of the surrounding areas for a lot of meets. So it was exciting for me to come up here,” said Weber, who had committed to ASU at that point but never visited.

Along with high school athletes, the Sun Angel Classic also will feature 12-and-younger age groups, Paralympians and college and professional teams.

Weber said getting to see the range of athletes doing what they love was influential to her and to a lot of the younger athletes who come to this invitational.

“It’s a lot of fun remembering that not that long ago I was one of the high school kids out here throwing, and just seeing how far I’ve come since then … makes me appreciate the opportunity I got to come to ASU and work with coach (David) Dumble,” Weber said.

The students meet at Sun Angel Stadium and warm up by running around campus, passing by academic buildings, dorms and athletic facilities and even getting to eat on campus. It’s an informal, organic introduction to some of what ASU has to offer – and just plain fun for the high school students to experience.

Clif McKenzie, the boys sprint coach at Phoenix’s Desert Vista High School and a member of ASU’s 1977 NCAA-record-setting 4x400 relay team, said the meet is a chance for students to be showcased, but also a great opportunity for them to compete on a college track.

“To run at a university and run on their track, it’s definitely something that really motivates those young people. … There’s going to be some outstanding races,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie participated in the Sun Angel Classic while running at ASU.

“It (the meet) is really inclusive,” McKenzie said. “It’s really great that ASU does that. The fan base that comes in there isn’t just watching the collegiate athletes run – which is just outstanding – they are watching their grandchildren run, they are watching their children run. They are watching those family members who are cheering on those Paralympic runners.”

Find more about the event, including a list of participating high schools, at the Sun Devil Athletics website.

Written by Samantha Pell, ASU News