Sun Devils earn place for IAAF World Championships

Ryan Whiting

While an official list won't be made available until mid-August, currently, seven athletes with ties to the Arizona State University track and field program will be heading to Daegu, South Korea, for the 2011 IAAF World Championships of Athletics that will take place August 27 through September 4. Six of those individuals recently competed at the 2011 USATF Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., with the seventh individual set to represent Israel in the world meet.

The official lists will be made available in mid-August after the qualifying period closes. Athletes that hold a `B' qualifying standard mark that also hold a spot on their current team's roster have until August 8 to reach the `A' standard should they need it. As it stands now, ASU is one of three schools that currently have six individuals on the tentative list.

The seven individuals are comprised of four men and three women and include Jasmine Chaney, who, two weeks earlier, wrapped up her senior campaign with the Sun Devils by placing fourth in the 400m hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, to earn All-America honors in the event for the second year in a row. In Oregon, Chaney worked her way through the rounds and reached the final where she ran a school-record 55.22 to finish third overall and earn the last of three automatic berths to Team USA in the event. Her time, which bettered the 55.44 run in 1995 by previous record-holder Omolade Akinremi, ranks her 12th in the world so far this year. After recently signing a professional contract, Chaney is on her way to compete in Europe this summer to prepare for the world meet.

Staying on the track, Amy Hastings and Kyle Alcorn will look to run for Team USA in the distances while former sprint standout Donald Sanford will run for Israel in the 400m dash. Hastings, who has appeared in two other world championship events (cross country and half-marathon), recently placed second in the 5,000m run in Oregon, clocking in with a personal-best time of 15:14.31 and just missing the `A' standard, which is 15:14.00. Alcorn will be making his second appearance at the world level in the men's 3,000m steeplechase chase after taking third in the event in Oregon at 8:29.44. He has run 8:23.27 this year, which is just shy of the 8:23.00 `A' standard. Sanford, the 2010 NCAA runner-up at 400m for the Sun Devils, recently won the Israel Championships and will be making his first world appearance.

The field events will be represented by three former Sun Devils, including a pair in the shot put that graduated from the program in the past three years. For the men, Ryan Whiting's continued rise in the shot put saw him place fourth overall with a toss of 21.34m (70-00.25) to earn his second world berth, but the first he will compete in (he qualified for the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships but did not compete because it was the same weekend as the NCAA Indoor Championships where he won his third national title in a row). Another product of assistant coach David Dumble's remarkable throwing corps will be making her second appearance at the world meet as Sarah Stevens-Walker placed third in the women's shot put with a toss of 18.12m (59-05.50) and ranks her 24th in the world. 

Dwight Phillips is the final Sun Devil that will compete and is no stranger to the IAAF World Outdoor Championships as he will be competing for the sixth time in his career. The defending world champion and 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, Phillips is a three-time champion at the IAAF World meet after claiming gold in 2003, 2005 and 2009. He also earned bronze at the 2007 meet, giving him a Top 3 finish in each of the last four outdoor championships. 

One current Sun Devil will also be representing Team USA this summer as William Henry, who just finished his first year in the program, will compete in the Pan American Junior Championships, July 22-24, in Miramar, Fla. The freshman sprinter recently took second in the junior division of the 400m dash in Oregon and will run for Team USA in both the open 400m dash and as a member of the 4x400m relay.

Tentative List of Sun Devils to Compete in IAAF World Championships (Daegu, South Korea)
Team USA - Men
Kyle Alcorn (Nike) - 3,000m Steeplechase (B) - 2nd appearance at Worlds
Dwight Phillips (Nike) - Long Jump (WC) - 6th appearance at Worlds
Ryan Whiting (Nike) - Shot Put (A) - 1st appearance at Worlds

Team USA - Women
Jasmine Chaney (ASU) - 400m Hurdles (A) - 1st appearance at Worlds
Amy Hastings (Brooks) - 5,000m (B) - 3rd appearance at Worlds (1st in outdoor T&F)
Sarah Stevens-Walker (Shore AC) - Shot Put (B) - 2nd appearance at Worlds

Other Nations
Donald Sanford (Israel) - 400m Dash (A) - 1st appearance at Worlds

Sun Devils to Compete in Pan American Junior Championships (Miramar, Fla.) for Team USA - Men
William Henry (ASU) - 400m Dash & 4x400m Relay

* WC - wild card (automatic berth as defending champion); A/B - standard met so far this season