Track and field heads to Oregon for NCAA Prelims
The championship season is in full swing for the Arizona State University track and field program and continues with the opening rounds of competition of the NCAA Championships with this week's NCAA Preliminary Rounds being held in Eugene, Ore., at Hayward Field on the Oregon campus. The meet, which will be held Thursday through Saturday, is one of two `regional' sites with Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.) hosting the east competition. Both sites will be where athletes must compete in order to advance to the NCAA Championship Finals that will be held June 9-11 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The Sun Devils will have 29 representatives in the competition this week, including 14 women and 17 men.
LET'S GO LIVE!
Those fans that can't be in Eugene in person can be there via a live web stream that Oregon will provide on its web site: GoDucks.com. The start times for the web stream are 3:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, 3 p.m. PT on Friday and 1 p.m. PT on Saturday. FlashResults.com also will have live result updates on its site through the following address: http://www.flashresults.com/2011_Meets/outdoor/05-26-NCAAWest/.
WHAT'S GOING ON OUT THERE
The preliminary round competitions are not scored team events and no points will be earned toward the final team score at the NCAA Championship Final in Des Moines. The east and west meets also will not crown `regional' champions, rather, they are set up to take the Top 48 individual qualifiers and the Top 24 relays in each `region' and whittle those numbers down to the Top 12 in each event, bringing the total to 24 entries in each event at the Finals in two weeks. There, the stakes will be high as the Top 8 finshers in each event will earn All-America honors and score points toward the team titles while each event winner will be crowned a NCAA champion.
ALREADY HEADED TO DES MOINES
While the 31 Sun Devils in Eugene will be battling to land finishes in the Top 12 to move on to the national finals in two weeks, two of those entrants this week already are assured a place in Des Moines as both Samantha Henderson (8th overall) and Keia Pinnick (10th overall) were part of the Top 24 in the women's heptathlon, which, along with the men's decathlon, are the only two events that are finals only (non-preliminary round events). While both women will compete in the seven-event competition in two weeks, both also will compete in events this week first. Henderson will take part in the long jump, where she ranks 18th in the west, while Pinnick will also compete in the long jump (24th) as well as the 4x400m relay (7th).
GONNA BE BUSY
Seven Sun Devils will have a busy schedule ahead of them this week as three women and four men have qualified and will compete in at least three events each. For the women, Jasmine Chaney and Kayla Sanchez lead the way in four events each, including Chaney in the 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 4x100m and 4x400m while Sanchez will be on both relays along with the 100m dash and 400m hurdles. Alycia Herring will enter into three events, including both relays and the long jump. On the men's side, Allante Battle is in four events, including both relays with the 100m and 200m dashes with Daniel Auberry (100m, 200m 4x100m) and Kelsey Caesar (400m, 4x100m, 4x400m) round out the entries on the track. Jordan Clarke will throw all three weight events, including the shot put, discus and hammer.
IN POSITION - TOP 12 WOMEN
Heading into the meet, three individual women in five total events join both relays with marks that rank them in the Top 12 currently, which is where they will need to finish to move onto the national finals in two weeks. Individually, Anna Jelmini is first in the discus (60.54m) and fifth in the shot put (17.24m) while Christabel Nettey is fourth in the long jump (6.54m). Jasmine Chaney is fourth in the 400m hurdles (56.61) and eighth in the 100m hurdles (13.15) while also anchoring both relays, including the seventh-ranked 4x400m relay (with Alycia Herring, Keia Pinnick and Kayla Sanchez) and the 10th-ranked 4x100m relay (with Asia Gooden, Herring and Sanchez). The relays have times of 3:33.22 and
IN POSITION - TOP 12 MEN
The men also have several Top 12 marks heading into this week's meet, including both relays and four individuals. Individually, Ryan Milus is second in the 100m dash (10.07); Jordan Clarke is fifth in the shot put (19.05m); Bryan McBride is tied for ninth in the high jump (2.17m); and Mason McHenry is 12th in the 800m run (1:48.44). The 4x400m relay (Allante Battle, Kelsey Caesar, William Henry, John Kline) is ranked eighth (3:06.75) while the 4x100m relay (Daniel Auberry, Battle, Caesar, Milus) is ranked ninth (39.51).
FRESHMEN IN THE FIELD
Of the 29 athletes representing the Sun Devils this week, eight are doing so as rookies in either their true freshman or redshirt freshman seasons. For the women, true freshmen Asia Gooden (4x100m), Alycia Herring (long jump, 4x100m, 4x400m) and Shaylah Simpson (pole vault) will all compete with redshirt freshman Anna Jelmini (discus, shot put) also in the field while the men will have true freshmen William Henry (400m, 4x400m) and Bryan McBride (high jump) joining redshirted rookies Nick Happe (5,000m) and Ryan Milus (100m, 4x100m).
ALSO COMPETING - WOMEN
Four other women are set to compete this weekend as well, including Cj Navarro, who is in the field of 48 for both the hammer and the discus. Also set to run are Alyssa Allison (1,500m), Lindsay Prescott (10,000m) and Kauren Tarver (3,000m steeplechase).
ALSO COMPETING - MEN
Six more men will join their teammates in Eugene this weekend, including three in the field and four on the track. Chris Benard will compete in a pair of jumping events as he is entered in the long jump and triple jump while Marc Peck (javelin) and Corey Phallen (pole vault) also are in the field events. On the track, Nectaly Barbosa (1,500m), Ben Engelhardt (10,000m) and Darius Terry (1,500m) also will compete in races.
A WILD WEST
Half of the nation will make up the teams that will compete in Eugene this weekend with competitors coming from as far away as the state of Illinois and Wisconsin. The teams in the west hail from the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
BEEN THERE BEFORE
With the name of the game being advancement to the next round, three Sun Devils that are set to compete this weekend fully understand that notion after they did so last year to earn All-America honors. For the women, Jasmine Chaney ran the 400m hurdles four times at a NCAA meet last year, including twice to move on from the `regional' meet in Texas before running twice more in Eugene at the finals where she finished fourth overall. Jordan Clarke was part of the Top 12 in the shot put in Texas before taking fifth at the Finals to earn his All-America nod while Allante Battle helped the 4x400m relay to an eighth-place finish.
NOT THE ONLY ONES
Chaney, Clarke and Battle are not the only Sun Devils set to compete this week that have earned All-America honors in previous NCAA events. This past indoor season, Chaney earned All-America honors in the 200m dash and joined two others that will run this weekend (Keia Pinnick and Kayla Sanchez) as All-Americans in the 4x400m relay. Clarke (men's) and rookie Anna Jelmini (women's) each earned All-America honors in the shot put as well.
HE IS THE ONLY ONE
Heading into the preliminary rounds this weekend, Jordan Clarke is set to compete in all three weight events, including the shot put, discus and hammer throws. The sophomore, who ranks fifth, 13th and 19th, respectively, in those three events is the only man in the nation this year to qualify for the preliminary rounds in all three weight events. Last year, Clarke's teammate, Jason Lewis, qualified for all three throws at the preliminary round meet and was one of four men nationally to do so.
HOP TO IT
In the women's long jump, the Sun Devils will be represented by four individuals trying to reach the Top 12 and advance to the NCAA Finals, including the 2011 Pac-10 Champion, Christabel Nettey, who ranks fourth in the West with a leap of 6.54m. Also in the event for Arizona State will be Alycia Herring (15th), Samantha Henderson (19th) and Keia Pinnick (24th). The four entries is the most of any school in the event with Stanford and Nebraska each having three entries in the event as well.
THEY ARE THE CHAMPIONS
At the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships in Tucson two weeks ago, five different Sun Devils captured individual crowns as both teams finished third in their respective team races. For the women, Samantha Henderson won the heptathlon (one week earlier) with a career-best 5,470 points before Jasmine Chaney took the 400m dash in 52.23. In the field, Anna Jelmini won the discus (60.33m/197-11) while Christabel Nettey won the long jump (6.54m/21-05.50). On the men's side, Jordan Clarke was the lone champion for ASU as he won the shot put (19.05m/62-06.00) after taking second last year.
Two of those women that won Pac-10 titles also won the same event during the indoor season at the MPSF Indoor Championships in Seattle as Jasmine Chaney won the 400m dash (along with the 200m dash) and Christabel Nettey was the long jump champion.
Two of those Pac-10 wins kept streaks going for the Sun Devils with both coming in the throws. Jelmini's win in the discus gave Arizona State that event title for the fifth year in a row while Clarke's win in the shot put is ASU's third in a row. In the discus, the Sun Devils have seen four different women claim the title, including Sarah Stevens (2007, 2009), Jessica Pressley (2008) and Cj Navarro (2010) before Jelmini. That streak of five in a row is one shy of tying the Pac-10 record that is held by UCLA (1990-95) with six in a row. In the shot put, Clarke continued a streak of three in a row that was started by Ryan Whiting winning the past two years. Those three titles give ASU six total since 1960.
PAC-10 ATHLETE OF THE MEET
In 2008, the Pac-10 coaches decided to honor the top point scorers at the Pac-10 Championships by naming the highest scoring man and highest scoring woman as the Pac-10 Athletes of the Meet. That year, Jacquelyn Johnson and Matt Turner earned the distinction and fellow Sun Devil Sarah Stevens followed with the women's honor in 2009. This year, for the third time in four years, another Sun Devil woman earned the honor as Jasmine Chaney's 24.25 points made her the 2011 Pac-10 Women's Athlete of the Meet. Chaney scored 10 points in the 400m dash, six in the 100m hurdles, five in the 400m hurdles, two as part of the 4x100m relay and 1.25 as part of the 4x400m relay.
Jordan Clarke was the top scorer for the men at the Pac-10 Championships this year as he tallied 20 points in three events. The sophomore won his first Pac-10 title by capturing the shot put (10 points) before finishing second in the discus (eight points. His final two points came on his seventh-place finish in the hammer. The Top 5 scorers for the Sun Devil women this year were Chaney (24.25), Christabel Nettey (18), Samantha Henderson (17), Anna Jelmini (15) and Keia Pinnick (13.25) while Clarke was followed in the men's Top 5 by Ryan Milus (15), Chris Benard (10), Allante Battle (7.5) and a tie between Bryan McBride and Corey Phallen, both of whom scored six points each.
ALL-TIME TOP 10 MARKS RECORDED
Eight women's marks and three men's marks recorded at the Pac-10 Championships two weeks found a place on the school's all-time Top 10 list, including three each by Jasmine Chaney and Kayla Sanchez. Both women, along with freshmen Asia Gooden and Alycia Herring, combined to run 44.28 in the 4x100m relay and post the seventh-best time in ASU history. Chaney also ran 13.15 in the 100m hurdles (fourth) and 52.23 (fifth) in the 400m dash while Sanchez ran 11.52 in the 100m dash (10th) and 57.70 in the 400m hurdles (sixth). In the field, Christabel Nettey moved up on the long jump and triple jump lists as she is now second in the long jump at 6.49m (21-03.50) and third in the triple jump at 12.52m (41-01.00). She had a better mark in the long jump (6.54m), but it was wind-aided and can't be counted for records. Samantha Henderson cleared a personal-best bar twice in the high jump and ended up at 1.80m (5-10.75), which ranks her sixth all-time. On the men's side, Ryan Milus ran 10.23 in the preliminary round of the 100m dash to post the fourth-best time in ASU history while Bryan McBride moved up to 10th in the high jump with a clearance of 2.17m (7-01.50). In the throws, Marc Peck hit a mark of 67.20m (220-05) to move into seventh in the javelin.
ANOTHER ON THE TOP 10
Last weekend, several throwers headed back to Tucson to compete in a high performance meet. Among the entrants was Jordan Clarke, who recorded a season-best in Tucson over back-to-back weekends, first winning the Pac-10 title two weeks ago with his mark of 19.05m (62-06.00) before last week's toss of 19.32m (63-04.75). His latest heave bettered his all-time best by 4.5 inches and moved him into the No. 8 all-time position in ASU history.
In the horizontal jumps on the women's all-time Top 10 lists, four Sun Devils have etched their names onto those lists in both the long jump and the triple jump and current sophomore Christabel Nettey is one of them. What is remarkable is that she is the only one of those four women in the Top 3 in both events as she stands second in the long jump (6.49m) and third in the triple jump (12.52m). What is even more remarkable is that she has only competed in the triple jump three times this season, which are the only three times in her athletics career as well. Only one other woman is in the Top 4 in both events and that is Valerie Williams, who stands fourth in the long jump (6.46m) and is the record holder in the triple jump (12.84m).
Over the past two years, the Pac-10 has seen the versatility possessed by Jasmine Chaney as she competed in the 100m dash, 100m hurdles, 200m dash, 400m dash, 400m hurdles and both relays. Looking at the Arizona State Top 10 list, it is no surprise to see Chaney's name all over the individual sprint lists as she has etched her name in the Top 10 of the 100m hurdles, the 200m dash, the 400m dash and the 400m hurdles. She is No. 4 in both hurdle events with times of 13.15 and 56.61 and fifth in the 400m dash, all three of which were recorded this season, while sitting 10th in the 200m dash (23.44). Her times in the 100m hurdles and 400m dash came two weeks ago at the Pac-10 Championships.
Hailing from Alaska, Jordan Clarke's journey to Arizona is certainly one with lots of distance. Upon arriving in Tempe, his throwing skills have also equated into long distances as he is the only man in Sun Devil history (and one of four athletes overall) that hold marks in all three weight events that rank in the Arizona State all-time Top 10. He currently stands fifth in the hammer (62.00m/203-05), eighth in the shot put (19.32m/63-04.75) and 10th in the discus (56.66m/185-11) with all three marks recorded this season. The other three to hold this distinction are current Sun Devil Anna Jelmini (third in shot at 17.24m (56-05.25), third in discus at 60.49m (198-05) and ninth in hammer at 54.52m (178-10)) and former ASU NCAA champions Jessica Pressley (first in shot, sixth in discus, first in hammer) and Sarah Stevens (second in shot, fourth in discus, second in hammer).
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. She is one of seven individual Sun Devils that currently have marks ranking them in the national Top 10 this week.
NATIONAL TOP 10
Heading into the preliminary rounds this week, three women and two men have Top 10 marks in the NCAA, as well as one of the women's relays (4x400m). For the women, Jelmini is first in the discus (60.54m) and eighth in the shot put (17.24m) while Jasmine Chaney is eighth in the 400m hurdles (56.61) and Christabel Nettey is fifth in the long jump (6.54m). The team of Chaney, Alycia Herring, Keia Pinnick and Kayla Sanchez have run 3:33.22 to rank ninth in the 4x400m relay. The men have two Top 10 marks in Ryan Milus in the 100m dash (10.07) and Jordan Clarke in the shot put (19.05m). The remaining two marks, which include Samantha Henderson (eighth at 5,470 points) and Pinnick (10th at 5,455 points), both come in the heptathlon, which is only contested at the NCAA Championship Finals in two weeks.
ON THE LIST: WORLD TOP 20
Four men and four women that at one point competed for the Sun Devil program in their collegiate careers hold marks that rank them among the Top 20 in the world so far this season. On the men's side, Ryan Whiting is fifth in the shot put (21.23m); Kyle Alcorn is 12th in the steeplechase (8:23.27); Dwight Phillips is 13th in the long jump (8.07m) and Brandon Bethke is 15th in the 5,000m run (13:25.82). For the women, Desiree Davila is sixth in the marathon (2:22:38); Lisa Aguilera is eighth in the steeplechase (9:43.95); Charonda Williams is 12th in the 200m dash (22.85); and Sarah Stevens-Walker is 17th in the shot put (18.09m). Current Sun Devils Anna Jelmini in the discus and Jasmine Chaney in the 400m hurdles have marks that are just off the Top 20 list currently.
ON THE LIST: WORLD JUNIOR TOP 20
Three current Sun Devil rookies are on the World Junior Top 20 list with William Henry leading the way as he stands sixth in the 400m dash with his time of 46.27 from the Pac-10 Championships. Henry also is ranked 31st in the 200m dash at 21.15. On the women's side, Shaylah Simpson is 13th in the pole vault with her clearance of 4.02m while Alycia Herring stands 13th in the long jump with her mark of 6.25m. Herring also is 28th in the 200m dash at 23.98.
GIVE THEM AN `A'
As the USATF Championships draw closer, two Sun Devil women already hold `A' standard qualifying marks while three women and eight men have met the `B' standard for the meet in Eugene in late June. Jasmine Chaney and Anna Jelmini hold `A' standards in the 400m dash (52.23) and discus (60.49m), respectively, while both also hold `B' standards in other events: Chaney in the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles and Jelmini in the shot put. Kayla Sanchez holds a `B' in the 400m hurdles while Keia Pinnick is 0.02 off the needed time for a `B' qualifier in the same event. On the men's side, the following current Sun Devils all have met the `B' standard: Ryan Milus (100m), William Henry (400m), Kelsey Caesar (400m), Mason McHenry (800m), Darius Terry (1,500m), Bryan McBride (high jump), Chris Benard (triple jump) and Jordan Clarke (shot).
DOUBLE DUAL SWEEP
Last weekend, the Sun Devils played host to the annual Double Dual in Tempe and swept their intrastate rivals Arizona and Northern Arizona with Arizona State winning 22 of the 38 contested events, including 12 on the women's side and 10 on the men's. The No. 10 Sun Devil women scored a 104.5-94.5 defeat over No. 7 Arizona and a 138-52 victory over the Lumberjacks while the No. 25 ASU men downed the No. 9 Wildcats, 113-79, as well as NAU, 127-60.
LEADING THE WAY: WOMEN
In the sweep for the Sun Devil women, senior Jasmine Chaney again led the charge as she captured two individual events and anchored both relays to victories. Individually, Chaney won the 100m hurdles in 13.33 and then took the 400m hurdles in 57.59. At the start of the meet, Chaney was the anchor leg of the winning 4x100m relay of Asia Gooden, Kayla Sanchez and Alycia Herring, who ran 44.46, the ninth-fastest time in school history. In the final event, the 4x400m relay, the team of Herring, Keia Pinnick, Sanchez and Chaney combined to run 3:35.55 to give Chaney four wins as she held off UA over the last 100m after getting the baton in second place overall in the race.
LEADING THE WAY: MEN
Along with Ryan Milus, two other men won a pair of events in the sprints to help the men to team victories as well. Allante Battle was a member of the victorious relays as he was the second leg on both the winning 4x100m relay in 40.12 and the 4x400m relay in 3:09.85. The other Sun Devil to win a pair of events was Kelsey Caesar, who was a member of the winning mile relay as well as taking the open quarter with a season-best time of 46.29. In that race, he held off William Henry, who ran 46.62 to take second before running the anchor of the 4x400m.
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
Those Sun Devils that advance will compete in the 2011 NCAA Championship Final at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, June 8-11. That meet will be the final event of the 2011 collegiate season.