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Track and field wraps up regular season in Flagstaff

February 17, 2012

It may not have been the largest group of student-athletes the Arizona State University track and field team has sent to a meet, but there were no shortage of big marks for the No. 7 men and unranked women as the team finished up the regular season at the NAU Tune-Up in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Thursday evening. 

With much of the team preparing for next weekend’s MPSF Championships in Seattle, a small group of Sun Devils left it all on the track in Flagstaff with numerous personal records being set as the team appears to be peaking at just the right time. 

On the men’s side, junior Jordan Clarke continued to build momentum off of his NCAA outdoor title in the shot put, setting a new career indoor best of 19.44m (63-9.50) the win the event at the Walkup Skydome on Thursday.  Clarke’s throw made him the third member of the men’s team to automatically qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships in March and currently ranks him sixth in the nation.

In addition, Clarke moved up to No. 4 all-time on ASU’s own descending order list. 

In the men’s mile, Nick Happe continued his exceptional junior campaign with a huge person best for a runner-up time of 4:08.98.  However, due to the extreme altitude in Flagstaff, the time will be adjusted to 3:59.93 and make Happe just the third sub-four minute miler in ASU history and put him just four tenth of a second off the school record in the event. 

Happe’s teammate Darius Terry was third in the event as well in 4:12.64 for a time that will convert to 4:03 and some change and the fifth-best mark in school history. 

The pole vault saw a pair of Sun Devils set personal best with Derick Hinch posting a victory with a clearance of 5.20m (17-0.75) while multi-eventer Jeremy Marcinko was third with a new career best of 5.10m (16-8.75). 

Hinch’s mark was good enough to move him into fifth all-time on ASU’s descending order list, surpassing Marcinko – of all people – who is now sixth all-time despite the personal record. 

On the women’s end, sophomore Anna Jelmini had her best performance of the season in the shot put, winning the event with a season’s best throw of 16.91m (55-5.75).  The mark moved Jelmini within the top-10 in the national and likely solidified her spot in the NCAA Championship field. 

In the horizontal jumps, Christabel Nettey put herself within striking range of an NCAA Championship bid with a winning leap of 6.25m (20-6.25).  The jump currently puts Nettey in a tie for 11th in the nation and if the season were to end today, she would advance the to championship round. 

Multi-eventer Keia Pinnick had a big day in a couple events, setting a career best in the 60-meter hurdles with a runner-up finish of 8.51 while also setting a new indoor best in the high jump with a leap of 1.62m (5-3.75) as the current ninth-ranked pentathlete in the nation looks to build steam heading into the championships season. 

Senior Kayla Sanchez swept both the 60- and 200-meter dashes, clocking in at an altitude-converted 7.52 in the 60 for a new career best while also posting a 24.13 in the 200. 

Also posting a big career best on the day was senior Cj Navarro in the weight throw with a launch of 18.26m (59-11.00) to finish second overall and move into sixth on ASU’s all-time top-10 in the event.

The Sun Devils will now turn their sights to the MPSF Championships - the indoor version of the conference championships – in Seattle, Wash., next weekend beginning Friday, Feb. 24.