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Track & field heads to Tucson for Pac-10 meet

May 11, 2011

Sun Devil Meet Notes (pdf) | Pac-10 Championships Page

The Arizona State University track and field program will continue its quests for conference titles this weekend as the Sun Devils will travel to Roy P. Drachman Stadium in Tucson to compete in the 2011 Pac-10 Track & Field Championships, hosted by Arizona this Friday and Saturday. The Sun Devils, who already had three men and three women compete in the decathlon and heptathlon, respectively, one week ago, will look to capture individual, relay and team titles this weekend while also trying to improve their season bests one final time before the NCAA Championships get underway in two weeks.

For those fans that will be in attendance in Tucson, action is set to begin at 2:30pm Friday with the women’s hammer throw while the first running event is set for 5:15pm with the preliminaries of the women’s 1,500m run. On Saturday, the men’s hammer will lead things off at 3pm with the women’s 4x100m relay final at 6pm being the first event on the track. The final event of the first day is set to be the men’s 10,000m final starting at 10:10pm with the men’s 4x400m relay set for 9:35pm to close out the meet on Saturday.

Once again, Fox Sports Net will provide a tape-delay broadcast of the Championships, starting with the two-hour event’s initial airing on May 19. Paul Sunderland and Joanna Hayes will have the call while Tom Feuer will provide color commentary and Samantha Steele will comment from the infield.

Last weekend, six Sun Devils traveled to Tucson to open the Championships with four finishing in the Top 8 to score points for the team, including all three women in the heptathlon. On the women’s side, Samantha Henderson scored a career-best 5,470 points to win the heptathlon and capture the first Conference crown of her career as well. Her score, which ranks third all-time in ASU history and eighth in the NCAA this year, led a 1-2-4 charge that saw Keia Pinnick take second (5,385) and Christabel Nettey, in the first heptathlon in her career, take fourth with the seventh-best score in ASU history (5,068). On the men’s side, Austin Prince was the top ASU finisher as he scored 6,779 points to finish eighth while Jeremy Marcinko was ninth (6,769) and Jamie Sandys was 14th (6,201).

For the third time this season, the Pac-10 honored a Sun Devil student-athlete as one of it’s Athletes of the Week and, this week, the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honor went to Samantha Henderson after she won the shot put and high jump in the heptathlon competition on her way to capturing her first Pac-10 title. Henderson also was honored as the Gold Pitchfork recipient from Sun Devils Athletics, the top of three honorees selected each week (gold, silver, bronze). Jasmine Chaney (women’s track) and Ryan Milus (men’s track) also have been honored in 2011.

With the conclusion of the multis last weekend, team scores are already being kept toward the team titles this weekend with the Arizona State women (23 points) and UCLA men (15 points) leading the respective title races. The Sun Devil women have a large lead as Henderson (10 points), Pinnick’s second-place showing (8 points) and Nettey’s fourth-place finish (5 points) give ASU 23 points with Washington State and Arizona standing second with six points. On the men’s side, Prince’s one point earned puts the Sun Devils in fifth place while UCLA (15), Oregon (11), Washington (10) and Stanford (2) are ahead of ASU.

Arizona State’s 23 points collected in the Pac-10 heptathlon last weekend in Tucson ties for the most points scored in the opening weekend by one women’s team in Pac-10 history, equaling the 23 points posted by Washington State in 1999 and Stanford in 1998, both of which had four individuals score in the Top 8 of the opening event of the Pac-10 Championships. Overall, WSU and Arizona are currently in second in the team standings with six points each, giving the Sun Devils a 17 point lead following the heptathlon, which stands as the largest opening weekend lead in the history of the women’s championship (first held in 1987), surpassing Stanford’s 15 point advantage earned in 1998 over Oregon (23 to 8). The Sun Devils earned this start as Samantha Henderson won her first Pac-10 title by taking the heptathlon with a personal-best score of 5,470 points while Keia Pinnick was second (5,385 points) and Christabel Nettey, in the first heptathlon of her track and field career, was fourth (5,068 points).

This year’s meet in Tucson will mark the fourth time Arizona has played host to the Pac-10 Championships and the eighth-time overall the state of Arizona has hosted the meet as Arizona State has hosted four previous times. That last time the meet was held in the Copper State came in 2008 in Tempe where the Sun Devil women won their third Pac-10 title in a row and the men placed second. The last time Tucson served as the meet host was in 2004 when the ASU men placed third overall and the women fourth.

Along with Henderson’s heptathlon crown from last weekend, the Sun Devil program has collected a total of 131 Pac-10 titles since first competing in the meet in 1979 (men) or 1987 (women). On the women’s side, the Sun Devils have collected 68 total titles, including 56 individual crowns and 12 in the relays while the men’s program has secured 63 total titles, including 46 individual wins and 17 relays.

Only one Sun Devil returns to the Pac-10 Championships this season as the defending champion and that is Cj Navarro, who captured the discus crown last year at California. Along with Navarro, two men and seven women return to the Championships after scoring in the Top 8 of their respective events last year. For the men, Jordan Clarke is back after taking second in the shot put and sixth in the discus while Mason McHenry was eighth in the 800m run last year. On the women’s side, Jasmine Chaney is back after taking third in the 100m dash, 200m dash and 100m hurdles and will be joined by the returns of Dominique’ Maloy, who was fourth in the 200m and 400m runs; Keia Pinnick and Kayla Sanchez, who were fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 400m hurdles; Kauren Tarver, who was seventh in the steeplechase; Samantha Henderson, who tied for eighth in the high jump; and Christabel Nettey, who was sixth in the long jump. Navarro also took third in the hammer.

The latest USTFCCCA National Top 25 rankings were released this week with six men’s teams and five women’s teams earning places in the Top 25 heading into the Pac-10 Championships. The nationally ranked teams on the men’s side include No. 7 USC, No. 10 Arizona, No. 12 Stanford, No. 20 Oregon, No. 21 UCLA and No. 23 Washington while the women’s teams include No. 4 USC, No. 5 Oregon, No. 8 Arizona, No. 12 Arizona State and No. 23 Washington State. All rankings are based upon points earned through individual and relay ranks on the national descending order lists each week.

Again, based upon points, the regional index was updated this week with all nine men’s teams in the Pac-10 occupying the Top 9 positions in the West while nine women’s teams comprise the Top 11. According to the West region index, the Sun Devil women enter the weekend at No. 3 with only Oregon and Arizona ahead while the men are No. 7.

Last year, Arizona State finished tied for fourth in the men’s standings and third in the women’s standings at the meet held in Berkeley, Calif. The men, who scored 85 points to tie with UCLA, captured two individual crowns with Ryan Whiting winning both the shot put and the discus while his shot put victory led the way for a 1-2-3 sweep (Whiting, Jordan Clarke, Jason Lewis). On the women’s side, the Sun Devils scored 89.5 points to take third with Cj Navarro winning the discus and taking third in the hammer to lead the way. Jasmine Chaney also played a large role in the team’s success as she finished third in three individual events and helped both relays to Top 3 finishes as well.

Three marks earned by Sun Devils currently are the best among Pac-10 competitors. For the men, Ryan Milus’ wind-aided time of 10.07 in the 100m dash put him in the lead while Jordan Clarke remained the leader in the shot put at 18.81m. For the women, Anna Jelmini continues to lead the discus with her toss of 60.54m. Overall, the women also have four marks that rank second in the Pac-10, including Jasmine Chaney in the 400m hurdles (56.61), the women’s 4x400m relay (3:33.22), Christabel Nettey in the long jump (6.44m) and Jelmini in the shot put (17.24m).

When looking over the Pac-10 Top 10 lists, one name continues to appear on the women’s ledgers and that name is Jasmine Chaney. Currently, Chaney is ranked in the Top 5 in four individual events and is part of both relays as well. Individually, Chaney is second in the 400m hurdles (56.61) while sitting fourth in the 200m dash (23.16), fourth in the 100m hurdles (13.18) and fifth in the 400m dash (53.37). The Sun Devil 4x400m relay (3:33.22) ranks second while the 4x100m relay (44.53) is third, both with Chaney as the anchor leg.

On the men’s side of things, Clarke is the only Sun Devil ranked in the Top 5 in more than one individual event as he is ranked highly in all three weight events. Clarke leads the Pac-10 in the shot put at 18.81m and is third in the discus at 56.66m. He also is fifth in the hammer at 62.00m.

In his first outdoor season in uniform for the Sun Devils, Ryan Milus is starting to make a name for himself as his performance at the Sun Devil Open pushed him into the Top 3 of two individuals sprints. With his time of 10.07, Milus now leads the Pac-10 in the 100m dash while standing third in the 200m dash in 20.91. Earlier in the season, he helped the 4x100m relay to a time of 40.18, which still ranks second in the Pac-10.

One man and three women with marks in the Top 5 of the Pac-10 are set to compete in their first Pac-10 Championships as freshmen this weekend. Ryan Milus is currently leading the Pac-10 in the 100m dash (10.07) while standing third in the 200m dash (20.91) while the women’s rookies in the Top 5 include Anna Jelmini, who leads the discus (60.54m) and is second in the shot put (17.24m); Shaylah Simpson, who is fourth the pole vault (4.20m) and Alycia Herring, who is fourth in the long jump (6.25m).

On April 5, the Bowerman Award committee added freshman Anna Jelmini to its watch list, making her one of 10 women the committee is keeping its eye on this season for the award given annually to the top male and top female collegiate track and field competitors. Jelmini, the national leader in the discus and seventh-ranked in the shot put, is the only freshman on the list with also includes two sophomores, one junior and six seniors. Jelmini also is one of three Pac-10 competitors on the list. Last year, Ryan Whiting was one of three men’s finalists for the Bowerman.

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 six individual Sun Devils that currently have marks ranking them in the national Top 10 this week.

Two men’s marks and six women’s marks (including Jelmini in the discus) currently rank in the Top 10 nationally, according to the latest order lists. For the women, Jelmini not only leads the discus, but ranks No. 7 in the shot put (17.24m) while Jasmine Chaney (56.61) stands fifth in the 400m hurdles and is part of the No. 10 4x400m relay with Keia Pinnick, Alycia Herring and Kayla Sanchez. Samantha Henderson (5,470) moved up to No. 8 in the heptathlon with her Pac-10-winning score while Pinnick is now No. 10 (5,455) in the heptathlon. For the men, Ryan Milus is now No. 5 in the 100m dash (10.07w) while Jordan Clarke is No. 8 in the shot put (18.81m).

At the Mt. SAC Relays, the Sun Devil women’s intermediate hurdle crew swept the Top 3 places in the event with Jasmine Chaney winning in 57.71 while Kayla Sanchez was second (57.76) and Keia Pinnick third (57.97). The times for Sanchez and Pinnick rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in ASU history. With those times, ASU is now the only school with three women to run under 58-seconds in the event so far this year, surpassing the two turned in by Texas.

Counting current and former Sun Devils, three men and six women are currently ranked in the Top 20 internationally, including two current women. Jasmine Chaney’s time of 56.61 in the 400m hurdles ranks her 11th in the world while Anna Jelmini stands 13th in the discus at 60.54m. The remaining Sun Devils on the list include Charonda Williams (7th at 22.85) in the 200m dash; Desiree Davila (5th at 2:22:38) in the marathon; Lisa Aguilera (9th at 9:52.24) in the steeplechase; and Sarah Stevens-Walker (11th at 18.09m) in the shot put. The men on the list right now are Kyle Alcorn (3rd at 8:23.27) in the steeplechase; Ryan Whiting (5th at 21.23m) in the shot put and Brandon Bethke (13th at 13:25.82) at 5,000m.

Currently, the Sun Devils have three individuals that are ranked among the Top 20 in the world in the junior division (can’t turn 20 before December 31, 2011) as well, including two women and one man. For the women, Alycia Herring ranks No. 7 in the long jump with her leap of 6.25m while Shaylah Simpson stands seventh in the pole vault with her clearance of 4.02m. On the men’s side, William Henry is currently ranked among the Top 20 in a pair of events, including 12th in the 400m dash (46.62) and 21st in the 200m dash (21.15).

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.

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.

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.

Several throwers will return to Tucson next weekend to compete in the Tucson Elite Throws meet while the remaining Sun Devils will be off until the NCAA Preliminary First and Second Round is held May 28-29 in Eugene, Ore. Those Sun Devils that will compete in the event will be selected from the regional lists by the NCAA following a declaration period.