Track and Field Sends Split Squads to Drake Relays and Oregon Invitational This Weekend

April 25, 2001

This Week --
Arizona State track and field will send its sprinting corps to the 92nd Annual Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, April 27 through Saturday, April 28, while the rest of the Sun Devil squad will head north to Eugene, Ore., for the Oregon Invitational Saturday, April 28.

Drake Relays --
The 92nd edition of the Drake Relays will feature a highly competitive collegiate field, including 22 athletes who have combined to win 34 NCAA individual titles, and 11 athletes who lead the national collegiate ranks in their respective events. Many of the world's leaders will also be competing, including ASU's own Marcus Brunson who has clocked the second-fastest 200m time (20.37) in the world this season. ASU entries for the Drake Relays include Tony Berrian (400), Michael Campbell (400), Anthony Galaviz (110H), Vince Jones (100), Arlaina Davis (400), Tiffany Greer (100), Seneca Holmes (100H), Joni Smith (400), Sharesa Turner (100) and both men's and women's 400 and 1600 meter relay teams.

Oregon Invitational --
The majority of ASU's squad will travel to Eugene, Ore., and Hayward Field, the site of this year's NCAA Track and Field Championships, for the Oregon Invitational, Saturday, April 28. Running events begin at 10 a.m., with field events scheduled to begin at 10:15 a.m. The 10,000m will be held Friday night with the women's race at 7:15 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m. Collegiate teams competing include Boise State, Boston College, Central Washington, Eastern Oregon, George Fox, Gonzaga, Idaho, Linfield, Montana, Montana State, Northwest Nazarene, Oregon, Pacific Lutheran, Portland, Portland State, Washington, Weber State, Western Washington, Willamette and Utah State.

National Rankings --
Despite holding top-10 spots in the USTCA Team-Power Rankings, neither ASU's men or women appear in the latest Trackwire.com poll released April 24. The men have been ranked as high as 18th according to Trackwire.com -- tying with George Mason and Texas A&M -- in the March 27 poll. The women have yet to be ranked during the outdoor season. In the USTCA Team Power Rankings (www.team-power.org), ASU's women rank seventh with a score of 352.09, while the men rank ninth with a score of 329.2.

Last Time Out --
Last weekend, ASU traveled west to Southern California to compete in the 43rd Annual Mt. Sac Relays and the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational. At Mt. Sac, Marcus Brunson and Lisa Aguilera posted NCAA automatic qualifying times to highlight the three-day competition. Brunson clocked the fastest collegiate 200m time in the nation so far this year, winning the third heat of the event with a personal best of 20.37. Aguilera notched her second automatic qualifying time this season, with the third-fastest 5000m effort in ASU history, 16:06.63. Tony Berrian ran a personal best in the invitational 400, placing third with a PQ of 45.82, while Tiffany Greer also turned in a PR and NCAA PQ in the women's 100 (11.53). Cody Sohn won the university/open heat of the women's 3000m steeplechase with a personal best and NCAA PQ of 10:38.02, while Brianna Torres turned in an NCAA PQ in the women's 5000m (16:74.86). The men's 400 relay team earned a PQ with a fourth place finish in 39.98, the first time ASU has fielded a team this season. The men's 1600 relay team took second with a PQ time of 3:04.75, but not exceeding their season-best effort at the Baldy Castillo Invitational. The women's relays turned in PQ and season best times in both events, as the 400 squad placed third in 45.00, while the 1600 team took sixth in 3:35.58. Adrienne Judie earned a provisional qualifying mark in the women's shot put with a fourth-place finish and season-best mark of 51 feet, 2.75 inches.

Brunson Named Men's Pac-10 Athlete of the Week (4/23) --
Arizona State senior sprinter Marcus Brunson was named the Pac-10 Men's Track Athlete of the Week for the week of April 16-22, the conference announced Monday. Brunson, from Tempe, Ariz., clocked the fastest 200m time in the nation (non-wind-aided) and second fastest in the world so far this season at the Mt. Sac Relays, winning the third heat in the university/open section of the 200m with a NCAA automatic qualifying time and personal best of 20.37. Brunson's performance topped Olympic medalist Ato Bolden's 20.76 winning time in the invitational section as well. His 200m time ranks second in the Pac-10 to Ja'Warren Hooker's (Washington) wind-aided time of 20.33 (the NCAA does not accept wind-aided marks). Brunson also ranks first in the Pac-10 with his season-best 100m time of 10.21. He holds ASU records in the outdoor 100 (10.10), and indoor 55 (6.06) and 60 meters (6.46). Brunson's 200m time of 20.37 ranks fifth on the Sun Devil all-time list. Brunson's Athlete of the Week honor is the third such award for ASU this season. Last week, the Sun Devil men swept the Athlete of the Week nods as senior Michael Campbell and junior David Wood were named for track and field awards, respectively.

NCAA Qualifiers --
Entering this weekend's meets, the Sun Devils have qualified for nationals in 25 events, including both the men's and women's 400 and 1600m relays. Lisa Aguilera sits atop the group, qualifying in three individual events. She ranks second in the women's 3000 steeplechase (automatic), third in the women's 5000m (automatic) and fourth in the 1500 (provisional). Double qualifiers for ASU include Kelly MacDonald, ranking seventh in the 1500m (4:22.72) and fifth in the 5000m (16:14.81), and Marcus Brunson, ranking 12th in the 100 (10.21) and first in the 200 (20.37). Michael Campbell and Tony Berrian rank 12th (45.74) and 13th (45.82), respectively, in the men's 400m, while also making up half of the men's 1600m relay team which ranks fifth nationally. Candida Coulson ranks 12th in the women's 400m hurdles and also runs on the women's 1600m relay team, ranked 11th nationally. To date, ASU has posted five automatic qualifying times: Aguilera (3K steeplechase, 5000), Fasil Bizuneh (10K), Brunson (200) and the men's 1600m relay team.

Pac-10 Leaderboard --
ASU athletes currently sit atop the Pac-10 leaderboard in five events, while many hold high rankings among conference competitors. Senior Marcus Brunson leads the Pac-10 with his season-best time of 10.21 in the 100m and is second in the 200m (20.37). ASU also has three of the top six spots in the men's 400m, led by senior Michael Campbell (45.74), followed by senior Tony Berrian with the second fastest time (45.82) and finally freshman Jason Barton in the sixth spot (46.67). The four aforementioned Sun Devils make up ASU's Pac-10 leading 1600m relay team which clocked the second-best time in school history (3:03.20) at the Baldy Castillo Invitational. On the women's side, sophomore distance standout Lisa Aguilera leads the conference in both the 1500m (4:19.90) and 3000m steeplechase (10:08.85), while senior Kelly MacDonald ranks second in two events - the 1500m (4:22.72) and the mile (4:44.96). Aguilera (16:06.63) and MacDonald (16:14.81) also rank third and fifth, respectively, in the the 5000m . Additional Sun Devils ranking among the top three in their respective events include sophomore Jeremy Rasmussen (3rd - 3000m steeplechase, 9:00.56), junior David Wood (2nd - shot put, 61-3.5), senior Mary Duerbeck (2nd - 10K, 33:53.52), junior Candida Coulson (3rd - 400m hurdles, 58.31), sophomore Tiffany Greer (2nd - long jump, 21-0.5) and the women's 400m relay (3rd - 45.00), the women's 1600m relay (3rd - 3:35.58), men's 1600m relay team (1st - 3:03.20) and men's 400m relay team (3rd - 39.98).

Aguilera's Collegiate Steeplechase Record Broken --
Sophomore Lisa Aguilera's 20-day reign as the collegiate record-holder in the 3000m steeplechase was snapped last weekend by BYU's Elizabeth Jackson at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational. Aguilera achieved the record at the Stanford Invitational Saturday, March 31, crossing the finish line in 10:08.85, the world's fastest time of the year up to that point. Aguilera's time was almost five seconds faster than the previous world-best this season, 10:13.43, clocked by Melissa Rollison from Australia. It was also more than 12 seconds faster than the previous collegiate record time of 10:21.8 set by BYU's Courtney Meldrum in 1997. Jackson is now this year's world leader after winning at Pomona-Pitzer in 9:59.50. Jackson also holds the American record of 9:57.20 set at last summer's Olympic Trials. The women's 3000m steeplechase world record holder is Christina Iloc-Casandra from Romania with a time of 9:40.20. March 31 marked the first time Aguilera competed in the 3000m steeplechase.

ASU's 45 Second Club --
Only 14 men in ASU track and field history have clocked a 400m time of 45 seconds or less and two of those Sun Devils are seniors Michael Campbell and Tony Berrian. Campbell set a PR at the Sun Angel Classic, a time of 45.74 which ranks 12th all-time in ASU history. Berrian is not far behind Campbell, notching a PR of his own at the Mt. Sac Relays, a time of 45.82 which stands as the 13th fastest 400m time in Sun Devil history.

Sun Devils Assault the Record Books --
With just over a month left of the 2001 season, this year's edition of the Sun Devil track and field squad has already made its mark in the school record books. Most recently, Lisa Aguilera ran the third-fastest women's 5000m time at the Mt. Sac Relays (16:06.63). At the Stanford Invitational, Aguilera set a young school record with her then-world leading time in the women's 3000m steeplechase, while Mary Duerbeck ran the second-fastest women's 10,000m race in school history with her personal best effort of 33:53.52. Aguilera also clocked the second-fastest 1500m time in ASU history at the Sun Angel Classic (4:19.90), followed closely behind by Kelly MacDonald with the fourth-fastest time in ASU history (4:22.72). Also at Stanford, Fasil Bizuneh broke his own school record in the men's 10,000m with a PR of 28:58.61. Adrienne Judie continues to improve her school record in the women's hammer, her latest personal best mark being a throw of 190 feet, seven inches at the Sun Angel Classic. Other notable performances of this year's outdoor season include the men's 1600m relay team of Michael Campbell, Marcus Brunson, Jason Barton and Tony Berrian clocking the second-fastest time in ASU history with an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 3:03.20 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational. For a listing of current Sun Devils who rank among the top three all-time in an event, see the sidebar.

Recapping the NCAA Indoor Championships --
ASU sent eight individuals and the men's 1600m relay team to the 2001 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., only to have two Sun Devils come away with All-America honors in their respective events. For the second straight season, senior Kelly MacDonald captured All-America honors in the women's 5000m, finishing fifth in a season-best time of 16:20.83. Last year MacDonald set the school record in the event with a time of 16:13.41. Adrienne Judie came away with her first career All-America honors, placing fourth with personal-best mark of 66 feet, 10 inches in the women's weight-throw. Judie also improved upon her already existing school record in the event by two inches, and was 1.5 inches behind the third-place mark by Clemson's Jamine Moton. With points put on the board by MacDonald and Judie, the ASU women ended indoor nationals tied for 25th with Kansas State with nine points.

Head Coach Greg Kraft --
ASU's eighth director of track and field, Greg Kraft is in his fifth year as head coach of the Sun Devil program. Kraft's tenure has been brief, but his list of successes is far-reaching. Over the past four seasons, Sun Devil track has produced 18 individual All-Americans, four individual NCAA runner-up finishes, 22 first or second-team Pac-10 All-Academic selections, two Academic All-American cross country squads and the first four NCAA appearances by a cross country team in ASU history. Kraft, who coaches ASU's jumpers, is assisted by Walt Drenth (distance), Darryl Anderson (sprints), Dawn Dumble (throws), Corey Ihmels (graduate assistant) and Michelle Borgert (volunteer assistant).

2001 NCAA Championships --
This year's NCAA Track and Field Championships will be held Wednesday, May 30 through Sunday, June 3 at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field in Eugene. For a complete meet schedule and ticket information, go to www.goducks.com.

Up Next --
Next weekend, ASU will host its final home meet of the season, welcoming in-state rivals Arizona and Northern Arizona for a double dual, Saturday, May 5 at Sun Angel Stadium. Field events are scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. Running events will follow at 7 p.m.

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