Track and Field Hosts Baldy Castillo Invitational Friday-Saturday

March 19, 2002

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This Week --
Arizona State track and field welcomes over 500 athletes from 13 collegiate teams across the nation to the sixth annual Baldy Castillo Invitational held at ASU's Sun Angel Stadium Friday, March 22, through Saturday, March 23. The two-day affair begins Friday with the hammer at 9:30 a.m. MT, followed by remaining field events at 4 p.m. and a distance carnival at 6 p.m. Saturday, field events get underway at 11 a.m. and running events commence at 1 p.m. The meet is named for legendary ASU track and field coach Baldy Castillo who led the Sun Devil program from 1953-1979.

Participants --
Collegiate teams making the trek to the desert for this weekend's meet include Central Arizona College, Dartmouth, Idaho, Indiana, Louisville (women), Manhatten College, Minnesota (men), Northern Arizona, Notre Dame, UC Santa Barbara, Utah State, Washington State and Western State College (Colorado). There will be no team scoring at the meet. Results will be available at www.thesundevils.com after each day of competition is completed.

The Baldy Castillo Tradition --
ASU head coach Greg Kraft created the Baldy Castillo Invitational in honor of the legendary coach in 1997, Kraft's first season at the helm of the Sun Devil track and field program. Castillo coached at ASU from 1953-1979, a 27-year tenure during which he mentored 10 NCAA champions and 34 NCAA All-Americans. His 1977 Sun Devil men's squad remains the only team to win a NCAA track and field title in school history, while 13 of his proteges went on to compete in the Olympics. Castillo is a member of ASU's Hall of Distinction, as well as the U.S. Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

National Rankings --
National polls have not yet been released for either Trackwire or the Team-Power Rankings for the 2002 outdoor season.

Last Time On The Track --
With most of ASU's jumpers and distance corps using the weekend the train, the Sun Devil sprinters and throwers competed at the Willie Williams Classic hosted by the University of Arizona Friday, March 15, through Saturday, March 16. ASU was led by individual event winners Steve Fitch and Yolanda Meservey. Fitch, a sophomore, won the men's 400m with a Pac-10 qualifying time of 47.39, while Meservey, a senior, won the women's shot put with a personal best and Pac-10 qualifying mark of 47 feet, 5.25 inches. ASU's women dominated the shot put, as sophomore Sandra Orsund and freshman Julia Pedersen also finished two-three with Pac-10 qualifying marks of 46-0.75 and 44-8, respectively.

About The Sun Devil Coaches --
Greg Kraft is in his sixth year at the helm of the Arizona State track and field program. His tenure has produced 28 All-Americans, six All-American relay teams, 14 individual Pac-10 titles, four individual NCAA runner-up finishes and 29 first or second-team Pac-10 All-Academic selections. Kraft came to ASU in 1996 after serving as the head track and field coach at the University of South Carolina from 1989 to 1996. Kraft is assisted by distance coach Walt Drenth (sixth year), sprints and hurdles coach Darryl Anderson (sixth year), throws coach David Dumble (first year) and graduate assistant Louie Quintana (first year).

ASU Makes Outdoor Debut Hosting Bill Sawyer Invite --
With the indoor season still underway, ASU opened the outdoor season Saturday, March 2, playing host to the Bill Sawyer Invitational. Led by sophomore Seneca Holmes' double win in both the 100m and 400m hurdle races, the Sun Devils came away with eight meet titles. Also winning their events were Lisa Aguilera (1500m), the women's 4x100m relay, redshirt freshman Jeff Dodge (800m), redshirt freshman Juan Reyes (1500m), freshman Seth Amoo (200m) and the men's 4x400m relay.

ASU Women Tie For 16th At NCAA Indoors --
Junior Lisa Aguilera finished second in the 3,000m and junior Tiffany Greer placed third in the long jump, leading the ASU women to a 16th-place tie at the 2002 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., March 8-9. Matching BYU and Colorado's 14 points, ASU notched its best NCAA indoor finish since 1994 and the first top-20 finish since 1995. The ASU men's three points, scored by senior David Wood's sixth-place finish in the shot put, tied the team for 51st with Middle Tennessee and Southern Illinois. With their top-eight finishes in their respective events, Aguilera, Greer and Wood earned All-America honors. Now a three-time All-American in track and field, Aguilera crossed the 3000m finish line second in 9:09.67, shattering her previous personal best and school record time of 9:16.23. She finished only behind champion Lauren Fleshman of Stanford who won the race with a stadium record of 9:07.45. Greer added her third indoor All-America certificate and fifth overall to her Sun Devil resume, placing third in the women's long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 7.25 inches. Wood earned his first All-America honors with a personal best shot put effort of 64 feet, three inches that placed him sixth. ASU qualified a total of six athletes to the 2002 indoor nationals. Freshman Trevell Quinley finished 14th in the men's long jump (23-11.5), while senior Brandon Strong and senior Tony Galaviz were unable to advance past the prelims of the mile and 60m hurdles, respectively.

Strong Runs First ASU Sub-Four Minute Indoor Mile --
Senior Brandon Strong etched his name in the Sun Devil record books at the Husky Last Chance Qualifier, Saturday, March 2. Strong became the first ASU athlete to run a sub-four minute indoor mile with his personal-best and school record of time of 3:59.59. Strong is the second Sun Devil to break the four-minute barrier either indoors or outdoors, with the only other ASU athlete to do so being Chuck LaBenz who clocked a time of 3:56.90 in the outdoor mile in 1970.

Up Next --
The Sun Devils will host their second meet in as many weeks with the Arizona State Invitational, Saturday, March 30, at Sun Angel Stadium. Including ASU, collegiate teams competing in the meet will be Air Force, Boise State, Colorado and Oregon (women). Field events begin at 10 a.m., while running events will start at 6 p.m. MT.

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