Mt. Sac Relays and Pomona-Pitzer Invite Up Next For Track and Field

April 17, 2002

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This Week --
Arizona State track and field will head to Southern California this weekend, sending split squads to compete at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif., Friday, April 19, through Sunday, April 21, and the Pomona Pitzer Invitational in Claremont, Calif., Friday, April 19. ASU's contingent heading to the Pomona-Pitzer Invite includes mainly distance runners, along with two field athletes, while the group competing at Mt. Sac consists of four distance runners and ASU's top throwers, jumpers and sprinters.

Pomona Pitzer Invitational --
The Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, held Friday in Claremont, Calif., features running events beginning at 8:30 a.m. and field events 9 a.m. PT. Tentatively scheduled to compete for ASU are freshman Desiree Davila and senior Nicole Simmons in the women's 800m, junior Cody Sohn in the women's 1500m, freshman Mandi Fitz-Gustafson in the women's 3000m steeplechase, senior Cheyne Jones in the men's 800m, senior Brandon Strong and freshman Jeff Dodge in the 1500m, junior Kris Alexander and sophomore Kyle Morgan in the men's 3000m steeplechase, senior Aaron White in the men's pole vault and senior Karl Atkinson in the men's hammer.

Mt. Sac Relays --
The 44th Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif., feature three days of competition and thousands of participants. Among those competing will be youth, prep, junior college, university and elite athletes, including many Olympians. Running in the distance carnival Friday night for ASU will be juniors Lisa Aguilera and Brianna Torres in the women's 5000m, while junior Fasil Bizuneh and freshman Juan Reyes will compete in the men's 5000m race. Among the 28 athletes tentatively scheduled to compete for the Sun Devils Saturday and Sunday include freshman Seth Amoo (men's 100m, 200m), freshman Porchea Carroll (women's 100m, 200m), senior Candida Coulson (women's 400m, 400m hurdles), sophomore Steve Fitch (men's 400m), senior Tony Galaviz (men's 110m hurdles), junior Tiffany Greer (women's 100m, 200m), sophomore Seneca Holmes (women's 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles), senior Olivia Mazzaglia (women's triple jump, high jump), junior Luiz Mello (men's 100m, 200m), junior Vince Mosca (men's shot put and discus), sophomore Sandra Orsund (women's shot put and discus), sophomore Jodi Smith (women's high jump), junior Joni Smith (women's 400m) and senior David Wood (men's shot put and discus).

National Rankings --
Tied for 21st in last week's rankings, the ASU women were dropped from the latest Trackwire 25 released April 16. The women opened the outdoor season ranked 25th April 2. ASU's men have not been ranked in the first three polls of the outdoor season. Trackwire's 25 is based on predictions for team standings at the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships hosted by Louisiana State in Baton Rouge, La., Wednesday, May 29, through Saturday, June 1. In the Team-Power Rankings, the men are ninth and the women are 17th.

Last Time On The Track --
ASU recorded seven NCAA provisional qualifying efforts and five runner-up finishes, as the Sun Devils hosted some of the nation's top collegiate teams at the 23rd Annual Sun Angel Classic Saturday, April 13. Leading the way for the Sun Devils were runner-up finishers in the men's and women's 1500m races, senior Brandon Strong and junior Lisa Aguilera. Strong and Aguilera clocked NCAA provisional qualifying times and personal bests of 3:43.78 and 4:19.16, respectively. Freshman Juan Reyes also placed second in the men's 3000m in 8:14.71. ASU's women's 4x400m relay team finished second in a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:36.25. Sophomore Jodi Smith earned a runner-up finish in the women's high jump, clearing a collegiate-best height of 5-8.75. Also turning in NCAA provisional qualifying marks were senior David Wood in the shot put (59-3), senior Candida Coulson in the 400m hurdles (59.10) and the men's 4x100m (40.06) and 4x400m (3:05.41) relay teams. Five Sun Angel meet records were set, highlighted by Muna Lee's (Louisiana State) new stadium record in the women's 200m (22.90). Lee's winning time eclipsed Maicel Malone's 1991 record of 23.02. Double-winners on the day included former Sun Devil Dwight Phillips in the 100m (10.26) and the men's long jump (26-11.75) and Alabama's David Kimani in the 800m (1:49.37) and the 1500m (3:41.93).

NCAA Qualifiers --
Thanks in part to a recent surge at the Sun Angel Classic, ASU has turned in one NCAA automatic and 13 provisional qualifying performances going into this weekend's meets. Junior Fasil Bizuneh leads the pack, ranking fourth in the nation in the 10,000m with an automatic qualifying time of 28:46.88. Junior Tiffany Greer, looking to continue her streak of five-straight All-America honors in the long jump, ranks sixth in the nation with her season best of 20 feet, 7.75 inches, a provisional qualifying mark. Junior Brianna Torres also holds a top-five ranking with her provisional time of 16:22.31 in the 5,000m, fifth-best in the nation for the last two weeks. Newly added to the list are junior Lisa Aguilera and senior Brandon Strong. Aguilera's provisional 1500m time of 4:19.16 ranks fifth nationally, while Strong's provisional time of 3:43.78 ranks 11th. Also ranked in the top-10 are redshirt freshman Juan Reyes (13:57.52, eighth) and the men's 4x400m relay team (3:05.41, eighth). Additional qualifers for ASU include the women's 4x400m relay team (3:36.25, 12th), senior Candida Coulson in the 400m hurdles (58.80, 17th), senior David Wood in the shot put (59-3, 18th), women's 4x100m relay team (45.07, 23rd), junior Vince Mosca in the shot put (59-0.75, 22nd), the men's 4x100m relay team (40.06, 25th) and sophomore Sandy Orsund in the discus (164-0, 30th).

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, five 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).

Up Next --
Next weekend, ASU will send its distance corps to the Oregon Invitational in Eugene, Ore., Friday, April 26, through Saturday, April 27, while the throwers, jumpers and sprinters will head to Des Moines, Iowa, for the Drake Relays, Thursday, April 25, through Saturday, April 27.

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