Track & Field To Compete In Drake Relays, Oregon Invitational This Weekend

April 24, 2002

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This Week --
Arizona State track and field will take split squads on the road for the second straight weekend, as the top Sun Devil sprinters, throwers and jumpers head to Des Moines, Iowa, for the 93rd Annual Drake Relays, Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, while a group of Sun Devil distance runners make the trek to the great Pacific Northwest for the Oregon Invitational in Eugene, Saturday, April 27. Following this weekend, the Sun Devils have just one meet remaining on their regular season schedule leading up to the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships, the annual double dual with Arizona and Northern Arizona, Saturday, May 4, in Tucson.

Oregon Invitational --
Eleven distance runners and senior sprinter Pete Lopez (200m) will compete at the Oregon Invitational, hosted by the University of Oregon at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Saturday, April 27. Running events in the day session begin at 10 a.m. PT, while field events begin at 10:15 a.m. The twilight session gets underway at 3 p.m. with field events, while running events begin at 5 p.m. Scheduled to compete in the men's 800m, senior Brandon Strong headlines the ASU contingent. 2000 Pac-10 Champion Jeremy Rasmussen is also slated to compete in the men's 3000m steeplechase.

Drake Relays --
The 93rd annual running of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, will be the destination for 15 Sun Devils, Friday, April 26, through Saturday, April 27. ASU's top sprinters, jumpers and throwers are scheduled to compete. Field and running events begin at 8 a.m. CT Friday, while Saturday's running events begin at 8 a.m. and field events begin at 10 a.m. Although missing all members from last year's team, the ASU men's 4x400m relay team seeks to defend its 2001 Drake Relays title. Last year, Michael Campbell, Marcus Brunson, Jason Barton and Tony Berrian took home the 4x400m crown with a time of 3:03.10. Included among those Sun Devils slated to compete this year are junior Tiffany Greer (100m, 200m, LJ), junior Joni Smith (400m), sophomore Seneca Holmes (100mH), junior Luiz Mello (100m), sophomore Steve Fitch (400m), senior Tony Galaviz (110mH), freshman Trevell Quinley (LJ), junior Vince Mosca (DT, SP) and senior David Wood (DT).

National Rankings --
For the second straight week, the ASU women are absent from the latest Trackwire 25 released April 23. ASU's women opened the 2002 outdoor season ranked 25th and moved up to 21st (tie) in the April 9 poll. ASU's men have not been ranked in the first four 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 USTCA Team-Power Rankings as of April 23, the men are fourth and the women are 18th. Team-Power Rankings are dual meet predictors and demonstrate team depth.

Last Time On The Track --
Competing at both the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational and the Mt. Sac Relays last weekend, ASU compiled a team total of 12 NCAA qualifying marks during a successful trip to Southern California. Highlighting that list was senior Brandon Strong's performance in the men's 1500m at the Pomona-Pitzer Invite, winning the event with NCAA automatic qualifying time of 3:41.42 and establishing a meet and track record. His time ranks second all-time in the ASU record books. ASU's other automatic qualifier was junior Lisa Aguilera, clocking a personal-best time in the women's 5000m with atime of 15:57.37 at the Mt. Sac Relays. Aguilera finished 21st overall, but was the sixth fastest collegian to finish the race. Also competing in the distance carnival portion of the Mt. Sac Relays and notching NCAA provisional times and personal-bests Friday night were junior Brianna Torres in the women's 5000m (16:13.79), junior Fasil Bizuneh (13:51.88) and redshirt freshman Juan Reyes (13:54.92) in the men's 5000m. Junior Vince Mosca was ASU's only double-qualifier on the weekend, notching personal bests and NCAA provisional qualifying marks in both the discus (182-10) and shot put (59-5). Senior Tony Galaviz earned a NCAA provisional time in the men's 110m hurdles, 13.89, his first time competing outdoors this season. Senior Candida Coulson improved her NCAA provisional qualifying status with her season-best time of 58.76 in the 400m hurdles. Coulson placed second in her heat of the 400m hurdles, and first in her heat of the 400m. Also earning NCAA provisional qualifying times were the women's 4x100m relay team of freshman Porchea Carroll, junior Tiffany Greer, senior Joni Smith and freshman Cassandra Reed (44.82), the men's 4x400m relay team of junior Lorenzo Parham, freshman Seth Amoo, senior Pete Lopez and sophomore Steve Fitch (3:05.94) and senior David Wood in the shot put (60-4).

NCAA Qualifiers --
To date, ASU has turned in three NCAA automatic qualifying performances and 15 provisional marks. ASU's three automatic qualifiers are senior Brandon Strong (who owns the nation's second fastest collegiate 1500m time - 3:41.42), junior Lisa Aguilera (ranks fifth in the nation in the 5000m with time of 15:57.37) and junior Fasil Bizuneh (ranks sixth in the nation in the 10,000m - 28:46.88). Aguilera and Bizuneh have also each earned provisional times, Aguilera in the 1500m (ranked sixth, 4:19.16) and Bizuneh in the 5000m (ranked 12th, 13:51.88). The Sun Devils' other double-qualifier is junior thrower Vince Mosca, with provisional marks in the shot put (ranked 21st, 59-5) and the discus (ranked 21st, 182-10). Additional marks cracking the top 10 nationally belong to junior Brianna Torres in the 5000m (ranked 10th, 16:13.79) and the men's 4x400m relay team of junior Lorenzo Parham, freshman Seth Amoo, junior Luiz Mello and sophomore Steve Fitch (10th, 3:05.41).

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 --
Just one regular season meet remains on the 2002 schedule for the Sun Devils, the annual Double Dual with in-state rivals Arizona and Northern Arizona, Saturday, May 4, in Tucson, Ariz. The Pac-10 Championships, hosted by Washington State in Pullman, Wash., are right around the corner. The multi-event portion of the conference meet will be held May 11-12, while the track and field portion is held May 18-19.

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