Track & Field Meets In-State Rivals In Annual Double Dual In Tucson Saturday
May 2, 2002
This Week --
Arizona State track and field meets in-state rivals Arizona and Northern Arizona for the annual Double Dual meet Saturday, May 4, in Tucson, Ariz., its last regular season tune-up before the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships. Field events are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., with running events to follow at 7 p.m. Arizona's women are the only squad ranked nationally in the latest Trackwire 25 poll, checking in at No. 7.
The Series --
ASU, Arizona and Northern Arizona meet twice a year in a double dual format, once during the indoor season and once during the outdoor season. NAU hosts the indoor meet, while ASU and UofA trade off hosting the outdoor meet. Earlier this year indoors at the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, the ASU men swept UA (80.5-76.5) and NAU (86.5-68.5), while the ASU women took care of NAU handily 94-54, but came away just shy of defeating the Wildcats 78-77. Last year in Tempe, both the ASU men and women swept their in-state rivals in the outdoor dual. The men defeated Arizona 107-83 and NAU 114-64, while the women beat Arizona 101-99 and NAU 130-61. On the men's side, Arizona took care of NAU 97-80, while the Wildcat women defeated the Lumberjack women 123-68.
National Rankings --
For the third straight week, the ASU women are absent from the latest Trackwire 25 released April 30. 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 all five 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 May 2, the men are fourth and the women are 22nd. Team-Power Rankings are dual meet predictors and demonstrate team depth.
Last Time On The Track --
Last weekend, ASU had split squads competing at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday-Saturday, and at the Oregon Invitational in Eugene, Ore., Saturday. At the Drake Relays, true freshman Julia Pedersen put together an outstanding performance in the women's discus, placing second with an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 166 feet, 10 inches. Pedersen improved upon her previous ASU-best by over 14 feet. Her mark ranks fifth all-time in ASU history. The only other Sun Devil to earn a NCAA PQ last weekend was senior David Wood, placing eighth in the men's special shot put at the Drake Relays (58-5.75), though not improving upon his previous season-best. Earning top-three finishes at the Drake Relays in their respective event finals were senior Tony Galaviz (third, 110m hurdles, 14.40), junior Tiffany Greer (third, special 200m, 24.44) and freshman Seth Amoo (third, special 400m, 48.20). Freshman Trevell Quinley placed fourth in the men's long jump with a leap of 24 feet, three inches, while the men's 4x100m team (41.27) and women's 4x400m relay (3:42.38) team finished fourth and fifth, respectively. ASU also had a successful day at the Oregon Invitational in Eugene, Saturday. During the day session, freshman Mandi Fitz-Gustafson earned a runner-up finish in the women's 1500m (4:40.18), while in the twilight session, seniors Pete Lopez and Brandon Strong won the 200m and 800m races, respectively. Lopez won the 200m in 21.39, while Strong missed his PR by just three-tenths of a second with his winning time of 1:49.44. Sophomore Jen Hurbis smashed her PR in the women's 5000m, placing fifth in 16:58.02. Additional top finishes included senior Nicole Simmons in the women's 1500m (fourth, 4:30.50), sophomore Dan Maher in the men's 1500m (fourth, 3:50.37) and junior Ronnie Buchanan in the men's 5000m (fifth, 14:22.99).
Strong Leads ASU's List Of NCAA Qualifiers --
To date, ASU has turned in three NCAA automatic qualifying performances and 16 provisional marks. Senior Brandon Strong leads the way for ASU, owning the nation's second-fastest NCAA Div. I 1500m time with his automatic qualifying effort of 3:41.42. ASU's two other automatic qualifiers are 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 seventh, 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 23rd, 59-5) and the discus (ranked 24th, 182-10). Additional marks cracking the top 15 nationally belong to junior Brianna Torres in the 5000m (ranked 12th, 16:13.79), junior Tiffany Greer in the long jump (ranked 14th, 20-7.75) and the men's 4x400m relay team of junior Lorenzo Parham, freshman Seth Amoo, junior Luiz Mello and sophomore Steve Fitch (11th, 3:05.41). Thrower Julia Pedersen became ASU's first true freshman to join the outdoor list of qualifiers, with her NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 166 feet, 10 inches in the women's discus at the Drake Relays. She ranks 34th nationally. A complete list of accepted NCAA qualifiers will be released Monday, May 24.
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 --
ASU will not be sending any athletes to compete in the multi-event portion of the Pac-10 Championships next weekend and will take the time to prepare for the track and field portion of the conference meet, hosted by Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, May 18, through Sunday, May 19. ASU's men look to improve upon their fourth place finish from last year, while the women aim to improve upon their fifth place finish from a year ago. The championships will be televised by Fox Sports Net on a tape delayed basis during the weekend of May 24. Check your local listings for air dates.
NCAA Championships --
The 2002 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be hosted by Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., Wednesday, May 29, through Saturday, June 1. For more information, go to www.ncaachampionships.com or www.lsusports.net.