Track and Field Closes Book On 2002 Season
June 12, 2002
NCAA Outdoor Championship Recap --
Arizona State track and field wrapped up the 2002 season at the NCAA Outdoor Championships hosted by Louisiana State University at Bernie Moore Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., May 29-June 1. Riding junior Tiffany Greer's runner-up finish in the long jump and junior Lisa Aguilera's sixth-place finish in the 3000m steeplechase, the Sun Devil women ended the four-day meet with 11 points and in a tie for 22nd with Florida State. It was the second-straight top-25 finish at the national outdoor meet for the ASU women and the second-best finish since the 1995 squad placed 17th. South Carolina won the women's NCAA team title with 82 points over UCLA (72 points) and defending champion USC (57). On the men's side, ASU tallied just one point with the 4x400m relay team's eighth-place finish and ended in an eight-way tie for 68th place. This year is the first since 1998 that the men have not earned a top-20 national outdoor finish. Host LSU won the men's team title with 64 points, over Tennessee (57) and Southern Methodist (42). With their top-eight finishes, Greer and Aguilera were ASU's only outdoor All-Americans.
ASU's NCAA Championship Results --
Men Event Time/Mark Place Points Fasil Bizuneh, Jr. 10K 30:34.71 15th --Fasil Bizuneh, Jr. 5000m 14:32.46 15th --Tony Galaviz, Sr. 110mH 13.92 7th semifinalsBrandon Strong, Sr. 1500m 3:46.43 12th --David Wood, Sr. SP 59-9.75 17th --Men's 4x400m Relay 3:05.65 8th* 1
More NCAA Notes --
Junior Tiffany Greer kept her streak alive, earning her sixth-straight All-America honor in the women's long jump with her runner-up finish in Baton Rouge...she has earned three honors indoors and three outdoors...Greer's feat is unprecedented in ASU history as Tesra Bester is the only Sun Devil woman to garner multiple All-America acclaim in the long jump...Bester did so only twice, both indoors and outdoors in 1992...Greer's runner-up mark, 21 feet, 3.25 inches, was an outdoor personal-best and came on her first attempt...Aguilera's All-America nod in the 3000m steeplechase is her fourth on the track and second this season after finishing runner-up in the 3000m at the NCAA Indoor Championships...Aguilera set a personal-best in the event in the prelims with a time of 10:05.38...the men's 4x400m relay team of junior Lorenzo Parham, sophomore Steve Fitch, senior Pete Lopez and freshman Seth Amoo earned the second-straight All-America honor for ASU in the event at outdoor nationals, and third in the last four years...the team finished eighth in the final in 3:05.65, but clocked a season-best of 3:05.36 in the prelims...senior Brandon Strong nearly eclipsed his personal-best in the prelim of the 1500m, qualifying for the final with the third fastest time overall 3:41.54...his personal-best time of 3:41.42, which ranks second in school history, was set earlier this season...Strong ended up finishing 12th in the final (3:46.43).
ASU Sends Four To U.S.A. Senior Championships at Stanford --
One more meet remains on the schedule for four Sun Devils slated to competed in the U.S.A. Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 21-23 in Palo Alto, Calif. Those participating include junior Lisa Aguilera (3000m steeplechase), senior Tony Galaviz (110m hurdles), junior Tiffany Greer (long jump) and senior Brandon Strong (1500m).
National Rankings --
In the final USTCA Team-Power Rankings, the men ended the season ranked sixth in the nation and the women finished 16th. Team-Power Rankings are dual meet predictors and demonstrate team depth. In the final Trackwire 25, neither the ASU men or women were ranked nationally. ASU's women opened the 2002 outdoor season ranked 25th and moved up to 21st (tie) in the April 9 poll, but have been absent since April 16. ASU's men have not been ranked during the outdoor season.
ASU Men's Pac-10 Championship Results --
The ASU men finished fourth at the Pac-10 Championships (hosted by Washington State in Pullman, Wash, May 18-19) for the second-straight season, recording 103 points and missing third place by half a point. This year was the fifth straight top-five finish and third straight time the men have surpassed the century mark in point total at the Pac-10 meet. ASU's 103 points this year was the second-highest since 1981 when the Sun Devils won their only Pac-10 team title with 133 points. The 4x400m relay team of junior Lorenzo Parham, freshman Seth Amoo, senior Pete Lopez and sophomore Steve Fitch won the only Pac-10 title for the men, winning the event with a Mooberry Track record and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:06.03. It was the second straight men's 4x400m Pac-10 title for ASU and fifth overall. Earning runner-up finishes were Amoo in the 400m, senior Brandon Strong in the 1500m, junior Jeremy Rasmussen in the 3000m steeplechase and freshman Trevell Quinley in the long jump. Senior David Wood, the Pac-10 champion in the shot put last year, finished third this season.
ASU Women's Pac-10 Championship Results --
At the 2002 Pac-10 Championships hosted by Washington State in Pullman, Wash., May 18-19, the ASU women placed fourth, the best team performance since a third-place standing in 1994. The Sun Devils tallied 89 points, matching last year's point total, the highest also since 1994 when they scored 96. Junior Tiffany Greer won her second career Pac-10 long jump title, while junior Lisa Aguilera captured her first crown in the 3000m steeplechase. Greer was responsible for 20 of ASU's points, also placing third in the 100m and fifth in the 200m. Aguilera also finished third in the 5000m. Greer was also a member of the 4x100m team that placed second with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 44.68. Sophomore Jodi Smith also tied for third in the high jump, while fourth-place finishes came from sophomore Jen Hurbis (10,000m), junior Cody Sohn (3000m steeplechase), junior Joni Smith (400m) and sophomore Seneca Holmes (100m hurdles).
MacDonald, Aguilera Garner Academic Honors --
Senior Kelly MacDonald and junior Lisa Aguilera were both named to the Verizon Academic All-District VIII first-team for women's track and field/cross country, as voted upon by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America. With their first-team selections, MacDonald and Aguilera are on the national ballot for Academic All-America honors. Those national honorees will be announced June 20. MacDonald graduated in May with a degree in art education and a 3.60 GPA. She also earned second-team Academic All-District honors for spring at-large in 2001. Aguilera has a 3.49 GPA in computer engineering and finance and it is her third first-team Academic All-District honor. She was a fall at-large selection in 2000 and a spring at-large selection in 2001. This year marks the first year track and field/cross country has its own category for the Verizon Academic All-America program.
MacDonald, Strong Named Pac-10 Medal Winners --
Seniors Kelly MacDonald and Brandon Strong were named ASU's Pac-10 Medal Winners for the 2001-02 season. A Conference Medal is awarded to an outstanding senior male and female student-athlete from each member institution based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership. The Pac-10 Medal winners will be honored at the State Farm Pride of the Pac-10 Luncheon held in Los Angeles in conjunction with the Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament next March. The duo culminated their careers as two of the top distance runners to come out of the Sun Devil track and field and cross country program. In May, MacDonald graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of fine arts in art eduction, while Strong graduated with a bachelor of science in conservation biology. MacDonald ended her career as a four-time All-American on the track and a 1999 All-American in cross country. She also won three Pac-10 titles and is the school record holder in three events. Strong set the ASU indoor record in the mile in 2002, becoming the second Sun Devil ever to run a sub-four minute mile (3:59.59). He also ranks second all-time in the 1500m (3:41.42) and was a 2000 All-American as a member of ASU's indoor distance medley relay team.
ASU Record Books Rewritten --
Only one outdoor record was broken in 2002, but quite a few Sun Devils further etched their names on the all-time top-10 lists for their respective events. Junior Fasil Bizuneh broke his own record in the 10,000m with a time of 28:46.88 at the Stanford Invitational. He also moved from seventh to second in the 5000m with his PR of 13:51.88. Junior Lisa Aguilera recorded personal-bests in three events. Already ranking second all-time going into this outdoor season, Aguilera improved upon her 1500m best (4:19.16) and 3000m steeplechase best (10:05.38), but remains second on those lists. She did move from third to second on the 5000m list with her personal-best time of 15:57.37. Senior Brandon Strong's PR in the 1500m (3:41.42) moved him to second all-time, while junior Brianna Torres moved from 10th to fourth in the 5000m with her personal-best of 16:13.79. Junior Tiffany Greer improved her outdoor PR to 21-3.25, but remained second on the outdoor long jump list. Sophomore Sandra Orsund moved to second in the hammer with her personal-best throw of 171-3. In indoor track, Aguilera set the ASU record in the 3000m (9:09.67), while Greer moved up to second in the 60m (7.46). On the men's side indoors, Strong became the first Sun Devil to run a sub-four-minute mile, setting an ASU record with a personal-best time of 3:59.59. Strong was the second ASU athlete to ever run under a four-minute mile, as Chuck LaBenz did so outdoors in 1970. Bizuneh also improved upon his indoor record in the 5000m with a 2002 time of 14:03.06, while senior Tony Galaviz improved his indoor record in the 60m hurdles (7.71). In the men's shot put, David Wood moved to second all-time with a personal-best mark of 64-3.
ASU Women Tie For 16th At 2002 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. Earning her third All-America honor 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.
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, 17 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).