Four Sun Devil Harriers Garner All-Conference Honors
Dec. 4, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. - Four members of the Arizona State cross country team earned All-Pac-10 honors this season, the conference office announced Wednesday. Freshman Jessica Scalzo (Snoqualmie, Wash.) became the first Sun Devil female harrier to garner Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year honors while taking a spot on the conference's first team and senior Fasil Bizuneh (Indianapolis, Ind.) strengthened his place in ASU history by becoming the first male Sun Devil to earn all-conference honors three times in a career. Freshman Amy Hastings (Leavenworth, Kan.) and sophomore Desiree Davila (Chula Vista, Calif.) also were selected to the All-Pac-10 second team for their performances at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships, run Nov. 2 in Pasadena, Calif. It was the fourth time in ASU history that three of its female runners earned conference honors in the same season.
'Our runners knew going into the conference meet that they needed to finish in the Top 12 to become All-Pac-10 runners and my hat goes off to the them for training hard and running as well as they did in that race,' Walt Drenth, ASU head coach, said. 'For Jessica to come in as a freshman and win her award speaks a lot about the talent she brings to the team. I thought the award would come down to either Jessica or Amy Hastings. Jessica was consistent throughout the year and she is very deserving of this award. I think she is line to improve each year and earn more honors as she progresses.'
Scalzo was the first Sun Devil female to cross the finish line in each of the first five races of the year before Hastings took top billing at the NCAA Championships. Scalzo placed in the Top 8 four times on the year including a pair of fourth-place finishes in the first two races of the year. She joins Lisa Aguilera, the 2000 Pac-10 Athlete of the Year, as the only ASU women to earn a postseason conference award. JJ Duke (Clovis, Calif.) earned the same award as Scalzo following the men's race last year.
Bizuneh, the first two-time cross country All-American in school history, is making his first appearance on the second team after claiming a spot on the All-Pac-10 First Teams in 1999 and 2001. In six races this year, Bizuneh crossed the finish line before any of his teammates four times and joined Duke as the only Sun Devil runners at the NCAA Championships. After placing 19th in 1999 and 22nd in 2001, Bizuneh finished the national race in 55th this year making him the first ASU male to participate in the NCAA meet three times.
Hastings finished second to Scalzo in five races before emerging from the NCAA Championship race in 69th place to lead the team to a 23rd-place tie with William and Mary. Hastings finished in the Top 10 in three races including fifth at the first race of the year and 10th at both the Pac-10 and NCAA West meets. Davila ran her fastest race of the season at the conference meet as the Sun Devils finished second to Stanford in the team totals. Davila also ran in the national race and finished with the third-fastest time on the team to take 118th place in the national event.
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