Track and Field Heads to USC for Pac-10 Championships

May 12, 2003

Pac-10 Notes [in pdf] | Team Top Times [in pdf]

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State track and field teams will enter the championship portion of the 2002-03 season as it travels to Los Angeles and USC for the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, May 17-18.

THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Twenty-one of 22 events will be contested at Katherine B. Loker Stadium in Los Angeles this weekend to determine both team and individual conference champions. The first event, the men's decathlon and women's heptathlon, were contested this past weekend.

RESULTS POSTED AT USC
The conference championships got under way over the weekend as the decathlon and heptathlon championships were decided. Oregon's Santiago Lorenzo won the men's event with the women's champion being Ellennee Richardson of Washington State.

In the team race, Oregon has the early lead on the conference with 19 points while WSU is in second with nine. USC (six), Stanford (three) and Arizona (two) round out the scoring so far. For the women, WSU leads with 16 while Stanford is close behind with 12. OU (six), Cal (three) and UA (two) complete the scoring in the meet so far.

IN THE RANKINGS
The men and women are both starting to climb in the national polls with the men securing a spot in both rankings. The men are No. 21 according to Trackwire.com and No. 22 by Trackshark.com. The women are not ranked and No. 22, respectively, in the rankings. Among the power rankings, the men are No. 26 and the women No. 30 in the latest update.

IT'S A RECORD, AGAIN
Lisa Aguilera already set one school record earlier this year and figured she would go out in style with another added to her credentials at the annual Double Dual meet. Also the final home competition of her collegiate career, Aguilera ran a blazing 9:51.65 in the 3,000m steeplechase to set Pac-10 and Arizona State records while establishing the new standard for Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium. Her time also is the fastest in the nation both collegiately and post-collegiately and ranks as the third-fastest time by an American all-time.

The second record came two weeks earlier at the Mt. SAC Relays with Aguilera clocking a 15:53.28 to place 16th in a tough field of competitors consisting of both collegiate and professional athletes.

One similarity among the two records was both were formerly held by Kelly MacDonald, Aguilera's teammate. Another common thread, Aguilera broke both of MacDonald's times at the same venues she had previously set the standards.

AGUILERA'S AWARDS
For breaking the school and conference record, Lisa Aguilera was honored as the Pac-10 Female Runner of the Week for the week ending May 4. It was the first honor for any ASU track or field athlete in 2003.

Aguilera also learned Thursday that she has been selected by Arizona State as its female recipient of the Pac-10 Medal of Honor, bestowed annually to one male and one female student-athlete at each of the conference's member institutions. The honor marks the second year in a row that a female track athlete has earned the honor as Kelly MacDonald earned the distinction last year for the Sun Devils.

THREE IN A ROW?
Undefeated and owners of the top time in the nation this year, the Arizona State men's 4x400m relay team is poised to win the event at the Pac-10 Championships for the third year in a row. If the quartet of Jason Barton, Seth Amoo, Steve Fitch and Lewis Banda claim the title, they will join the UCLA relays of 1987-89 as the only relays to win the race three year in a row.

DISTANCE STEPPING UP
With the addition of Lisa Aguilera's school records in the women's 5,000m run and 3,000m steeplechase, three top marks have been recorded in distance events this year. Fasil Bizuneh rewrote his own top time in the men's 10,000m run at the end of March to notch the third record for ASU.

Also making noise in the distance events are Desiree Davila and Jessica Scalzo. Both student-athletes have recorded times in the Arizona State all-time Top 10 this year in the women's 5K.

AMONG THE PAC-10 ELITE
Five marks have been recorded this year by Sun Devil student-athletes that rank as the tops in the conference. On the men's side, Lewis Banda holds the top time in the 400m dash (45.68) while the men's 4x400m relay team's time of 3:02.81 is fastest this year in the conference as well as the nation.

For the women, Tiffany Greer's long jump of 6.17m leads the conference while the 4x100m relay team of Porchea Carroll, Greer, Cassandra Reed and Kandace Tucker are tops with a 44.27. New to the list of leaders is Lisa Aguilera in the 3,000m steeplechase at 9:51.65.

POSTSEASON POSITIONING
Following the Double Dual, the Sun Devils increased the number of athletes that will represent the Maroon and Gold at both the Pac-10 Championships and the NCAA west region meet at the end of May. The women have 31 marks that have qualified 19 individuals for the conference meet while 40 marks will gain 19 women access to the regional event.

On the men's side, 20 individuals have combined for 29 Pac-10 entries while 18 men so far will compete at the regional event at Stanford in 23 events. These numbers do not include relays.

NEW FOR 2003
In years past, times and marks recorded by Sun Devils would be compared to the standards established by the NCAA to see if they automatically, provisionally or not at all qualified for the national meet. This year, a regional meet has been established where student-athletes will first have to qualify for, much like the national meets in the past years, and the finish among the Top 5 in their respective events in order to advance to the national meet in Sacramento, Calif., June 11-14.

LAST TIME: DOUBLE DUAL
In the Double Dual, the men defeated Arizona, 101-92, and Northern Arizona, 107-67, to win the dual for the second time in 2003 after taking the indoor meet in Flagstaff earlier this year. The women also swept both intrastate rivals by handing UA a 91-87 defeat and NAU a 104-47 loss.

In all, the men and women each won eight of the contested events with Casey Clark (javelin & high jump), Desiree Davila (800m & 1,500m runs) and Sandra Orsund (hammer & discus) winning two events a piece.

2002 PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2002 Pac-10 Championships were held at Washington State with the men and women both finishing fourth in their respective team races. The men tallied 103 points on their way to their second fourth-place finish in a row while the women accumulated 89 points to take their highest placement since 1994 (third place).

Individually for the women, Lisa Aguilera captured won her first conference crown by taking the top spot in the 3,000m steeplechase while Tiffany Greer took home her second Pac-10 title in the long jump. The men's 4x400m relay team continued to dominate the event by winning the event for the second year in a row as Lorenzo Parham, Steve Fitch, Pete Lopez and Seth Amoo took the title.

INDOOR ALL-AMERICANS
At the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships, one individual and one relay team brought home All-American honors by placing among the Top 8 in the national meet.

Individually, Lisa Aguilera placed seventh in the 3,000m run in 9:18.80 to earn two team points for the women's team and tying them for 43rd overall.

On the men's side, the 4x400m relay team of Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda, Jason Barton and Steve Fitch combined to finish fifth in the nation with a time of 3:07.41. The team remained undefeated on the year by winning their heat, though they took fifth overall because the four teams in the final heat finished with better times.

IT'S A RECORD - PART TWO
Seth Amoo ran his first 200m race of the year at the Double Dual (Feb. 14) and used that performance to not only win the race and earn a provisional qualification time, he also reset his school record in the indoor event. Crossing the line at 21.01, Amoo bettered his previous mark of 21.19 that he established last year. Lewis Banda, who took third in the race, finished in a time of 21.19, tying the previous mark and moving into second on the all-time list.

NEXT TIME OUT
Arizona State will head south to Tucson next week for the Wildcat Classic as the team prepares for the May 30-31 NCAA West Region meet at Stanford.

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