ASU's Women Third, Men Fifth at Pac-10 Track & Field
May 18, 2003
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Arizona State track and field team turned in impressive performances at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships over the weekend at Loker Stadium on the campus of USC in Los Angeles, Calif. The women, on the strength of four Pac-10 titles, accumulated a school-record 109 points to tie for its highest finish in program history at third. UCLA won the team race with 155 points while ASU took third for the sixth time in 17 years of competition in the conference. On the men's side, the Sun Devils finished in fifth place with 82 points while host USC won the team title with 139 points.
Sandra Orsund secured the first conference title of the day for the Sun Devils by throwing 55.76m to capture the discus event. Orsund knocked off two-time defending champion Chaniqua Ross of UCLA and ended the Bruin's team streak of four years in a row of winning the event. Julia Pedersen also scored for the Sun Devils in the event with a seventh-place finish with a heave of 51.20m.
The Sun Devil men and women quarter-milers dominated the field in the meet, winning three of the four non-hurdle events spanning 400m. For the women, Cassandra Reed (52.89) took first place with teammate Joni Smith (53.09) just behind her as ASU finished 1-2 in the race. In the following contest, the men also finished 1-2, and added a fourth-place finish. Freshman Lewis Banda (45.83) took the gold in his first conference meet with Seth Amoo taking second at 46.08. Jason Barton captured fourth at 46.60 as each of the three placers prepared themselves for the 4x400m race later in the day. The wins marked the fifth and fourth conference title in the event for ASU's women and men, respectively, at the Pac-10 Championships.
A 4x400m men win would be the sixth title for the relay for ASU, the most in any one event in Sun Devil history and the quartet of Barton, Amoo, Steve Fitch and Banda came through by winning the title with a time of 3:06.44. The women, seeded fifth heading into the meet, came through in a big way to take second place. After trailing most of the race, the Sun Devils charged back to nearly run down winner Stanford.
Several Sun Devils also earned championship titles Saturday with Lisa Aguilera claiming the 3,000m steeplechase event for the second year in a row while Tiffany Greer became the first female to win three long jump titles in a career with her victory. The four titles won by the women was most in a championship since the team won five in both the 1993 and 1994 meets.
Ranked first in the women's 4x100m relay, the Sun Devils could not track down the Trojans of USC in the first race of the day, instead settling for second place in the event at 44.82. The men, seeded third following the preliminaries a day prior, finished the race in third at 40.37 to pick up six team points for the men. Other close calls for the Sun Devils included the men's 4x100m relay team finishing third at 40.37 while Amoo and Banda placed second and third, respectively, in the men's 200m race.
Others placing in the Top 8 for the men and women and earning team points were Casey Clark in the men's high jump (eighth), Seneca Holmes in the women's 100m hurdles (seventh), Aguilera in the women's 1,500m run (sixth), Greer (fifth) and Porchea Carroll (sixth) in the 100m dash, Luiz Mello (fifth) in the 100m dash, Jeff Dodge in the men's 800m run (fifth), Greer (seventh) in the 200m dash and Desiree Davila (sixth) in the women's 5,000m run.
Greer (16 points) for the women and Banda and Amoo (20 points each) for the men were ASU's high point winners this year. Greer's total ranks 11th all-time in the Sun Devil's Pac-10 Championship meet history while Banda and Amoo are tied with Marcus Brunson for third all-time.
Arizona State returns to action next weekend in Tucson with the Wildcat Invitational Saturday, May 24. A week later, the Sun Devils travel to Palo Alto, Calif., and Stanford University for the NCAA West Region Championships.
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