ASU Track & Field Falters in Second Day of NCAA Action
June 12, 2003
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The second day of the 2003 NCAA Championships ended with the Arizona State track and field program enduring several disappointing finishes at the halfway point of championships. The men's 4x400m relay, the fastest in the nation this year, failed to reach the finals while three of its members also were bounced from the 400m dash. The bright spots on the windy day in Sacramento saw a women's 400m dasher advance, as well as her 4x400m relay team, and another distance runner turn in a solid showing.
In the only final of the day involving ASU, Fasil Bizuneh concluded his collegiate career with 12th place in the 10,000m run in 29:09.98. The Sun Devil's record holder in the 10K and the second-fastest in the 5,000m run, Bizuneh ends his stay in Tempe as the only ASU male to earn cross country All-America honors in a career.
The women's 4x400m relay team of Cassandra Reed, Kandace Tucker, Seneca Holmes and Joni Smith had to finish in the Top 2 of their heat to advance to the finals and did so with a season-best 3:34.93 to place second behind Miami. The quartet will run for a national title Saturday evening in the final women's event of the championships.
Their male counterparts of Jason Barton, Seth Amoo, Steve Fitch and Lewis Banda, holders of the fastest time in the collegiate ranks this year at 3:02.81, also competed in the 4x400m relay, but their time of 3:05.85 placed them ninth overall and out of the finals. After a tight race in the final of three heats with the Sun Devils taking third, ASU had to wait and see where they would stand, but South Carolina (3:04.94) and LSU (3:05.45) took the two at-large selections based on faster times than ASU.
Reed opened the day in the women's 400m dash with a personal-best time of 52.50 to place fourth in her heat and earn a spot in the semifinals of the event, slated for Friday evening. Also competing in the event, though failing to earn an advancing time was Smith. She took fifth in her heat with a time of 54.24 to place 29th in the overall standings.
In the men's open 400m, Banda(46.57), Barton (46.66) and Amoo(46.76) placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in their heats, but all failed to advance to the semifinals. Instead, the trio, along with Fitch, had to settle for competing in the 4x400m relay later in the day.
In the lone field event of the day for the Sun Devils, Ryan Zimmerman recorded jumps of 15.45m, 15.46m and 15.47m to finish 21st in the event. Zimmerman, who placed seventh in a heat of nine jumpers, does not advance to the semifinal as he is not a Top 12 finisher in the preliminary rounds.
With the men being eliminated from further competition, it marks the first time since 1999 that the team did not earn at least one point in the NCAA Championships.
The NCAA Track and Field Championships continue through Sunday in Sacramento.
2003 NCAA ChampionshipsSacramento, Calif. - Sacramento State UniversityDay 2 Results (ASU ONLY)FIELD EVENTSMen's Triple JumpPrelims21. Ryan Zimmerman 15.47m (50-9.25)does not advance to semifinal - 7th in heat
Women's 4x400m RelayPrelims7. Arizona State 3:34.93Reed, Tucker, Holmes, Smithadvances to semifinals - 2nd in heat
Men's 4x400m RelayPrelims9. Arizona State 3:05.85Barton, Amoo, Fitch, Bandado not advance to finals - 3rd in heat
Men's 10,000m RunFinal12. Fasil Bizuneh 29:09.95