Track and Field Signs 11 Prep Standouts to National Letters of Intent
June 26, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. - Greg Kraft, head coach for the Arizona State track and field team, announced Thursday the signing of 11 high school standouts to National Letters of Intent to compete for the Sun Devils beginning in the 2003-04 academic year. The program also added two transfers to its roster for the following year.
'These recruits coming in will definitely help us and have immediate impacts on our program,' Kraft said. 'We have a nice team returning and these recruits will only help to compliment them. They add depth to our program and will allow our current members to be more competitive by being able to rotate people in and out of relays and other races so we are more fresh when we head into the Pac-10 and NCAA meets.
'We also now have athletes in areas that we haven't in the past, such as the pole vault, and that should be an area where we can earn more team points,' Kraft said. 'I feel optimistic about where we are as a program and how our depth as a program has increased each year. The class is not large in numbers, but there talent level is very high and their impact will be immediately felt next year.'
The women's team will welcome seven newcomers including two transfers and five freshmen. The group of high school graduates includes Jessica Crate (Brights Grove, Ontario), Jacquelyn Johnson (Yuma, Ariz.), Michelle Lang (Phoenix, Ariz.), Jessica Pressley (Elk Grove, Calif.) and Corey Randall (Cincinnati, Ohio). Marcille Smith, an NCAA champion in 2001, comes to Tempe from Clemson and Christina Hardeman, another sprinter, joins the program after a successful year with DeAnza College in California.
On the men's side, six signees will join the Sun Devils next season including four local products. Stephen Dolk (Glendale, Ariz.), Brandon Glenn (Avondale, Ariz.), Steven Koehnemann (Chandler, Ariz.) and Tomas Navarro (Mesa, Ariz.) will be joined by Duane Soloman (Lompoc, Calif.) and Domenik Peterson (Jefferson City, Mo.) next year.
The women boast extremely talented student-athletes with Johnson leading the way. Johnson holds state records in the 100m hurdles (13.60), high jump (6-1), long jump (19-10) and triple jump (40-1) and is the defending Junior Olympics champion in the heptathlon. Johnson's hurdles, long and high jump also rank in the Top 10 in the nation this year. Joining her in the Top 10 in the nation is shot putter Pressley. Her 51-5 is one of the best throws in California history and helped her capture the state high school and Golden West titles.
Hardeman and Smith bring collegiate experience to the team in the 400m. Smith ran on the Clemson 4x400m relay team that captured the national title in 2001 while Hardeman is coming of a season in which she won the California Junior College 400m dash championship. Crate and Randall will both be members of the cross country team and bolster the youth movement that helped the Sun Devils capture a tie for 23rd in the nation at the NCAA Championships in December.
The final signee for the women (Lang) and the first two men (Dolk and Glenn) will compete for the Sun Devils in the pole vault, an event that ASU has not been represented in for a few years. Lang has a best of 12-4 while Dolk and Glenn are two of the top vaulters in Arizona state history. Glenn, the 2002 state champ with a best of 16-8.75, has the second-best vault all-time and was coached by Cranston Hysong, father of the No. 1 vaulter in former Sun Devil and Olympic Gold Medalist Nick Hysong. Dolk is No. 3 on the all-time list at 16-6 and won the state title in 2003.
Peterson comes to Tempe after a historical prep career in Missouri. A sprinter in the 100m, 200m and 400m dash events, Peterson is the only runner in state history to win one event four times in a career as he captured gold in the 400m four times. His 21.04 in the 200m also is the fastest in state history. Local product Koehnemann rounds out the sprinters after setting state records in the 100m and 200m dashes.
Soloman holds the third-fastest time the nation this year in the 800m run and was the state champion in the California meet this year. He also won the title at the Golden West meet, perhaps the most prestigious high school all-star track meet held each year. Navarro, the only thrower added to the men's roster for the upcoming season, has thrown 62-10 for a spot on the national Top 10 list.
2003 NLI Signees
Jessica Crate (Brights Grove, Ontario/Sarnia Southwest TC) * Distance
Christina Hardeman (Sunnyvale, Calif./DeAnza College) * Sprints
Jacquelyn Johnson (Yuma, Ariz./Yuma HS) * Heptathlon
Michelle Lang (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS) * Pole Vault
Jessica Pressley (Elk Grove, Calif./Laguna Creek HS) * Throws
Corey Randall (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin HS) * Distance
Marcille Smith (Decatur, Ga./Clemson) * Sprints
Stephen Dolk (Glendale, Ariz./Ironwood HS) * Pole Vault
Brandon Glenn (Avondale, Ariz./Westview HS) * Pole Vault
Steven Koehnemann (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol HS) * Sprints
Tomas Navarro (Mesa, Ariz./Highland HS) * Throws
Duane Soloman (Lompoc, Calif./Lompoc HS) * Mid-Distance
Domenik Peterson (Jefferson City, Mo./Jefferson City HS) * Sprints