Johnson Second, Barton and Relay Third at NCAA Indoor Championships
March 13, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. - The 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships came to a close Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark., with three impressive performances turned in by members of the Arizona State track and field team. Jacquelyn Johnson (Fr., Yuma, Ariz.) took runner-up honors in the pentathlon to pace the women while the third-place finishes of Jason Barton (Jr., Phoenix) and the 4x400m relay paced the men at the national meet.
Johnson got the Sun Devils off on the right foot to open the second day of competition as she placed second in the women's pentathlon with 4,263 points. Georgia's Hyleas Fountain won the event with 4,412 points. The event opened with Johnson finishing second to Fountain in the 60m hurdles as the ASU rookie clocked in at 8.53 to earn 1,010 points. One event later, however, Johnson would slip to fifth in the overall standings as her clearance of 1.71 (5-7.25) garnered her 867 points in the high jump event with a sixth-place finish.
At the halfway mark of the pentathlon, Johnson moved up to fourth place following her fourth-place finish in the shot put, earning 660 points with a throw of 11.98m (39-3.75). In the long jump, Johnson took third place as she leaped to 6.09m (19-11.75) in the long jump for another 877 points. Needing a fast time in the 800m run to move up in the standings, Johnson clocked a 2:18.17 to finish fourth overall in the four-lap race to score 849 points and national runner-up honors.
Barton followed Johnson's success with more of his own as the local speedster finished third in the nation at 400m with a school record 45.56, breaking the previous 45.80 he set earlier in the season. Barton was third in his heat with Jeremy Wariner of Baylor setting a facility and NCAA meet record with his winning run of 45.39. Jerry Harris of TCU, the top seed heading into the finals, finished second, edging out Barton with a time of 45.52. Following the race, Barton's six team points, combined the with five Domenik Peterson (Fr., Jefferson City, Mo.) earned one day earlier in the 200m dash, pushed the Sun Devils into a tie for 14th place with 11 points.
Barton and Peterson, along with Lewis Banda (So., Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) and Seth Amoo (Jr., Palmdale, Calif.), entered the men's 4x400m relay as the top seed and collegiate record holders, but it was not enough to push the Sun Devil quartet to the championship gold as Baylor and Minnesota finished ahead of ASU, giving the Sun Devils third place. ASU recorded a 3:04.49 and was edged by the Golden Gopher relay for second place as the UM quartet crossed the line at 3:04.48. BU took the gold with a time of 3:03.96.
The women's relay did not have the same fortune as their male counterparts in the same race. The team of Christina Hardeman (So., Sunnyvale, Calif.), Kandace Tucker (So., Irving, Texas), Johnson and Cassandra Reed (Jr., Avondale, Ariz.), like the men, finished third in their heat of the race, but when the dust settled, the 3:36.56 recorded by ASU put the team in ninth place, one position from earning All-America honors.
In the final field event of the championships, freshman Brandon Glenn (Avondale, Ariz.) placed tied for 13th place in the pole vault with a clearance of 5.15m (16-10.75). Glenn cleared the opening height on his first try before failing to clear 5.30m (17-4.50) on his next three attempts.
In the team standings, Johnson's eight points put the Sun Devils in a tie for 27th place with West Virginia. The final placement for ASU is the squad's fourth in the last five years and betters the tie for 42nd place of a year ago. On the men's side, the Sun Devils accumulated 17 points (six from Barton in the 400m, six from the relay and five from Peterson in the 200m) to finish tied for 12th with UCLA. The finish is the third-best ever in the history of ASU at the indoor meet, topped only by the tie for 10th in 2000 and 11th in 1999 that the men recorded.
The Arizona State track and field team will return to competition next weekend when it plays host to the 2004 Baldy Castillo Invitational Friday through Saturday, March 19-20, at Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe.
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