Seattle, Boise Await Track & Field This Weekend

Feb. 9, 2005

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Members of the Arizona State University track and field teams will divide their ranks and head to two locations this weekend. Many of the sprinters and jumpers will head to Nampa, Idaho, for the Holiday Inn Team Invitational, hosted by Boise State, Friday and Saturday, while members of the distance corps and throwers will travel to Seattle for the Husky Invitational, hosted by Washington, on Saturday.

Fourteen student-athletes will represent Arizona State University at the Holiday Inn Team Invitational this weekend, including four women and 10 men. In Seattle, nine men and 13 women make up the travel party for the Husky Invitational.

Trackwire released its weekly rankings and the Sun Devils again are considered among the Top 25 in bot the men's and women's poll. In the Feb. 7 release, the women lead the way in 11th while their male counterparts rank 13th.

In the team power rankings (as of Feb. 9), the Sun Devils also hold a position in the Top 25 with the men sitting 15th and the women 24th.

Two years ago, no Sun Devil woman have recorded a clearance of higher than 11-8. Now, not only are the ASU vaulters consistently recording marks above 12-feet, they are locked in a battle to claim the school record.

Angela Tavlarides cleared the 12-foot barrier five times last year, four of those times bettering her own school record. How would she do this year? In her only meet of the 2005 season, Tavlarides cleared 12-6 (3.81m) to win the Double Dual. But, last weekend, transfer Cara Walker broke that mark, moving the standard to 12-7.50 (3.85m). Although not competing for ASU this season, transfer April Kubishta also recorded a mark of 3.85m.

On Jan. 29, while the team was not competing, junior All-American and 2004 Olympian Lewis Banda returned to his native Zimbabwe where he was honored as the nation's Sportsman of the Year. Banda, the two-time defending Pac-10 champion at 400m, finished ninth at the Summer Olympiad after helping the Sun Devil men to a tie for 10th at the national meet and anchoring the 2004 NCAA runner-up 4x100m relay team.

The quartet of Kelvin Love, Jason Barton, Seth Amoo and Domenik Peterson won the 4x400m relay at the Mountain T Invitational last weekend in 3:06.96 to record the second-fastest time in the nation this season, as well as move into No. 3 on the all-time ASU lists.

Looking over the men's record book for the indoor season, several impressive things standout. One of those is the men's 4x400m relay of Jason Barton, Steve Fitch, Seth Amoo and Domenik Peterson, who stand No. 1 on the lists with a collegiate record 3:03.43. Looking at all five of the top times for the relay event, one name keeps appearing: Jason Barton. In his four years in Tempe, Barton has helped his teammates record the fastest times around while securing All-America honors and conference championships.

At the shorter indoor sprints, Porchea Carroll and Kandace Tucker are making sure to scribe their names in the ASU record books as each holds a position in the Top 5 on both the 60m dash and the 200m dash. In the short sprint, Carroll is tied for the school record (7.39) while Tucker sits fourth overall. The 200m event sees Tucker in second while Carroll is third. Both of their 200m times were recorded last weekend at the Mountain T Invite.

Two freshmen men have added their names to the Top 5 lists following two meets with Marquis Profit ranking fourth in the 60m hurdles and Kelvin Love ranking third in the 200m dash. Both men attained their Top 5 marks at the Mountain T Invite.

The men's 200m dash record section looks almost like a shortened version of the team roster as all five ranks are currently occupied by student-athletes on the 2005 team roster. Domenik Peterson leads the group at 20.57 set last year while finishing fourth at the NCAA meet.

Seth Amoo (21.01) and Lewis Banda (21.19) are second and fourth, respectively. The marks by Amoo and Banda are the oldest on the current list as both were achieved in the 2003 season.

The remaining two marks were both attained last weekend in Flagstaff with Kelvin Love (21.15) and Steven Koehnemann (21.24) sitting third and fifth, respectively.

At the Mountain T Invitational last weekend, several events were won by Sun Devil student-athletes, including both the men's and women's 4x400m relay teams. Individually for the men, Brandon Glenn won the pole vault while Seth Amoo won the preliminary round of the 60m dash and Derek Pisel claimed victory in the 800m run. On the women's side, Kandace Tucker captured the 200m dash while Porchea Carroll won the preliminary round of the 60m dash. Julia Pedersen took first in the shot put to round out the winners.

Arizona State was represented by one current and two former student-athletes at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Lewis Banda, who is the lone current runner, competed for Zimbabwe in the 400m dash and finished in ninth place, one spot shy of making the finals on the largest stage of athletics.

Although Banda fared well, one former athlete stole the spotlight. Dwight Phillips, the world leader in the long jump for the entire year, did not disappoint as he won the gold medal on his first jump of the competition. His win was the 10th gold medal won by a Sun Devil track and field athlete and also marked the third Summer Olympiad in a row that a former ASU standout returned home with gold after Nick Hysong won the pole vault in 2000 and Maicel Malone helped the 4x400m relay win in Atlanta in 1996. The final 2004 Olympian with ASU ties was Michael Campbell. Representing Jamaica, Campbell ran in the 4x400m relay, but his team was disqualified in the first round of competition.

No Sun Devil had brought home a nation title since 1996. No woman had done so since 1992. That all changed when true freshman Jacquelyn Johnson went to Austin, Texas, and won the NCAA heptathlon crown. Johnson showed why she was touted as one of the premier athletes in the nation as she finished first at the outdoor national meet in the heptathlon, second in the national indoor pentathlon and added conference championships in both the heptathlon and the high jump. Johnson will not compete during the indoor season this year as she also plays for Charlie Turner Thorne and the Sun Devil women's basketball team.

Including the 2004 cross country season, the Sun Devil track and field program will see 11 of its student-athletes return to the track this season following a 2004 season in which they collectively earned 13 All-America honors.

On the indoor track, the entire men's 4x400m relay of Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda, Jason Barton and Domenik Peterson, as well individual awards from Barton (400m) and Peterson (200m), return to the lineup while the women bring back Amy Hastings (5,000m) and Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon), although Johnson will redshirt the indoor season.

Outdoors, Amoo, Banda, Barton, Peterson and Steven Koehnemann each return following a stellar spring that saw awards earned in both relays, as well as individual awards from Banda and Barton, both in the 400m. The women's 4x400m relay returns, minus one runner. Christina Hardeman, Cassandra Reed and Kandace Tucker were members of the relay while the third leg, Marcia Smith, graduated. Johnson also returns after garnering the national honor in the heptathlon.

A trio of cross country runners with All-America honors return to the track this year, including two-time award honoree Hastings. She is joined by Desiree Davila and Aaron Aguayo.

Amy Hastings accomplished a feat that no other Sun Devil cross country student-athlete, male or female, had in school history: win a conference title. Hastings led the women to a runner-up team finish as she won the Pac-10 championship crown, and earning the first conference gold of any kind for the program as neither the men nor women have won a team title either.

Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium became the home of the Sun Devils at the open of the 1976 season. In the 28 years the track has been open, it has played host to seven conference championship meets and, on April 16, will welcome athletes to the 26th annual Sun Angel Classic presented by Coca-Cola.

The Sun Devils return to action next weekend (Feb. 19) when they travel to Flagstaff for the Springco Invitational. From there, the March 3-4 last chance meets will be the final events on the indoor surfaces before the NCAA Championships.

March 5 also marks the start of the outdoor season as the Sun Devils play host to the Bill Sawyer Invitational.