ASU Track & Field Heads to NCAA Indoor Meet

March 8, 2005

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TEMPE, Ariz. - The final indoor event of the 2005 season is on tap this weekend for 12 members of the Arizona State University track and field program as the student-athletes travel to the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Facility on the campus of the University of Arkansas to compete. The events will take place throughout the day on Friday and Saturday with the Top 8 finishers in every event earning All-America honors for the season.

Team, relay and individual national championships will be on the line this weekend in Fayetteville, Ark., as will All-America honors. The Top 8 finishers in each individual and relay event will earn the national accolade while the Top 4 teams will bring home trophies.

The Sun Devil contingent to the NCAA Championships will be made up of 12 student-athletes including seven men and five women. The men's roster for Fayetteville includes Joshua Kinnaman (heptathlon), Brandon Glenn (pole vault), Jason Barton (400m/4x400m relay), Trevell Quinley (long jump), Domenik Peterson (200m/4x400m), Seth Amoo (200m/4x400m) and Lewis Banda (4x400m) while the women will be represented by Julia Pedersen (shot put), Rachel Ellison (mile), Amy Hastings (5,000m) and the distance medley relay of Ellison, Cassandra Reed, Jessie McLaughlin and Hastings.

Seven of the 12 Sun Devils heading to Arkansas this weekend competed at the national indoor meet a year ago. For the women, Cassandra Reed and Amy Hastings each represented ASU while the men were represented by Brandon Glenn, Jason Barton, Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda and Domenik Peterson.

Many people have been asking that same question all indoor season. Jacquelyn Johnson, the 2004 NCAA champion in the heptathlon (outdoor) and runner-up in the pentathlon (indoor) as a true freshman, did not compete during the indoor season as she is currently playing with the NCAA Tournament-bound Sun Devil women's basketball team. Once the ASU hoops season has concluded, Johnson will return to the track in search of her second national championship.

At the 2004 national event, the Sun Devil men finished tied for 12th with 17 points while the women placed tied for 27th with eight points. The women saw Jacquelyn Johnson take runner-up honors in the pentathlon while the 4x400m relay of Christina Hardeman, Kandace Tucker, Johnson and Cassandra Reed finished ninth and Amy Hastings (5,000m) 11th.

On the men's side, Jason Barton (400m) and the 4x400m relay of Lewis Banda, Barton, Seth Amoo and Domenik Peterson both finished third in their respective events while Peterson took fourth in the 200m dash. Banda finished ninth in the 400m dash and Brandon Glenn rounded out the ASU entrants with a tie for 13th place in the pole vault.

Of the 12 Sun Devils set to compete this weekend, six hold positions among the Top 10 in the nation with one being a Top 3 placer. For the men, the 4x400m relay of Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda, Jason Barton and Domenik Peterson rank third in the event while Peterson sits seventh in the 200m. Barton rounds out the Top 10 entrant for the men as he sits 10th in the 400m.

The women are led by Amy Hastings, who sits eighth in the 5,000m run. Julia Pedersen (shot put) and the distance medley relay of Rachel Ellison, Cassandra Reed, Jessie McLaughlin and Hastings each rank ninth in the meet.

Heading into the last chance meets, Rachel Ellison had not recorded a mark to qualify her for the national meet in the mile. In South Bend, Ind., Ellison clocked in at 4:45.82 to not only get herself on the order lists, but also give her a shot at competing in the NCAA Championships. In the event, the NCAA committee accepted 16 athletes to compete and, with the help of some scratches, Ellison made the meet, coming at 16th overall.

Domenik Peterson produced several solid marks this indoor season, including the third-fastest time in the 400m dash at 45.82. His 200m dash time also ranks him highly, placing him seventh in the nation. This weekend, Peterson will forego his spot in the open quarter to concentrate on the 200m event and the 4x400m relay.

Ranked 11th in the 200m dash, Seth Amoo has a great shot of joining Domenik Peterson on the All-America list this season following his performances this year. The school record holder in the event until Peterson took it away from him last year, Amoo broke the 21-second barrier this year, running in the 20.9 range three times with a best of 20.95.

At the Alex Wilson Invitational/Notre Dame Last Chance meet last weekend, the Sun Devil women's distance medley relay of Rachel Ellison, Cassandra Reed, Jessie McLaughlin and Amy Hastings combined to destroy the previous school record as they won the race in 11:14.63. The previous mark was set in 2000 when Lisa Aguilera, Candida Coulson, Casey Schwarz and Kelly MacDonald combined to win their race in 11:23.14.

The women's distance medley relay was not the only record setters this season as three other women rewrote the history books at ASU. Porchea Carroll clocked a 7.39 to win the Double Dual and tie Danyell Linder (1990) for the school mark in the event while Amy Hastings posted the fasted 5,000m run time at 16:05.83.

The final record, which was turned over more than your favorite 45, was the pole vault. Entering the season, Angela Tavlarides held the mark at 3.66m before Cara Walker improved the height to 3.83m. Tavlarides took the record back and became the first woman to break the 4.00m barrier in program history as she cleared 4.03m to meet the NCAA provisional mark.

Numerous student-athletes have competed for the Sun Devil track and field program and several were fortunate enough to garner multiple All-America honors. Marcus Brunson and Herman Frazier lead the way with seven honors each while four current Sun Devils are nipping at their heels. Currently, Seth Amoo and Lewis Banda have each earned five All-America honors while Jason Barton and Domenik Peterson each hold four. Amoo could tie the record this weekend as he is entered in the 200m dash and the 4x400m relay. Banda (4x400m), Barton (400m/4x400m) and Peterson (200m/4x400m) could move into second place with a pair of accolades secured this weekend in Arkansas.

Amy Hastings enters the weekend as a cross country All-American in the fall and will look to add the national accolade to her indoor resume in the 5,000m run and the distance medley relay. If she can finish among the Top 8 indoors and at any outdoor event, she could do what only one other Sun Devil, male or female, has done: earn All-America honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track in one season.

Lisa Aguilera is the only runner (so far) in school history to pull off the `triple crown' as she earned the national honor in 2000. She finished fifth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships before placing seventh in the indoor mile and 8th in the outdoor 1,500m run.

Not only do several current members of the Sun Devil roster hold marks that place them among the best in the collegiate ranks, those same marks rank them among the best in the world.

Domenik Peterson holds the 13th-fastest 200m time in the world this week at 20.74 while Amy Hastings sits 12th in the women's 5,000m run at 16:05.83. In the field, Jessica Pressley, who competed unattached from ASU during the indoor season, is 11th in the weight throw at 21.23m.

The first outdoor lists of the season were released recently and a pair of Sun Devil women rank highly in the shot put. Pressley sits 20th in the world with her throw of 15.40m recorded last week at the Bill Sawyer Invitational. Sarah Stevens, who is competing unattached to ASU this season, won the Sawyer meet with a throw of 16.31m. Her mark ranks ninth in the world.

Last season, Seth Amoo helped the men's 4x400m relay set the NCAA collegiate national record in the indoor version of the race as he and his teammates clocked a 3:03.43 at the Iowa State Last Chance meet. Feb. 11, Amoo, the former school record holder in the 200m dash, set a national record on his own by finishing second in the 200m at the Holiday Inn Team Invitational in 20.95. The time made him the first representative of Ghana to run under 21 seconds, giving the senior the national record.

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.

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.

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 (20.95) 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 in Flagstaff two weeks ago with Kelvin Love (21.15) and Steven Koehnemann (21.24) sitting third and fifth, respectively. Amoo and Peterson will look to improve upon their Top 2 marks as they compete in the 200m event at the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend.

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.

The outdoor season kicks into high gear next weekend as the Sun Devils are set to play host to 14 teams from around the nation in the 2005 Baldy Castillo Invitational. The two-day meet will be held Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, on Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium. A schedule of events can be found on the official web site of Arizona State University athletics,

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