Texas Relays Await Several ASU Tracksters

April 5, 2005

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Eleven members of the Arizona State University track and field program will travel to Austin, Texas, this weekend as they are set to compete in the 78th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays inside Mike A. Myers Stadium on the UT campus. Four women and seven men compose the Sun Devil contingent making its return to the site of the 2004 NCAA Championships.

The 78th annual meet runs April 6-9 with members of the Sun Devils competing on Friday (April 8) and Saturday (April 9) only. On the women's side, Porchea Carroll will enter the 100m dash and the long jump event while Julia Pedersen and Jessica Pressley also will pull double duty as they compete in the shot put and the discus. Jennifer Kowacz rounds out the women's entrants as she also will compete in the shot put. The men will send Seth Amoo, Steven Koehnemann and Kelvin Love into the 100m dash with all three joining Jason Barton, Lewis Banda and Domenik Peterson as possible runners in the 4x400m relay. Travis Jones also will be on hand to compete as he is entered into the shot put and the discus events.

A small contingent of Sun Devils entered the Texas Relays last year with several solid results being posted. For the men, both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays finished third while Steven Koehnemann placed eighth in the open 100m dash. In the field, Trevell Quinley finished 13th in the long jump while Brandon Glenn captured 10th in the pole vault. The women finished 10th in the 4x400m relay while Kandace Tucker took 20th in the 100m dash and Porchea Carroll finished 28th in the same event.

Members of the ASU track and field team headed south to Tucson for the Arizona International April 2 and returned home with the women claiming victory in four events and the men taking two titles. Overall in the 22 event meet, Sun Devil student-athletes finished among the Top 3 on 18 occasions while recording 11 regional-qualifying marks in the process.

At the UA meet over the weekend, six marks on the women's side rank among the Top 10 on ASU's all-time performance lists. Jessica Pressley led the way with two performances as she moved to No. 3 in the shot put (16.68m) and fourth in the discus (55.04m). Julia Pedersen moved up to No. 6 in the discus (54.35m) while Porchea Carroll took over the No. 7 spot in the 100m dash (11.49). In the pole vault, Alana Waterford and Kristin Schow each cleared 3.26m to tie for No. 5 on the list.

ASU athletes have combined to record a trio of marks that currently (April 5) rank as the best in the nation. For the women, Cassandra Reed tops the 400m dash list at 52.84 while Jessica Pressley is No. 1 in the shot put at 16.68m. For the men, the quartet of Steven Koehnemann, Domenik Peterson, Seth Amoo and Lewis Banda are ranked No. 1 in the 4x100m (39.14).

Along with the three top marks, seven other marks recorded so far this season rank among the Top 5 in the nation. On the women's side, Amy Hastings ranks second in the 10,000m run (33.19.32) while Jessica Pressley sits second in the discus (55.07m) and fourth in the hammer (62.52m). Julia Pedersen rounds out the women's marks with the fifth-best discus mark at 54.35m. The men see Seth Amoo (20.79) and Lewis Banda (20.84) ranked in the 200m dash at third and fifth, respectively, while Ryan Warrenburg sits third in the 3,000m steeplechase at 8:46.25.

The first outdoor rankings were released by Trackwire.com April 5 with both the men and women earning spots in the national Top 25 lists. The Sun Devil men lead the way at No. 5 while the women are tied for 19th overall. Arkansas leads the men's side of competition while the Tennessee women are No. 1 as well.

Following competition at the Arizona International April 2 in Tucson, the Sun Devils have tallied a combined 39 regional-qualifying marks while adding three automatic berths into the national meet. The women are responsible for 21 of the regional entries while the men have secured 18. Nationally, two women and one man have earned the automatic berths.

Prior to the start of the season, the Pac-10 Conference coaches voted on how student-athletes would qualify for the conference championship meet at the end of each season. Following the vote, it was decided that no standards will be created for an athlete to try and surpass, rather, the head coach of each team selects up to 24 men and up to 24 women to compete at the Pac-10 meet. Athletes can be entered in as many events as the coach sees fit, but no more than eight per school can enter into one event.

Although there are no qualifying standards for the conference meet, there is a running performance list for the outdoor season with 11 Sun Devils holding the top mark so far this season. Six men and five women are leading the Pac-10 while 20 women and 19 men have earned marks that rank them among the Top 5.

On the latest Pac-10 performance lists, the men's 200m dash looks like a smaller version of the ASU roster as the Top 5 times belong to Sun Devil sprinters. Domenik Peterson leads the way with Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda, Kelvin Love and Jason Barton rank 2nd through 5th, respectively.

Add to that the fact that Love leads the 100m dash and Peterson is tops in the 400m event, along with the top 4x100m relay and the four-time defending Pac-10 champions in the 4x400m relay, and the men's sprints appear to be on track (no pun intended) to succeed this season.

Seven members of the Arizona State track and field program currently hold marks that rank them among the Top 20 in the world (as of April 5). For the men, Seth Amoo is 17th in the 200m dash while Ryan Warrenburg is 15th in the 3,000m steeplechase event. Porchea Carroll leads the women at eighth in the 100m dash while Jessica Pressley sits 16th in the shot put. Cassandra Reed (400m dash), Amy Hastings (10,000m run) and Anna Masinelli (3,000m SC) each rank 12th.

Jessica Pressley has been very dominant in her first collegiate outdoor season with the Sun Devils in 2005. Not only does she lead the nation in the shot put, she also ranks second overall in the discus and fourth in the hammer.

So far this season, Pressley not only threw her way onto the Top 10 lists at ASU, she has set one record and put all three of her marks among the Top 6 all-time. In the hammer, her mark of 62.52m (205-01) not only is a school record, but also marked the first time that an ASU woman has thrown past the 60m mark and broken 200 feet. Her marks in the other two events are 16.68m (54-08.75) in the shot put and 55.07m (180-08) in the discus.

Domenik Peterson has been faring well this season as he leads the Pac-10 in two events and is one leg of a conference-leading relay. So far in 2005, Peterson leads the Pac-10 in the 200m and 400m dashes and joins Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda and Steven Koehnemann, the 2004 NCAA runners-up in the event, as the league leaders in the 4x100m relay.

Travis Jones also is having a stellar start to his outdoor season as he has entered five events in two meets and posted regional qualifying marks in all five. So far, Jones has punched his ticket to Eugene, Ore., in the hammer, shot put and discus.

On March 11-12, the NCAA Championships were held in Fayetteville, Ark., with 12 members of the ASU program participating in the national event. When the two-day national meet concluded, four Sun Devils emerged as All-Americans, including Trevell Quinley in the long jump (2nd), Domenik Peterson in the 200m dash (4th) and Brandon Glenn in the pole vault (7th) for the men and Amy Hastings in the 5,000m run (5th) for the women.

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.

Outdoors, Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda, Jason Barton, Domenik 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. Jaquelyn 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 Amy Hastings. She is joined by Desiree Davila and Aaron Aguayo.

Arizona State long jumping has seen success in the past year with two solid finishes in competitive meets. Most recently, Trevell Quinley finished second at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a leap of 7.92m (26-00.00) and earned the third All-America honor of his career. Seven months prior to Quinley's performance, former Sun Devil jumper Dwight Phillips captured gold at the Athens Olympics with a mark of 8.59m (28-02.25).

Brandon Glenn finished seventh in the indoor pole vault competition at the NCAA meet (March 11) to capture his first All-America honor. Glenn's accolade also was the first since 1994 when Nick Hysong captured the national honor. That same year, Glenn was nine years old.

And speaking of Hysong, the 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist competed in the Baldy Castillo Invitational over the weekend and won the event with a clearance of 5.15m. Although the winning mark was not close to his personal best and school record clearances, the result still goes down as a Sun Angel Stadium record, surpassing the 5.10m clearance attained by a trio of men.

Amy Hastings is two-thirds of the way toward history following her All-American performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships (March 11) where she placed seventh in the 5,000m run. Prior to the track season, she garnered the accolade in cross country. If she attains All-America honors during this outdoor season, she would do what only one other Sun Devil, male or female, has ever 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 meet before placing seventh in the indoor mile and 8th in the outdoor 1,500m.

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 indoor 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 20.43 set this season while placing 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.

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 did not compete during the indoor season this year as she was playing for Charlie Turner Thorne and the Sun Devil women's basketball team. ASU advanced to the Sweet 16 of the tournament.

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.

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.

Members of the Arizona State University track and field team headed south to Tucson to compete in the Arizona International Saturday and returned home with several victories and regional qualifying marks at the meet held inside the Roy P. Drachman Stadium. Overall, Sun Devil student-athletes won six of the 22 contested events, four by the women and two by the men.

On the women's side of the competition, Porchea Carroll led the way as she captured first place finishes in both the 100m dash and the long jump. In the short sprint, Carroll broke the tape in 11.47 to qualify for the region meet as well as post the seventh-fastest time in program history. In the long jump, she recorded a mark of 6.05m (19-10.25) to also qualify for the region.

Cassandra Reed won the women's 400m dash in 52.84 to improve upon her regional qualifying mark while Jessica Pressley captured the shot put with a toss of 16.68m (54-08.75). The mark by Pressley ranks third on the ASU all-time lists while her regional-qualifying mark of 55.07m (180-08) stands fourth all-time in the discus. Also in the discus, Julia Pedersen moved up to No. 6 all-time with her throw of 54.35m (178-04). Pressley, Pedersen (15.39m/50-06.00) and Jennifer Kowacz (15.12m/49-07.25) each recorded regional marks in the shot put.

On the men's side, freshman Kelvin Love won the 100m dash at 10.47 to earn a trip to the regional meet in Eugene, Ore., while Ryan Zimmerman picked up the other victory for ASU as he won the long jump with a mark of 6.72m (22-00.75). Joining Love with a regional qualifier on the day was Travis Jones. The senior thrower surpassed the standard in the shot put (17.10m/56-01.25) and the discus (52.51m/172-03).

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.

One of the premier events in the nation each year will be held next time out as Arizona State plays host to the 26th Sun Angel Classic presented by Coca-Cola. The event will be held April 16 at Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium.

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