Harriers Open 2005 Slate in Flagstaff This Weekend

Aug. 31, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University cross country program opens its 2005 season this weekend with members of the men's and women's squads heading north to Flagstaff, Ariz., for the George Kyte Invitational Saturday morning at Buffalo Park. The meet, hosted by Northern Arizona, will begin at 4 p.m. with the men running a 4.77 mile course before the women compete in a 5,000m race.

Amy Hastings made history last year at the Pac-10 Championships as she became the first Sun Devil harrier, male and female, to win the conference title as she finished first at the annual meet conducted at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Hastings' victory helped the women to second place in the team standings for the third year in a row. For her efforts, she also was selected as Pac-10 Athlete of the Year.

A pair of runners attained All-America honors last season at the NCAA Championships, held Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind. Both Amy Hastings and Aaron Aguayo finished 22nd overall in their respective races to earn the national accolade while pacing their squads to ninth and eighth place team finishes, respectively, at the national meet. Hastings earned her second All-America honor in cross country in as many seasons while Aguayo captured his first.

Thirteen women and 15 men return in 2005 to compete for the Sun Devils. On the women's side, several noteable returnees include a quartet of harriers that competed at the NCAA Championships in 2004: Amy Hastings, Victoria Jackson, Anna Masinelli and Rachel Ellison. On the men's side, six of the seven runners at the national meet return, including Aaron Aguayo, Casey Burchill, Roger Cahill, Kal Clark, Velibor Radejovic and Ryan Warrenburg.

The Sun Devil men's and women's rosters each expanded by 10 spots this season with the women adding eight freshmen and one transfer while the men brought in eight freshmen and a pair of transfers. On the women's side, the rookie class includes freshmen Jocelyn Buras, Chelsea Caloia, Krystal Duke, Jill Glover, Ali Kielty, Samantha Knobbe, Angela Spadafino and Allyson Stewart. They are joined by Taylor Carroll, a transfer from Pepperdine and Lauren Hayes, a member of ASU's track and field team last season.

On the men's side, the freshmen are Max Baecker, Ross Blahnik, Ken Brook, Michael Cronin, Ian Moore, Tyler Raspiller, Tyler Scott and Sandy Skouson. Kyle Alcorn comes to the program after transferring from conference rival Oregon while Brent Wood rounds out the class after transferring in from near-by Mesa Community College.

One final addition to the Sun Devil program is Rhonda Riley, who will serve as a graduate assistant following her graduation from Oregon State in 2004.

Over the past four seasons, the men's roster has had a Duke on it and this year, that will remain true as J.J. Duke returns for his senior season. This year, however, the women's roster also will include a Duke as Krystal Duke, J.J.'s sister, joins the Sun Devils.

Louie Quintana returns to the helm of the Sun Devil cross country program for his second season following one of the most successful seasons in program history. Not only did Quintana guide Amy Hastings to the program's first conference title in cross country, he also put together men's and women's teams that placed second in the Pac-10 and second in the NCAA West Region before earning berths into the NCAA Championships. At the national meet, Quintana's men took eighth and the women ninth as each team also produced one All-American each.

Following a week off from competition, the Sun Devils will return to action Friday, Sept. 16, when they travel to Tucson, Ariz., for the Dave Murray Invitational, hosted by Arizona. The course at the Dell Ulrich Golf Course also will serve as the site of the 2005 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships held later in the season.

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