Air Force Invite Awaits ASU Track & Field
Feb. 1, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University track and field team will send a small group of competitors to one meet this weekend as those Sun Devils are set to compete in the 16th Annual Air Force Invitational inside the Cadet Field House in Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday and Saturday.
Here are the teams that have been invited to compete at the Air Force Invitational this weekend: Division I teams include Air Force, Arizona State, BYU, UC Irvine, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawai'i, New Mexico, Sacramento State, USC, Utah State and Wyoming while the Division II contingent is comprised of Adams State, CU-Colorado Springs, Colorado School of Mines and Western State.
COMING OFF VICTORIES
Last weekend, the Arizona State track and field teams competed in the Arizona-California Challenge that included participants from ASU, Arizona, Northern Arizona, California, CS Fullerton and CS Northridge. The men competed in a tournament-style meet with the most points earning the team title. That victory went to the men as they scored 163.5 points with Arizona (94.5), NAU (80), CSUN (79.33), Cal (60.17) and CSUF (41.5) rounding out the team scores. On the women's side, each team face one another in a dual format with the Sun Devils going 5-0 on the day. ASU defeated UA 97-46, NAU 85-67, Cal 96-46, CSUF 107-40 and CSUN 104-50.
In the latest rankings released by Trackwire.com (January 30), the Sun Devil women remained in the Top 10, this time improving one spot to No. 6 while the men are not ranked.
Nine women and two men are projected to place among the Top 12 at the NCAA Indoor Championships this season according to the latest Dandy Dozen lists. The men have Domenik Peterson ranked fifth in the 200m dash while the 4x400m relay is ranked 11th. On the women's side, the following athletes are listed in the Dandy Dozen: Rachel Ellison (11th, mile), Amy Hastings (eighth, 5,000m run), distance medley relay (eighth), April Kubishta (7th, pole vault), Jacquelyn Johnson (6th in long jump and 2nd in heptathlon), Jessica Pressley (6th in weight throw and 8th in shot put) and Sarah Stevens (fourth, shot put).
Following the Arizona-California Challenge last weekend, seven women and one man earned provisional qualifying marks for the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships. Jacquelyn Johnson led the way as she met the provisional standards in three events, including the 60m hurdles, high jump and long jump while Jessica Pressley met the standard in two events; the shot put and the weight throw. April Kubishta (pole vault) and Sarah Stevens (shot put) also attained provisional status. On the men's side, Andrew Smith was the lone man to attain a provisional mark, earning his status in the shot put.
It did not take long for the Sun Devil women to continue to rewrite history this season just one year removed from breaking four indoor marks. Last weekend, Jessica Pressley recorded a mark of 20.95m in the weight throw to better the previous best of 20.74m recorded by Adrienne Judie in 2001. April Kubishta set the new standard in the pole vault as her clearance of 4.05m beat the 4.03m clearance of Angela Tavlarides last year.
According the latest national order lists, six women's marks rank among the Top 8 in the nation. Those include Sarah Stevens, who is second in the shot put, April Kubishta is tied for third in the pole vault, Jessica Pressley is sixth in both the shot put and weight throw and Jacquelyn Johnson is sixth in the long jump and tied for eighth in the high jump.
GOT THE GOLD
Arizona State fared well at the Arizona-California Challenge as 10 events were won by the Sun Devil women while the men added another eight victories on the day. For the women, wins came from Christina Hardeman (400m), Amy Hastings (3,000m), Jacquelyn Johnson (60m hurdles, high jump, long jump), April Kubishta (pole vault), Jessica Pressley (weight throw), Sarah Stevens (shot put), the 4x400m relay of Latosha Wallace, Johnson, D'Metra Macedon and Hardeman and the distance medley relay of Whitney Hardt, Rachel Ellison, Jessie McLaughlin and Anna Masinelli. The men secured eight victories, including Brandon Glenn (pole vault), Steven Koehnemann (60m dash), Kelvin Love, Jr. (200m), Domenik Peterson (400m), Ryan Warrenburg (3,000m), Ryan Zimmerman (triple jump), the 4x400m relay of Chris Adams, Love Jr., Peterson and Jimmie Gordon and the distance medley relay of Aaron Aguayo, Joey Heller, Marquis Profit and Jack Mann.
Two years ago, Jacquelyn Johnson was a true freshman and garnered national attention as she finished second in the pentathlon at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships before winning the heptathlon title at both the Pac-10 and NCAA Outdoor Championships. Last year, she played basketball for ASU and help the Sun Devils advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 while redshirting on the track. In 2006, Johnson is back and returning to form as she won three events at the Arizona-California Challenge last weekend and is a favorite to win the pentathlon at the Air Force Invitational this weekend.
Jacquelyn Johnson was not the only successful track athlete to return to competition last weekend as men's distance standout Aaron Aguayo ran his first race since the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships where he earned All-America status after injuring his foot in the semifinals of the 3,000m steeplechase. Aguayo sat out the most recent cross country campaign while rehabilitating his injured foot before helping the men's distance medley team win the Arizona-California Challenge with a time of 11:00.87, the fifth-best in school history.
NEW KIDS STEPPING IN
Several student-athletes competed for the Sun Devils for the first time last weekend with some of those athletes turning in all-time Top 5 performances. April Kubishta (in her second meet at ASU) set the school record in the pole vault a 4.05m while Sarah Stevens made her debut one to remember as she not only won the shot put with a throw of 16.75m, she also recorded the second-best mark in the event in school history before adding the third-best throw in the weight at 18.07m.
AMONG THE BEST
Over the weekend, 11 marks recorded by Sun Devil student-athletes would earn placement on the Top 5 all-time lists, including nine by the women and two by the men. Jacquelyn Johnson ran the third-fastest 60m hurdles time (8.34) while Marquis Profit did the same in the men's race (8.24). Johnson also recorded the fifth-best clearance in the high jump (1.80m) while the women's pole vault received three new members to its Top 5 with April Kubishta (1st at 4.05m), Cara Walker (3rd at 3.90m) and Alana Waterford (5th at 3.60m) adding themselves to the Top 5. In the women's throws, Jessica Pressley set the new standard in the weight throw (20.92m) and is now fourth in the shot put (16.22m) while Sarah Stevens is third in the weight (18.07m) and second in the shot put (16.75m). The final Top 5 mark came in the men's distance medley relay when Aaron Aguayo, Joey Heller, Profit and Jack Mann ran the fifth-best time of 11:00.87.
Four women and six men return to the track this season with All-America honors to their names, including 2004 NCAA champion Jacquelyn Johnson. For the women, Johnson, a two-time award winner, is joined by five-time All-American Amy Hastings and single-honorees Christina Hardeman and Jessica Pressley. On the men's side, Domenik Peterson leads the way with five awards won and is joined by two-time honoree Aaron Aguayo and single-honorees Brandon Glenn, Ryan Warrenburg and Ryan Zimmerman.
At the end of the 2005 track and field season, 10 women and 10 men earned Academic All-Pac-10 honors, including eight student-athletes (three women and five men) earning first team accolades. Following the 2005 cross country season, 17 total athletes (nine women and eight men) attained the same honor from the conference with three women and four men earning first team accolades. Kal Clark and Jennifer Kowacz were both selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII First Team with Kowacz then earning ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team.
RECORD SETTERS - OUTDOOR
Both the men and women recorded four school records during the outdoor season one year ago, including two relay marks. On the women's side, Amy Hastings took over the top spot in the 10,000m run with her time of 33:19.32 while Angela Tavlarides cleared 4.10m (13-5.25) to become the first Sun Devil to clear 13 feet outdoors. Jessica Pressley, in her first outdoor season with the team, set the standard in the shot put at 17.05m (55-11.25), breaking a 22-year old record before becoming the first ASU woman to break the 200-foot barrier in the hammer with her record toss of 63.51m (208-4). The men saw Aaron Aguayo set the mark in the 3,000m steeplechase (8:38.16) and the 5,000m run (13:49.11), beating out Todd Lewis in both categories 13 and 15 years later, respectively. In the relays, the team of Steven Koehnemann, Domenik Peterson, Seth Amoo and Kelvin Love, Jr., ran a 38.71 4x100m relay to break the 26-year old record of 38.78 set in 1979 by Ron Brown, LaMonte King, Greg Moore and Dwayne Evans. Amoo and Peterson joined Rich Allen and Lewis Banda in setting the 4x400m relay mark as the four men combined to finish second in the nation with a blistering time of 3:00.57.
The Sun Devils will welcome 37 new members to its team this season as 20 women and 17 men join the program in time for the 2006 season. In all, 26 freshmen, three sophomores, seven juniors and one senior comprise the new additions to the squad this year.
I COME FROM ...
On a roster of 97 student-athletes (45 women and 52 men), 18 different states are represented, stretching as far west as California, as far north as Alaska, as far south as Texas and as far east as Maryland. In all, 47 student-athletes hail from Arizona with California (19), Texas (five) and Colorado (three) rounding out the Top 4. States with two representatives include Indiana, Washington, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Michigan, Missouri and Idaho while single representation comes from Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, Maryland, Kentucky and Iowa. The final member of the roster is the lone foreign student-athlete, hailing from Serbia.
QUICK REVIEW: 2005 CROSS COUNTRY
The Arizona State harriers turned in another fine season of competition as both the men and women advanced to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The women, led by Amy Hastings and her third cross country All-America honor in a row, finished fourth overall, earning the first trophy finish (Top 4) at a national meet for the program. This all came after the women finished as runners-up to Stanford, the 2005 national champion, in both the Pac-10 and NCAA West Region meets. The men, hit hard by injuries, continued to fight to finish 17th at the national meet following a third-place finish in the regional race and fifth-place at the conference meet. Casey Burchill and Ryan Warrenburg led the men all season and will look to help carry the load on the track as well.
QUICK REVIEW: 2005 TRACK SEASON
The men opened the championship season by placing 13th at the NCAA Indoor Championships while the women tied for 43rd overall. Outdoors, the men placed third at the Pac-10 Championships, fourth in NCAA West Region and 17th in the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The women also finished third at the conference level before a fourth-place finish at the regional meet. They did not score at the outdoor national meet and did not place in the final standings.
RETURNING PAC-10 CHAMPIONS
Four men and two women return to the track this season after winning Pac-10 titles one year ago while one other woman returns after a redshirt season. For the men, two-time 3,000m steeplechase champion Aaron Aguayo is back and will look for his third title in a row while Steven Koehnemann (4x100m), Kelvin Love Jr. (4x100m) and Domenik Peterson (4x100m and 4x400m) round out the returning men. On the women's side, Christina Hardeman is the lone returning member of the championship 4x100m relay of one year ago while Anna Masinelli is back following her victory in the steeplechase last year. Two years ago, Jacquelyn Johnson won gold twice as she was crowned champion in the heptathlon and the high jump during the 2004 season.
SUN ANGEL STADIUM
Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium has served as the home of Arizona State track and field since 1976 and has seen its share of successful athletes participate in events on its surfaces. Olympic champions, such as Dwight Phillips (2004 long jump) and Nick Hysong (2000 pole vault), and both team and individual national champions have called the 5,000-plus seat venue home. Most recently, Jacquelyn Johnson was the newest addition to the list as she won the 2004 NCAA Heptathlon title. Sun Angel Stadium also plays host to at least four ASU events each season, culminating with the prestigious Sun Angel Classic presented by Coca-Cola. Entering its 27th year, the Classic features come of the top collegiate programs in the nation each year.
HOME MEET INFORMATION
Arizona State will play host to four home meets again this season as Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium will be home to the Bill Sawyer Invitational on Feb. 25, the Baldy Castillo Invitational on March 17 and 18 and the ASU Invitational on March 25. The final meet of the year at home will be the 27th Sun Angel Classic presented by Coca-Cola on April 15. For more information on the meets, including event schedules, visit the track and field page on thesundevils.com, the official web site of Sun Devil Athletics.
NEXT TIME OUT
Three meets await the Sun Devils next weekend with meets scheduled in New Mexico, Washington and Arkansas. Several athletes will head to the New Mexico Invitational Feb. 10-11 in Albuquerque, N.M., while others will compete in either the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., or the Husky Invitational in Seattle, both taking place on Feb. 11.