Sun Devil Track Heads to Pac-10 Meet in Eugene
May 3, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - The championship season gets underway for the Arizona State University track and field team this weekend as the Sun Devils send three of its members to Eugene, Ore., for the heptathlon and decathlon portions of the Pac-10 Championships. The meet will be contested at historic Hayward Field on the Oregon campus with the multi-events being contested Saturday and Sunday. The remaining events of the championships will be held the following weekend (May 13-14).
Arizona State will send Jacquelyn Johnson to compete in the women's heptathlon while Joshua Kinnaman and Ryan Ehler also will compete in the men's decathlon. The heptathlon features seven events with four contested on Saturday and the remaining three on Sunday. The men will compete in five events each day.
Jacquelyn Johnson and Joshua Kinnaman will be competing in the Pac-10 meet for first time since the 2004 season when Johnson won the heptathlon and Kinnaman placed second in the decathlon. Both took redshirt seasons outdoors last year as Johnson was a member of the women's basketball team and Kinnaman was sidelined with an injury. Last year, Ryan Ehler entered the decathlon and scored for the Sun Devils, placing eighth overall.
HOW THEY DID
Of the three Sun Devils headed to Oregon this weekend, only Ryan Ehler competed in the meet one year ago as he scored 5,211 points to place eighth in the decathlon. Two years ago, Jacquelyn Johnson scored 5,603 points to win the heptathlon as a freshman while fellow classmate Joshua Kinnaman scored 7,484 points to place second in the decathlon.
LOOKING TO REPEAT
Back for her second Pac-10 meet, Jacquelyn Johnson will look to repeat as the heptathlon champion following her victory in 2004 with 5,603 points. If she wins this weekend, she will become the sixth woman to win two or more heptathlon titles, joining Wendy Brown of USC (1987-88), Tonya Sedwick of UCLA (1989, 1991), Kelly Blair of Oregon (1993-94) and Tracye Lawyer of Stanford (1997-99). Joining Johnson in this race is defending Pac-10 champion Julie Pickler of Washington State.
Heading into the Pac-10 meet this weekend, the Sun Devils will look to win the heptathlon and decathlon titles for just the second time each in school history. Joshua Kinnaman will look to win his first crown in the decathlon and give ASU two total after Dannie Jackson won in 1979. Jacquelyn Johnson will look to secure her second crown and the second for the women's program after claiming the crown in 2004. If both win their respective events, it would mark just the third time ever and second year in a row that one school has won both, following California's duo of Missy Vanek and Bevan Hart in 2000 and Julie Pickler and Darion Powell of Washington State last year.
The women's heptathlon will feature a building rivalry that started on the national scene this past March. Arizona State's Jacquelyn Johnson, the 2004 Pac-10 champion, and Washington State's Julie Pickler, the defending conference champion, put on a spectacular showing at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Arkansas as Johnson secured the national title in the heptathlon by a slim 20-point margin over Pickler as the two were never separated by more than 46 points during the competition. The duo enter the weekend as the Top 2 competitors in the Pac-10 with Johnson ranking second in the nation and Pickler third. Johnson has scored 5,797 points in the event this season with Pickler just 63 points behind at 5,734 points.
The men's decathlon features three athletes ranked in the Top 20 nationally with two having scored in the Top 8 at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this season. ASU's Joshua Kinnaman, the 2004 Pac-10 runner-up, placed eighth at the indoor heptathlon this season and is currently ranked 11th nationally in the decathlon. Arizona's Jake Arnold leads the conference in the event as he sits seventh nationally after placing sixth indoors.
The 5,000m run has become quite a successful event for the Sun Devil men and women this season with nine total athletes having earned regional qualifying marks in the event while setting a pair of school records. On the men's side, Aaron Aguayo (13:40.16), Ryan Warrenburg (13:43.29), Velibor Radejovic (14:03.38), Joey Heller (14:06.07) and Casey Burchill (14:06.96) have all qualified for the regional meet with Aguayo running the ninth-fastest time in the nation this year. For the women, Victoria Jackson (15:49.03), Amy Hastings (15:52.06), Jenna Kingma (15:59.15) and Corey Randall (16:34.01) have made the regional with the first three ranking fifth, sixth and ninth, respectively, in the nation.
Four Sun Devils headed to the Cardinal Classic at Stanford on April 30 with three running times in the 5,000m run that broke the school record. On the women's side, Victoria Jackson clocked a 15:49.03 to break the school record of 15:53.28 set in 2000 by Kelly MacDonald. Amy Hastings also ran a time that would have bettered the school mark, but her time of 15:52.06 came in just behind Jackson in the race. On the men's side, Aaron Aguayo ran 13:40.16 to reclaim his school record. Aguayo broke the record last year, bettering the 13:51.40 that Todd Lewis ran in 1990. Ryan Warrenburg then broke Aguayo's mark earlier this season, running 13:43.29.
The Sun Devil women defeated their intrastate rivals Arizona and Northern Arizona at the annual Double Dual over the weekend in Tucson while the men split, defeating the Lumberjacks but falling to the Wildcats. Against NAU, the women won, 118-72, while the men were victorious, 132-40. The women downed the Wildcats, 113-80, while the men fell, 116-86, their first loss to UA in the last six tries.
At the Double Dual, one school record was tied as April Kubishta cleared 4.10m (13-05.25) to win the meet and equal the record performance of Angela Tavlarides in 2005. The duo are the only Sun Devil women that have cleared heights of 13 feet or better in competition both indoors and outdoors.
In the latest national rankings released May 2, the Sun Devil women remained in the Top 10 as both Trackwire and the coaches' association have ASU ranked sixth.
ASU women have turned in impressive marks this season, both indoors and out. On the all-time Pac-10 lists, several of those marks have earned positions among the Top 10. In the field, Sarah Stevens recorded a toss of 17.52m (57-5.75) at the NCAA Indoor meet to record the eighth-best mark all-time before Jessica Pressley moved into the No. 10 spot with her toss of 17.19m (56-4.75) recorded last weekend. Stevens also is just off the Top 10 list in the hammer throw as her mark of 63.17m (207-3) ranks 11th overall. On the track, Amy Hastings has climbed into the Top 10 in two events as she now stands seventh on the 5,000m list (15:45.45) and is sixth in the 10,000m run (33:17.89). Victoria Jackson also has made the all-time list in the 10,000m run, ranking eighth all-time with a time of 33:20.58.
WOMEN'S DANDY DOZEN
The women have 10 athletes on the latest Dandy Dozen lists with Amy Hastings (5,000m) and Jacquelyn Johnson (heptathlon) remaining at the top of their respective events. Victoria Jackson (5,000m) and Sarah Stevens (shot put) are both ranked fifth while Jessica Pressley is ranked sixth in both the shot put and the discus. Stevens rounds out the Sun Devils projected in the Top 8 as she sits seventh in the hammer.
MEN'S DANDY DOZEN
Three of the five men's entries on the Dandy Dozen are projected in the Top 8 with the 4x400m relay leading the way in the sixth position. Aaron Aguayo is seventh in the steeplechase while Domenik Peterson is eighth in the 200m dash.
One men's and eight women's marks currently rank in the Top 8 of the national order lists (as of May 2). For the men, the 4x400m relay of Jerry Jones, Chris Adams, Rich Allen and Domenik Peterson are ranked seventh. On the women's side, Jacquelyn Johnson ranks second in the heptathlon while Jessica Pressley is one of three Sun Devils ranked in the Top 8 in two events, sitting fifth in the shot put and seventh in the discus. She is joined by Amy Hastings, who is fourth in the 10,000m run and sixth in the 5,000m run, and Victoria Jackson, who sits fifth in the 5,000m run and eighth in the 10,000m run. Sarah Stevens (hammer) is ranked sixth to round out the ASU entries.
IN THE REGION
So far this season, the women have posted 34 regional qualifying marks while the men have recorded 29. Of those marks, 19 of the women's marks and 14 of the men's are ranked among the Top 5. The men have three regional leaders, including the 4x400m relay, Aaron Aguayo in the 5,000m run and Ryan Zimmerman in the triple jump. On the women's side, Jacquelyn Johnson has the top heptathlon score in the region while Amy Hastings holds the top time in the 10,000m run.
According to the latest Pac-10 Conference lists, the women hold 25 marks ranked in the Top 8 while the men hold 16 marks in the Top 8. Jacquelyn Johnson leads two events, including the high jump and the heptathlon, while the men have three leaders in the conference: the 4x400m relay of Jerry Jones, Chris Adams, Rich Allen and Domenik Peterson; Aaron Aguayo in the 5,000m run and Ryan Zimmerman in the triple jump.
Seven women and four men have qualified individually for the regional meet in three or more events so far this season. On the men's side, Domenik Peterson leads the way with qualifying marks in the 100m dash, 200m dash and 400m dash and also assisted the 4x100m and 4x400m relays in qualifying for the meet while Kelvin Love Jr., has made the meet in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m relays. For the women, Victoria Jackson has earned berths in the 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m runs while Jacquelyn Johnson has posted marks in the 100m hurdles, the high jump, the 4x400m relay and the heptathlon. In the field, both Sarah Stevens and Jessica Pressley each have earned berths in the hammer, shot put and discus events.
NEXT TIME OUT
The Pac-10 Championships conclude next weekend as the Sun Devils return to Eugene on May 13-14 for the remaining events.