Women's 4x400m Relay Takes First; Team Places Fourth in Region

May 27, 2006

PROVO, Utah - The Arizona State University track and field team concluded competition at the 2006 NCAA West Region Championships Saturday night in Provo, Utah, with the women's 4x400m relay winning the team's third regional crown on the weekend to help the Sun Devils finish fourth in the team standings. The men, on the strength of its steeplechase runners, placed 10th in the regional meet.

The Sun Devil women tallied 82 points to place fourth overall while Stanford and USC each recorded 94 points to tie for the title while UCLA was third with 92.5 points. The men's team race was won by USC with 123 points while host BYU took second with 86 points. The Sun Devil men recorded 26 points in the meet.

The relay of Bridgette Williams, Christina Hardeman, Shauntel Elcock and Latosha Wallace combined to run the 10th-fastest time in school history at 3:33.98 to win the race and not only earn 10 points for the team, but also automatically qualify for the national outdoor meet. The relay's qualification was the sixth for the women on the day and eighth overall on the weekend. The first two runners of the relay also qualified in the open 400m dash for the national meet as Hardeman placed second in 53.74 while Williams finished fifth in 55.08. The anchor of the relay, Wallace, also qualified individually as she placed second in the 400m hurdles in 58.01.

Two other sprinters also earned national berths with their Top 5 finishes as Jacquelyn Johnson took fifth in the 100m hurdles in 13.42 while Kelvin Love Jr. ran 20.94 to finish fifth in the men's 200m dash. Brooke Bennett, the conference champion in the 3,000m steeplechase, placed third in the event in 10:33.94 to earn a berth in the national meet while men's steeplechasers Aaron Aguayo and Ryan Warrenburg also punched their return ticket to Sacramento as they finished second (8:56.21) and third (8:58.76), respectively.

In the field, the women saw Jessica Pressley earn a national berth in the discus as she placed third with a toss of 52.55m (172-05) while Ryan Zimmerman, the 2006 Pac-10 champion in the triple jump, placed second overall at 16.00m (52-06.00) to earn his return trip to nationals.

Several athletes placed in the Top 12 and will now await word from the NCAA to see if they will make the championship field as at-large selections. On the women's side, Sarah Stevens was close in two events as she placed sixth in the hammer with a toss of 62.51m (205-01) and seventh in the discus at 48.86m (160-04). Three athletes placed ninth in their respective events, including Anna Masinelli in the 3,000m steeplechase (10:55.21), April Kubishta tied for ninth with a clearance of 3.96m (12-11.75) and Rachel Ellison in the 1,500m run (4:30.68).

The following athletes have automatically qualified for the national meet for the women: Amy Hastings (10,000m run), Victoria Jackson (10,000m run), Johnson (heptathlon and 100m hurdles), Stevens (shot put), Pressley (shot put and discus), Wallace (400m hurdles and 4x400m relay), Hardeman (400m dash and 4x400m relay), Williams (400m dash and 4x400m relay), Bennett (3,000m steeplechase) and Elcock (4x400m relay). The men will send Aguayo and Warrenburg in the steeplechase and Love Jr. in the 200m dash with Casey Burchill and Joshua Kinnaman sitting on the provisional entry lists for the 10,000m run and decathlon, respectively.

Those Sun Devils that earned berths into the meet will head to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Alex G. Spanos Athletic Complex in Sacramento, Calif., on June 7-10, hosted by Sacramento State.