Track & Field Inks 11 Student-Athletes to National Letters of Intent

June 29, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University track and field and cross country programs have signed 11 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, Greg Kraft, head coach of the program, announced Thursday. All 11 student-athletes will continue their educational and athletic programs with ASU and are set to begin competing during the upcoming 2006-07 academic year.

The newest class includes women Whitney Blue (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS), Jasmine Chaney (Tempe, Ariz./McClintock HS) and Kari Hardt (Queen Creek, Ariz./Queen Creek HS) and men's athletes Ben Engelhardt (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North HS), Mikias Gelagle (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt HS), Rodney Glass (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame HS), Jeff Helmer (Snohomish, Wash./Henry M. Jackson HS), Garrett Kelly (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS), Justin Kremer (Grand Canyon, Ariz./Grand Canyon HS), Patrick Milloy (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) and Tod Rodenbaugh (Mesa, Ariz./Paradise Valley CC).

Of the signing athletes, 10 are recent high school graduates with the 11th member of the class transferring into the program from a local junior college. Overall, the recent graduates combined to collect 35 state tiles (including three relay crowns) while also finishing second in the state on 11 other occasions. In their senior campaigns, they collected 14 of their state titles with one runner-up finish.

Five of the athletes are multiple state champions, including 13-time winner Hardt, 11-time champion Kremer, five-time winner Chaney and two-time champions Helmer and Kelly. Two other athletes also won one state title each, including Gelagle and Glass, a two-sport star that also will compete on the Sun Devil football team.

Hardt, sister of current Sun Devil runner Whitney Hardt, collected 11 individual titles, including two cross country crowns and the last two year's worth of crowns in the 800m run, 1,600m run and 3,200m run. She also collected six runner-up finishes, all coming at the hands of her sister in her first two years of high school competition. The 2006 Arizona Meet of Champions MVP, Hardt holds the fastest times in the state in the three track events and placed 26th at the 2005 Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships. She holds personal bests of 2:11 (800m) and 10:26 (3,200m).

Chaney also had great success on the track, especially during her senior campaign as she won three individual crowns and was a runner-up in one other race. Chaney won the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles for the second year in a row while adding a win in the 200m dash in 2006. Overall, she placed among the Top 5 in all 10 races she ran during her prep career, finishing with five wins and two runner-up finishes. She holds personal bests of 14.58 (100m hurdles) and 44.04 (300m hurdles).

Blue comes to Tempe following a prep career that saw her compete in the CIF State Cross Country Championships, finishing second as a junior before taking sixth in the latest race. In the regional competition, she placed second in the Southern Section each of the last two years before heading to the track where she was sixth in the state at 3,200m in 2005. She holds a personal best of 10:35 in the 3,200m run.

On the men's side, Kremer heads to campus after posting a very successful career in Grand Canyon where he was one of only seven athletes to compete on the team. The winner of the 100m, 200m and 400m dashes for the past three years, Kremer also added the long jump crown in 2006 after helping the 2005 4x100m relay to gold before the team took the title. As a senior, he scored 40 of the team's 47 points (fifth place) which would have been good enough to place him sixth in the team standings. He holds personal best times of 10.81 (100m), 21.93 (200m) and 47.93 (400m).

Another speedster added to the roster is Glass, the 2006 CIF 100m dash champion. Also set to carry the ball out of the backfield for Coach Dirk Koetter's football team, Glass clocked a personal best 10.32 in the sprint to claim not only a personal best, but also the school record. His mark also stands as the top mark among all high school sprinters in the nation this year, third-best among all junior athletes (the top two in the division competed in college) and the fourth-best among all junior athletes in the world this season. The CIF runner-up in 2005, his 10.32 also ranks as the sixth-fastest in the history of California high school competition.

Coach Louie Quintana bolstered his distance corps both in cross country and on the track as he added five athletes to the squad. Helmer, who placed 31st at the 2005 Foot Locker meet, was the 2005 cross country champion in Washington after capturing the 3,200m run on the track the spring before. A Top 10 finisher in all six of his state track and field races, Helmer also competed in the 2005 USA Junior Cross Country Championships where he placed 23rd. He holds personal best times of 9:02 (3,200m) and 4:15 (1,600m).

Kelly, a local product of Desert Vista, collected the same crowns as Helmer as he won the 2005 cross country meet before winning the 3,200m run at the 2006 state track meet. The state runner-up at 1,600m as a senior, Kelly helped the 4x800m relay to success as they relay captured the 2005 state title after finishing second one year earlier. He holds personal best times of 4:18 (1,600m) and 9:18 (3,200m).

Gelagle, before heading from the East Coast, competed at the 2006 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships (June 21-25) in Indianapolis, Ind., where he placed eighth in the junior 10,000m run. Gelagle has been a high placer at the state level in Maryland much of his prep career, including the championship in the 3,200m run at the 2006 outdoor meet and six other Top 10 finishes. In cross country, he placed second in 2005 after taking third in his junior season. He holds a personal best time of 9:14 in the 3,200m run.

Milloy will bring a wealth of experience to the Sun Devil cross country squad after earning a berth in all four CIF cross country meets in his career where he placed among the Top 20 in California each of the last three years, including fourth in 2004. Milloy holds a personal best time of 9:07 in the 3,200m run. Engelhardt also excelled at the state level in Ohio as he placed third and fifth at 3,200m in 2005 and 2006, respectively. He also finished third in his lone cross country state meet (2004) and holds a personal best time of 9:09 in the 3,200m run on the track.

Rodenbaugh, the lone transfer in the class, comes across town following two successful seasons in the pole vault with Paradise Valley Community College. While competing for the Pumas, Rodenbaugh advanced to the National Junior College Collegiate Association (NJCAA) meet on four occasions, placing second in the pole vault all four times. A four-time All-American for PVCC, Rodenbaugh also was a state champion for Mountain View as he captured the 2004 crown after placing fourth in 2003. He has cleared a personal best 16-9.00.

National Letter of Intent Signees for the 2006-07 Academic Year
SigneeEvent(s)YearHometownLast School
Whitney BlueDistance/XCFr.Costa Mesa, Calif.Newport Harbor HS
Jasmine ChaneySprints/HurdlesFr.Tempe, Ariz.McClintock HS
Kari HardtDistance/XCFr.Queen Creek, Ariz.Queen Creek HS
Ben EngelhardtDistance/XCFr.Westerville, OhioWesterville North HS
Mikias GelagleDistance/XCFr.Greenbelt, Md.Eleanor Roosevelt HS
Rodney GlassSprintsFr.Sherman Oaks, Calif.Notre Dame HS
Jeff HelmerDistance/XCFr.Snohomish, Wash.Henry M. Jackson HS
Garrett KellyDistance/XCFr.Phoenix, Ariz.Desert Vista HS
Justin KremerSprintsFr.Grand Canyon, Ariz.Grand Canyon HS
Patrick MilloyDistance/XCFr.Murrieta, Calif.Murrieta Valley HS
Tod RodenbaughPole VaultJr.Mesa, Ariz.Paradise Valley CC

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