Sun Devil Track & Field Returns to Flagstaff Saturday

Feb. 15, 2007

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Members of the Arizona State University track and field program will head to Flagstaff, Ariz., this weekend to take part in the Southwest Invitational inside the Walkup Skydome Saturday. The meet will be the final tune-up for several athletes before heading to Seattle to compete in the 2007 MPSF Indoor Championships (May 23-24).

TOP RANKED - PART I
According to the latest national rankings release this week, the Sun Devil women hold top billing in the USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll while also sitting second in the Trackwire Top 25. The men are not ranked this week in either poll.

TOP RANKED - PART II
According the most recent NCAA order lists, four Sun Devils also are ranked No. 1 in the nation in their respective events. On the women's side, April Kubishta's clearance of 4.30m is the top mark in the pole vault so far this year while Sarah Stevens' toss of 17.86m in the shot put is the national leader. Amy Hastings' time of 15:30.17 is also tops in the women's 5,000m run. In the men's shot put, redshirt freshman Ryan Whiting has the top toss with a mark of 19.89m.

HASTINGS SETS RECORD
At the Husky Classic over the weekend, Amy Hastings not only broke her own school record in the women's 5,000m run, she also broke a 26 year old America collegiate record in the event. Her time of 15:30.17 bettered her previous school mark of 15:45.45 set last year in the same meet and also was faster than the previous American mark of 15:34.5 run by Margaret Groos of Virginia in 1981.

SUN DEVILS IN THE RECORD BOOK
Hastings' American collegiate record in the 5,000m run (15:30.17) at the Husky Classic last weekend made her the third Sun Devil to currently hold an overall and/or American collegiate record. Indoors, she joins the men's 4x400m relay of Jason Barton, Steve Fitch, Seth Amoo and Domenik Peterson who set the mark of 3:03.43 in Ames, Iowa, on March 6, 2004. Another relay holds the collegiate mark on the outdoor surface as the 4x800m squad of Pete Richardson, Eddie Davis, Treg Scott and Mike Stahr ran 7:08.96 on April 7, 1984, in Tempe.

ON THE WORLD LISTS
As of February 13, three men and four women with ties to the Sun Devil track and field program currently are on the world lists in their respective events. For the men, current Sun Devil Ryan Whiting ranks 17th in the shot put (19.89m) while former athletes Marcus Brunson is ranked first in the 60m dash (6.46) while Trevell Quinley is third in the world and first among Americans in the long jump (8.07m). On the women's side, three current Sun Devils are ranked with Amy Hastings standing sixth in the 5,000m run (15:30.17), Jessica Pressley is 13th in the weight throw (20.25m) and Sarah Stevens is 14th in the shot put (17.86m). Former NCAA champion Victoria Jackson is ranked 10th in the 5,000m run (15:57.18) and is the second American on the list behind Hastings.

MAKING AUTOS
Over the weekend, two NCAA automatic marks were recorded, led by Amy Hastings' 15:30.17 in the 5,000m run. Also automatically qualifying was Sarah Stevens in the shot put with her toss of 17.58m. Stevens has a better mark recorded earlier in the season.

ALMOST IN
The weekend also produced six provisionals for the women and four for the men. On the women's side, Sarah Stevens (weight throw at 19.58m) and Jessica Pressley (shot put at 15.98m) each earned theirs at the Tyson Invitational while 3,000m runners Jenna Kingma (9:26.55) and Ali Kielty (9:28.02) both attained their status at the Husky Invitational. At the TCR Race Invitational, Stephanie Garnett jumped to 6.18m in the long jump while the 54.20 time in the 400m dash at the Iowa State Classic was a provisional for Latosha Wallace. On the men's side, Ryan Whiting earned a provisional mark in the shot put at the Tyson (18.62m) while Matt Turner improved his standing in the long jump with a mark of 7.72m at the TCR meet. Back at the Husky, Aaron Aguayo (3,000m at 7:59.39) and Kyle Alcorn (5,000m at 14:03.78) both earned their first provisionals of the season.

ON THE WORLD TEAM
While many members of the team were competing at indoor track meets throughout the nation, several current and former Sun Devils were in Boulder, Colo., to run in the USA Cross Country Championships. Kari Hardt placed third in the women's junior 6k race and former All-American Fasil Bizuneh placed seventh in the men's open 12k race, earning both runners a place on the US teams that will compete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 24 in Kenya. Also competing at the US meet were Mikias Gelagle, who placed 23rd in the junior men's 8k race while Patrick Milloy did not finish in the same race. Former Sun Devil Mary Duerbeck competed in the women's open 8k run, placing 13th overall in the event.

WORLD TEAM HISTORY
When Kari Hardt and Fasil Bizuneh compete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March, they will become the second and third Sun Devils to compete for the US team, following Amy Hastings, who ran for the American team in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the 2003 event. Hastings clocked a time of 22:34 to finish 20th in the world while placing first among the American entrants.

FIRST TO 14
April Kubishta seems to set a school record every time she takes the pole vault runway as she has reset the standard three times this season all ready and seven total times in the past two indoor seasons. Last weekend at the Mountain 'T' Invitational, Kubishta not only broke her own record, she broke a big barrier in school history by becoming the first female to clear 14 feet in competition with her winning mark of 4.30m (14-01.25). Her mark not only is the national leader so far this season, it also earned her an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships next month in Fayetteville, Ark.

BREAKING AN OLD RECORD
In the early months of 1986, Jim Camp set the school record in the men's indoor shot put with his toss of 19.77m (64-10.50), becoming the first Sun Devil to surpass 19 meters. Now, over 20 years later, Camp's record has fallen as Ryan Whiting (who had not been born at the time the record was set) recorded a mark of 19.89m (65-03.25) to etch his name on top of the record book as well as the top of the national lists. The first Sun Devil to surpass 65 feet in competition, Whiting achieved the record in just his second collegiate meet after redshirting last year.

ON THE NCAA LISTS
Along with the three national leaders (Amy Hastings in the 5,000m, April Kubishta in the pole vault and Sarah Stevens in the shot put), the Sun Devil women have six other Top 20 marks, including one other in the scoring position (Top 8). That belongs to Jessica Pressley, who ranks seventh with her mark of 20.25m. On the men's side, only five have qualified with Matt Turner's mark of 7.72m in the long jump ranking him seventh, joining him with Ryan Whiting (national leader in the shot put) among the Top 8 in the nation.

DANDY DOZEN
The Trackwire D12 ranks individuals in each of the contested events and this week, two individual men and seven individual women appear on the Dandy Dozen. For the men, Ryan Whiting is ranked third in the shot put and Matt Turner is ranked ninth in the long jump. The women have No. 1 Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon), No. 1 April Kubishta (pole vault), No. 1 Sarah Stevens (shot put), No. 1 Amy Hastings (5,000m), No. 8 Jessica Pressley (shot put), No. 9 Stevens (weight throw) and No. 12 Stephanie Garnett (long jump).

IN THE MPSF STANDINGS
On the latest performance lists released by the MPSF, two men's and five women's marks are the best among the schools set to compete in the MPSF Championships on Feb. 23-24 in Seattle. Ryan Whiting (19.89m) is the leader in the shot put and Aaron Aguayo is tops in the 3,000m run (7:59.39). The women have Latosha Wallace (53.67 in the 400m), Sarah Stevens (17.86m in the shot put), April Kubishta (4.30m in the pole vault), Jessica Pressley (20.25m in the weight throw) and Amy Hastings (15:30.17 in the 5,000m run) in the lead of their respective events.

NEWCOMERS SHINING
Two men that are new to the lineup this season have already qualified for the NCAA Championships, including Ryan Whiting and Matt Turner. Whiting, a redshirt freshman, has the top mark in the nation so far this year in the shot put at 19.89m while Turner, a junior transfer from Cal State Fullerton, has the 10th-best leap in the long jump at 7.60m.

ASU TOP 5
Five marks recorded over the weekend (two women's and three men's) rank among the Top 5 all-time in Arizona State history. On the women's side, both Jessie McLaughlin in the mile and Ali Kielty in the 3,000m run turned in the fifth-fastest times in program history, clocking in at 4:50.84 and 9:28.02, respectively. For the men, Aaron Aguayo became just the second man to run the 3,000m race in under eight minutes, going 7:59.39 to move into second place all-time while 5,000m runner Kyle Alcorn took over fourth place with his time of 14:03.78. Matt Turner moved into fifth place on the long jump ledger with his mark of 7.72m (25-04.00).

RETURNING NCAA CHAMPIONS
The recent success the women's program has enjoyed has been helped along by the strong individual accomplishments of Jacquelyn Johnson and Amy Hastings, Arizona State's returning NCAA champions. Johnson, who entered last season as the 2004 NCAA heptathlon champ, captured both the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon crowns while Hastings won the indoor 5,000m run for her first title. The duo has combined to earn 11 All-America honors with Hastings recording seven individual national honors and Johnson four.

RETURNING MEN'S ALL-AMERICANS
A pair of men return to the track this season after earning All-America honors last year with both bringing two awards with them. Joshua Kinnaman returns after earning the national acclaim in the indoor heptathlon before securing All-America honors in the outdoor decathlon later in the year. Aguayo comes to the track after earning All-America status in the outdoor 3,000m steeplechase before finishing ninth to claim the honor at the most recent NCAA Cross Country Championships.

RETURNING WOMEN'S ALL-AMERICANS
Six women return this season after earning All-America honors in 2006, including four women that earned the acclaim in indoor and outdoor events. Indoors, Jacquelyn Johnson and Amy Hastings won national titles in the pentathlon and 5,000m run, respectively to earn their awards while Jenna Kingma earned her honor in the 3,000m run. In the field, Stephanie Garnett was an All-American in the long jump while Sarah Stevens earned the honor in the shot put. Outdoors, Johnson again won the national title (heptathlon) while Hastings (10,000m run) and Kingma (5,000m run) also earned All-America status. Stevens added another honor in the shot put while Jessica Pressley was the only Sun Devil to double during the championships, earning All-America status in both the discus and shot put events.

BACK FOR MORE
At the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, seven women combined to score 30 points to help the team place third in the overall standings. This year, six of those seven women return, accounting for 29 of the 30 points scored. The lone loss came in Victoria Jackson (graduation) who placed eighth in the 5,000m run to earn one team point. The team's finish marked the highest ever for the program and also earned it's first trophy.

TROPHY HUNTERS
For only the second time in NCAA women's history, one program finished in the Top 4 at the cross country championships, indoor track & field championships and the outdoor track & field championships to earn a trophy in each of the three major events in the same academic year. The first was Tennessee during the 1982-83 season with the second coming last year from the Sun Devil program. After placing fourth at the cross country meet, the women place third at the indoor track & field meet before closing out the campaign in a tie for fourth outdoors.

ATHLETE AWARDS
Two Sun Devil women earned several awards from the USTFCCCA at the end of the season with one coming in the academic sector. Jacquelyn Johnson was tabbed as the USTFCCCA Women's West District Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year before being named as the USTFCCCA Women's Co-National Field Athlete of the Year. The academic honor went to Victoria Jackson who was named the USTFCCCA Women's Division I Outdoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

COACHING AWARDS
All the individual and team success the Sun Devil women enjoyed in 2006 also translated into recognition for their coaches. Head Coach Greg Kraft was honored as the 2006 Pac-10 Women's Coach of the Year before earning the USTFCCCA Women's West District Coach of the Year. A pair of Kraft's assistants, throws coach David Dumble and distance/cross country coach Louie Quintana, also earned recognition, both regionally and nationally. Dumble was named the USTFCCCA West District and USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year (women's throws) while Quintana earned the same honors for women's distance.

AGUAYO TAKES NINTH
In his final cross country race, Aaron Aguayo made sure he went out in style as he placed ninth overall at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., covering the 10,000m course in 31:06.60. His placement not only earned him his second All-America honor in the sport, it also marked the highest finish for a Sun Devil male in the meet. The previous best came from Todd Lewis when he finished 11th in the 1991 Championships. The highest finish ever in the program came from Lisa Aguilera during the 2000 meet when she placed fifth overall.

NEXT TIME OUT
Arizona State will compete in the 2007 MPSF Championships next week in Seattle with events being contested February 23-24 at the Dempsey Indoor Facility on the Washington campus.

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