Jacquelyn Johnson Claims Fourth National Title

March 10, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - Jacquelyn Johnson successfully defended her 2006 NCAA pentathlon national title on Saturday as the junior won the 2007 edition and helped the Arizona State University women's track and field team move closer to a possible national title.

Johnson opened things up with a personal best and third-best time in school history with a time of 8.30 in the 60m hurdles, scoring 1,061 points. Leading by 11 points heading into the second event, Johnson cleared 1.75m (5-8.75) in the high jump to place third in the event and earn 916 points, but Diana Pickler of Washington State surpassed her overall point total as Johnson's 1,977 points was 64 behind the Cougar. Johnson reclaimed the lead in the next event, however, as she tossed a personal-best mark of 12.83m (45-01.25) in the shot put to score 716 points. Her overall total of 2,693 points was just four ahead of Pickler.

In the long jump, Johnson recorded a mark of 5.79m (19-00.00) to score 786 points, but Pickler posted a longer mark to take a 38 point lead into the final event, meaning Johnson would have to beat her closest competitor by 3.5 seconds or better to erase the deficit and claim her second indoor national crown and fourth overall. That is just what Johnson did in the 800m run. With a personal best of 2:17 heading into the meet, Johnson exploded from the starting gun and ran 2:13.52 to score 914 points and defeat Pickler, 4,393-4,339. Johnson's four-second personal best beat out Pickler by seven seconds, giving the team another 10 points in the standings.

A complete report of the day's competition will appear here later tonight following the conclusion of the championships. The Sun Devils still have April Kubistha (pole vault), Ryan Whiting (shot put), Amy Hastings (3,000m), Aaron Aguayo (3,000m) and the women's 4x400m relay of Bridgette Williams, Shauntel Elcock, Johnson and Latosha Wallace yet to compete.

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