Large Field on Hand for ASU Clif Bar Invite this Week

March 21, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - The outdoor season continues at home this weekend as the Arizona State University track and field program is set to play host to the Arizona State Clif Bar Invitational Friday and Saturday at Sun Angel Stadium. The hammer throw will be contested Friday night while the remaining events will take place Saturday.

The very large field of competitors includes representatives from ASU, Ashland (Ohio), BYU, Dartmouth, Kent State, Manhattan, Michigan (women only), Missouri, Northern Arizona, Notre Dame, Ohio State (men only), Oregon, Purdue, Texas-San Antonio (men only), UC Davis, UNLV (women only), Washington, Wyoming and Xavier (Ohio). Several unattached post-collegiate athletes also will be on hand to compete, including former Sun Devil and 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Dwight Phillips, who will run in the 200m.

The hammer throw will be the only event held Friday with the women opening things with their competition at 5 p.m. and the men to follow. Saturday's events open at 10:30 a.m. with the women's discus while the running events start at 4:00 p.m. with the women's 100m hurdles.

On Wednesday morning, Tom Jones, the former Sun Devil head coach (1988-92) who was in his 15th year as the women's head coach at Florida, passed away after a long battle with cancer. The 2005 meet honoree at the Sun Angel Track Classic in Tempe, Jones coached several of the top Sun Devils in the history of the program, recording 10 NCAA individual crowns, 45 All-America honors and three USA Track and Field National Champions. Jones is survived by his wife of 30 years, Sandy, his sons, Chris and Sean, daughter-in-law Kate, grand-daughters Sarah and Abby, and Terry Stanley.

The Sun Devils opened their 2007 outdoor season by hosting the Baldy Castillo Invitational on March 16-17. Overall, Arizona State recorded 15 marks that qualified for the NCAA West Region Championships while winning 11 different events.

The 15 regional qualifiers at the Baldy Castillo Invitational included Kevlin Love Jr. (100m and 200m), Domenik Peterson (200m), Aaron Aguayo (1,500m), Jason Lewis (hammer), Andrew Smith (javelin), Brad Roth (javelin) and Matt Turner (high jump) for the men while the women's qualifiers included Latosha Wallace (400m), Shauntel Elcock (400m), Tai Battle (hammer, discus and shot put), Becky Holley (javelin) and April Kubsihta (pole vault). All 12 individuals will compete at the regional meet in Eugene, Ore., May 25-26.

Tai Battle made a strong impression in her first outdoor meet for the Sun Devils as the junior college transfer qualified for the NCAA West Region Championships in all three events she entered at the Baldy Castillo Invitational. Battle opened with a mark of 57.89m in the hammer before earning berths in the discus (49.40m) and shot put (14.33m).

The sprint events proved to be a strong event group for the Sun Devils last weekend as seven of the teams' 11 victories came from the group. For the women, Jasmine Chaney (100m hurdles), Latosha Wallace (400m) and the 4x400m relay of Bridgette Williams, Shauntel Elcock, Jordan Durham and Wallace all won their respective sprint events while the men's sprinters picked up victories from Jimmie Gordon (400m) and Kelvin Love Jr. (100m and 200m). Also victorious for the men were Aaron Aguayo (1,500m), Jack Mann (800m), Andrew Smith (javelin) and Matt Turner (high jump) while April Kubishta (pole vault) rounded out the winners for the Sun Devils.

In what seems to be a weekly occurrence, April Kubishta once again broke the school record in the pole vault, this time taking the honor for herself after sharing the top mark in the record books all last season. With a mark of 4.20m (13-09.25), Kubishta moved ahead of Angela Tavlarides' shared mark of 4.10m (13-05.25) for the best clearance in school history. Kubishta also has cleared the same bar indoors to set the school record as well.

Three women and three men etched their names in the Arizona State all-time Top 10 over the weekend with a pair of individuals adding their names to two lists. Along with April Kubishta's school record in the pole vault, Lisa Navarro cleared the 10th-best mark in the same event with her clearance of 3.20m (10-06.00) while Tai Battle moved on to a pair of lists, ranking fifth in the hammer (57.89m/189-11) and 10th in the discus (49.40m/162-01). For the men, Andrew Smith now stands fifth in the javelin with his toss of 66.59m (218-06) and ninth in the hammer with a mark of 56.71m (186-10) while Brad Roth moved up to sixth in the javelin (66.23m/217-03) and Jason Lewis to fifth in the hammer (59.02m/193-08). The marks for Navarro, Battle and Lewis all place them on the lists for the first time.

The Sun Devils will head to a pair of meets next weekend as members of the team will compete in the Stanford Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.) and the Arizona Invitational (Tucson).

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