Sun Devil Track & Field Hits the Road for Pair of Meets

March 28, 2007

Complete Notes (pdf)

TEMPE, Ariz. - Following two consecutive weekends of hosting outdoor competitions, the Arizona State University track and field team will split its ranks and send athletes to a pair of meets on the road this weekend. The distance group will send 14 athletes to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invitational this Friday and Saturday while a contingent of 39 Sun Devils will travel south to Tucson on Saturday for the Arizona International.

Senior Latosha Wallace has already put together a solid outdoor season even though she is just two weeks into the campaign. Already, her time of 57.37 in the 400m hurdles and 53.13 in the 400m dash ranks as the fastest and second-fastest, respectively, in the nation so far this year while she and teammates Bridgette Williams, Shauntel Elcock and Jacquelyn Johnson have combined for the NCAA-leading time of 3:36.10 in the 4x400m relay. Both the hurdle and relay times came last weekend at home.

The women's 4x400m relay team of Bridgette Williams, Shauntel Elcock, Jacquelyn Johnson and Latosha Wallace not only won the event at the ASU Clif Bar Invitational last weekend, they did so with an impressive time of 3:36.10. What was more impressive was the team they defeated. The OTC team, comprised of Melinda Sallins (unattached) and the Jamaican trio of Michelle Burgher (a bronze medalist in the 4x400m relay in 2004), Veronica Campbell (a three-time Olympic medalist, including the 2004 Gold in the 200m dash) and Shereefa Llyod, took the race out fast and held the lead until the final leg of the race with Wallace streaking by for the ASU win.

According to the latest (March 26) NCAA descending order lists, three marks turned in by Sun Devil women are best in the collegiate ranks so far this outdoor season. April Kubishta, who held the top indoor mark in the pole vault all season, is on top of the outdoor charts currently with her clearance of 4.20m. Latosha Wallace is first in the 400m hurdles (57.37) while the 4x400m relay of Bridgette Williams, Shauntel Elcock, Jacquelyn Johnson and Wallace also leads the nation (3:36.10).

Along with the three marks that lead the nation, the Sun Devils also hold nine marks that rank in the national Top 5 right now. For the men, Kelvin Love Jr., has the second-fastest mark in the 200m dash at 20.73 while Aaron Aguayo is third in the 1,500m run at 3:43.17. Kyle Alcorn also is ranked the 1,500m run, standing fourth at 3:4.03 while both Domenik Peterson (20.90 in the 200m dash) and Marquis Profit (51.91 in the 400m hurdles) rank fifth nationally. On the women's side, both Latosha Wallace (53.13 in the 400m dash) and Sarah Stevens (56.39m in the discus and 65.43m in the hammer) are ranked second in their respective events while Tai Battle stands fourth in the discus at 53.66m.

According to the latest world Top 20 lists (March 27), seven current Sun Devils find their names on the charts for their performances recorded so far in 2007. On the men's side, Kelvin Love Jr., leads the way as his time of 20.73 in the 200m ranks 11th-fastest so far this year while Aaron Aguayo's time of 3:43.17 is the 19th-fastest 1,500m run. On the women's side Latosha Wallace has her name on the lists in three events, including No. 2 in the 400m hurdles at 57.37. Wallace also ranks 16th in the 400m dash (53.13) and anchors the third-fastest 4x400m relay (3:36.10) of Bridgette Williams, Shauntel Elcock and Jacquelyn Johnson. The final woman on the list is April Kubishta, who is tied for fifth in the pole vault with a clearance of 4.20m.

For the second week in a row, Tai Battle competed in three throwing events and, for the second week in a row, concluded the competitions with an NCAA regional qualifying mark. Battle improved her qualifying marks in a pair of events including the shot put and discus while her hammer mark on Saturday was very close to her previous best.

The Sun Devils played host to the ASU Clif Bar Invitational and turned in another weekend of strong performances with ASU athletes combining to win seven events and placing a total of 21 athletes in the Top 3 of their respective events. Along with those impressive finishes, the Sun Devils recorded 25 marks that qualified them for the NCAA West Region Championships in Eugene, Ore., on May 25-26.

Arizona State recorded 25 regional qualifying marks, five of which were improvements upon previous marks and 15 of which were the first marks recorded this season by a Sun Devil. On the women's side, Jacquelyn Johnson (13.50, 100m hurdles), Bridgette Williams (54.15, 400m), D'Metra Macedon (2:08.15, 800m), Latosha Wallace (57.37, 400m hurdles), 4x400m relay (3:36.10), Sarah Stevens (65.43m, hammer & 56.39m, discus), Jessica Pressley (57.34m, hammer) and Lissa Regets (45.59m, javelin) all recorded their first qualifying marks of the season while the men's list included Kyle Alcorn (3:44.03, 1,500m), Jack Mann (3:46.64, 1,500m), Marquis Profit (51.91, 400m hurdles), Domenik Peterson (20.90, 200m), Ryan Whiting (54.00m, discus) and Tomas Navarro (17.23m, shot put).

Sarah Stevens and Latosha Wallace each had a hand in two victories at the ASU Clif Bar Invitational with Stevens capturing the hammer throw (65.43m) and the discus (56.39m) while Wallace won the 400m hurdles (57.37) and anchored the winning 4x400m relay of Bridgette Williams, Shauntel Elcock and Jacquelyn Johnson (3:36.10). Stevens' hammer mark and Wallace's hurdles mark also were meet records. April Kubishta rounded out the women's winners by taking the pole vault (4.00m) for the second week in a row. For the men, Domenik Peterson won the 200m (20.90) while Matt Turner won the high jump (2.10m).

Nine marks recorded at the ASU Clif Bar Invitational were good enough to earn placement on the Arizona State all-time Top 10 lists. For the men, Aaron Aguayo (3:43.17) and Kyle Alcorn (3:44.03) each put their names on the 1,500m lists by recording the fifth and ninth-fastest times, respectively, while Brad Roth improved upon his sixth-place mark in the javelin, moving up to 66.51m. For the women, D'Metra Macedon clocked in at 2:08.15 for the ninth-fastest mark in school history while Latosha Wallace's time of 57.37 in the 400m hurdles is the fourth-fastest time in school annals. In the field, Sarah Stevens (56.39m) and Tai Battle (53.66m) recorded the third and eighth-best throws in the discus while Lissa Regets (45.59m) stands eighth in the javelin. The final mark came in the women's pole vault with the fourth-best clearance of 3.65m.

Over the weekend of March 9-10, the ASU women scored 38 points and captured their first national team crown by winning the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. The title, the first for the University since the women's golf team in 1998, is the second in track and field history at ASU after the men captured the 1977 outdoor crown under the direction of legendary Sun Devil coach Senon 'Baldy' Castillo.

The Sun Devil women opened the season as the No. 1 team in the nation according to the USTFCCCA poll and ended the season that way as well with their crown. The top-ranking during the season was the first in program history, as was the title won.

For the second NCAA indoor meet and the third NCAA track & field event in a row, the Sun Devil women captured two individual championships. This year, Jacquelyn Johnson successfully defended her 2006 pentathlon crown while Sarah Stevens won her first national title by capturing the shot put. Last year, Johnson was joined by Amy Hastings, the winner of the 5,000m run. Outdoors last year, Johnson won her second heptathlon crown while Victoria Jackson took home gold in the 10,000m run.

Four women earned six total All-America honors over the weekend with both Amy Hastings and Sarah Stevens earning two accolades each. Stevens won the shot put and placed fifth in the weight throw to earn All-America status while Hastings was fourth in the 5,000m run and sixth in the 3,000m event. Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon) and Jessica Pressley (shot put) also earned their honors by placing among the Top 8 as they finished first and third, respectively.

All four men that competed in the NCAA Championships earned All-America honors, led by the third-place finish of Ryan Whiting in the shot put. Matt Turner finished seventh in the long jump and Joshua Kinnaman took eighth place in the heptathlon for the second year in a row to garner their awards while Aaron Aguayo earned the honor in the 3,000m run. Aguayo, who placed 10th overall in the race, was the seventh American to finish.

With their honors attained, several Sun Devils moved up the all-time All-American list in Sun Devil history. Aaron Aguayo received his fifth honor, moving him in to a tie for ninth all-time on the men's list while four women climbed higher as well. Amy Hastings received accolades eight and nine to move into a tie for second all-time and one All-America honor away from tying Maicel Malone for the most all-time. Jacquelyn Johnson (five), Jessica Pressley (four) and Sarah Stevens (three) are tied for 12th, 15th and 19th, respectively.

A trio of Sun Devils were honored with regional accolades Tuesday (March 6) as members of the program swept the women's West Region awards announced by the USTFCCCA. Head Coach Greg Kraft was selected as the 2007 West Region Women's Coach of the Year while Sarah Stevens and Amy Hastings were selected for the Women's Field and Women's Track Athlete of the Year honors, respectively. One week later, Kraft was honored as the 2007 USTFCCCA National Women's Coach of the Year.

Arizona State's women have brought home trophies in numerous meets throughout the past 16 months, including national trophies at the 2005 NCAA Cross Country Championships (fourth), the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships (third), the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships (fourth) and the recent indoor NCAA meet (first). On the conference level, the women have earned crowns in the 2006 Pac-10 Outdoor Track & Field Championships while adding a 2007 MPSF Indoor Championship two weeks ago.

While several Sun Devils competed in last chance indoor meets two weeks ago, several members of the sprinting corps hit the outdoor surface in Tucson to start their outdoor season. For the women, Jasmine Chaney competed in the hurdles and won both the 100m and 400m events. On the men's side, Kelvin Love Jr. (20.91 in the 200m) and Jimmie Gordon (47.13 in the 400m) both qualified for the regional meet while winning their respective events. Love Jr. and Rodney Glass tied for the victory in the 100m dash while Marquis Profit was the final runner, finishing third in the 400m dash.

As of March 14, three men and four women with ties to the Sun Devil program have marks ranking them on the World Indoor Top 20. For the men, Marcus Brunson is No. 1 in the 60m dash (6.46) while Trevell Quinley ranks ninth in the long jump (8.07m) and Ryan Whiting is tied for 20th in the shot put (20.01m). For the women, current Sun Devil Sarah Stevens is ranked in two events, standing ninth in the weight throw (21.16m) and 13th in the shot put (18.16m) while Amy Hastings is seventh in the 5,000m run (15:30.17) and Jacquelyn Johnson is 17th in the pentathlon (4,393). Former Sun Devil Victoria Jackson is 13th in the 5,000m (15:57.18).

Two weeks ago, the Sun Devils headed to Seattle and competed in the MPSF Indoor Championships on the Washington campus. Overall, the women scored 135 points to capture the team championship, snapping Stanford's four-year winning streak, while the ASU men placed fourth (79 points). The women also won six individual crowns, including Latosha Wallace (400m), Amy Hastings (3,000m), the 4x400m relay of Wallace, Bridgette Williams, Shauntel Elcock and Jacquelyn Johnson, April Kubishta (pole vault), Sarah Stevens (shot put and weight throw) and Johnson (pentathlon). The men recorded a pair of victories in the meet with Domenik Peterson winning the 400m dash and Ryan Whiting taking the shot.

At the Husky Classic, 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 mark of 15:34.5 run by Margaret Groos of Virginia in 1981.

Competing in his first NCAA event and the only freshman in the field, Ryan Whiting turned in a solid debut as he recorded a personal best and school-record toss of 20.01m. His mark, at the time, was the leader in the event before two others passed him in the later rounds. This is the second time Whiting has set the school mark this season.

En route to winning her second indoor national title, Jacquelyn Johnson also turned in a pair of personal bests. In the shot put, her throw of 12.83m (42-01.25) was a two-foot personal best while her time of 2:13.52 bettered her previous best of 2:17.74.

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.

Arizona State will take a weekend off from competition next weekend before returning to the home track on April 13-14 as the Sun Devils play host to the 28th Sun Angel Track Classic presented by Coca-Cola. Some of the top teams that will be on hand to compete include LSU, Auburn, Florida and Alabama, as well as intrastate rivals Northern Arizona and Central Arizona College.

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