ASU Track & Field's Stevens, Kraft Selected for MPSF Indoor Honors
April 4, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) announced its annual award winners for the 2007 indoor track and field season with members of the Arizona State University track and field program sweeping the women's awards. In a vote of the conference's coaches, sophomore thrower Sarah Stevens was selected as the 2007 MPSF Female Athlete of the Year while Head Coach Greg Kraft was named the 2007 MPSF Women's Coach of the Year.
Stevens won the 2007 NCAA Indoor Shot Put Championship, taking the title with a personal-best mark of 18.16m (59-07.00) on the final throw of the competition in Fayetteville, Ark., for her first national crown. The 2007 USTFCCCA Women's West Region Field Athlete of the Year, Stevens' mark in the meet ranks as the second-best in the history of the Pac-10 Conference. Her national title was the first for the women's program in the shot put and just the third ever in a throwing event after Ria Stalman (1981) and Leslie Deniz (1983) won the discus national crowns.
During the 2007 indoor season, Stevens set the school record in the shot put twice while also posting the second-best mark ever in the weight throw with a mark of 21.16m (69-05.25). The NCAA title was her third championship victory of the indoor season as she also won both the shot put and the weight throw at the 2007 MPSF Indoor Championships in Seattle, Wash. A four-time All-American in her short career (three in shot put and once in weight throw), Stevens placed third indoors and fourth outdoors in the shot put last year after winning the Pac-10 and NCAA West Region shot put crowns in her first attempts.
Kraft led the women's team to several more firsts this season after a year filled with firsts in 2006. After his team won their first Pac-10 Championship in 2006 and earned trophy finishes at all three NCAA events last year (fourth at 2005 cross country, third at 2006 indoor and tied for fourth at 2006 outdoor), the Sun Devils captured their first MPSF title by dethroning Stanford and then went on to win the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. The national crown is the first for the women's program and the second in ASU track and field history after the men captured the 1977 outdoor crown.
Ranked No. 1 all season, the Sun Devils scored 38 points at the NCAA event with Stevens winning the shot put and Jacquelyn Johnson taking the pentathlon, her fourth national crown and second indoor title in a row. Along with Stevens (shot put and weight throw) and Johnson, the Sun Devils also had All-American honors earned by Amy Hastings (6th in the 3,000m and 4th in the 5,000m runs) and Jessica Pressley (3rd in the shot put). For his efforts in guiding the championship program, Kraft also was selected as the 2007 USTFCCCA Women's West Region Coach of the Year as well as the 2007 USTFCCCA Women's National Coach of the Year.
Jake Arnold, a heptathlon competitor at Arizona, and Greg Metcalf of Washington were selected for the male athlete of the year and men's coach of the year honors, respectively.