Pac-10 Championships Await Sun Devil Track & Field

May 8, 2007

Championship Notes (pdf)

TEMPE, Ariz. - Individual and team championship crowns are on the line this weekend as the Arizona State University track and field team heads to Cobb Track and Angell Field on the Stanford campus for the 2007 Pac-10 Track & Field Championships this Saturday and Sunday, May 12-13.

In the latest national rankings, the Sun Devil women remained No. 1 according to the USTFCCCA (May 3) and are No. 2 in the Trackwire projections (May 8) while the men were ranked No. 6 in both publications.

The Arizona State women lead the league as its highest ranked squad with six women's teams ranked in the USTFCCCA Top 20 (May 3). Following the Sun Devils are No. 3 USC, No. 9 Oregon, No. 11 UCLA, No. 15 Stanford, No. 16 California and No. 20 Washington State. On the men's side, No. 3 USC leads the way and is followed by No. 6 ASU, No. 7 Oregon, No. 10 Arizona, No. 13 Washington and No. 19 UCLA.

The men's decathlon and women's heptathlon officially opened the 77th and 21st Pac-10 Championships, respectively, over the weekend with team points already awarded. On the women's side, Washington State leads the way with 18 points and is followed by Arizona State (six), Arizona (five), USC (four) and Oregon (three) in the Top 5 while Arizona leads the men's team race with 10 points and is followed in the Top 5 by Oregon (eight), Washington State (six), Arizona State (five) and Washington (four).

This year's competition will mark the sixth time Stanford has hosted the men's championship and the third time it has hosted the women's event with ASU competing twice and once, respectively. The first time the men competed in the Pac-10s at Stanford was historic as the Sun Devils won the 1981 men's team championship by outscoring runner-up Oregon, 133-114. In the 1981 meet, LaMonte King led the Sun Devils with victories in the 200m dash and the long jump while teammates Howard Henley (400m), Dan Raby (1,500m) and the 4x100m relay also took gold. The men and women both competed in Palo Alto in 1998 with the women taking seventh and the men ninth overall.

Two women and one man competed in the multi-event championships over the weekend with each gender earning team points with their finishes. On the women's side, Jacquelyn Johnson placed third in the heptathlon with 5,706 points to give ASU six team points while Angela Piana finished 11th in the event with 4,425 points. In the men's decathlon, Joshua Kinnaman earned five team points for the Sun Devils after finishing fourth overall with 7,086 points. Johnson's point total automatically qualified her for the NCAA meet in June while Kinnaman provisionally qualified for the national meet.

Twelve members of the Arizona State University track and field/cross country program have successfully completed their educational work and earned their degrees. Current student-athletes that will earn their degrees this month include Rich Allen, Eric Dall, Amy Hastings, Becky Holley, Latoya Imadiyi, Jacquelyn Johnson, April Kubishta, Corey Randall and Cassie Rios. Former student-athletes Casey Burchill and Rachel Ellison also recently completed their undergraduate degree work while Director of Operations Rhonda Riley earned her Master's degree.

A pair of Sun Devil women were selected to the NCAA Division I Silver Anniversary Team that was announced Monday by the USTFCCCA to commemorate the 25th anniversary of women's indoor track and field championships. Current Sun Devil Jacquelyn Johnson was selected as the top athlete in the pentathlon while Maicel Malone was selected in the 400m dash. The complete team consists of the outstanding individuals in each event from over the past 25 years of NCAA Indoor Championships, dating back to the 1983 meet in Pontiac, Mich., through the 2007 edition in Fayetteville, Ark.

D'Metra Macedon was recently awarded the All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year award from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). She was one of only 239 student-athletes from only 165 schools nationally to garner the award that recognizes a student-athlete's dedication to strength training and conditioning.

During the season, the Pac-10 honored several Sun Devils as athletes of the week. For the women, Sarah Stevens was honored both April 16 and April 22 as the Female Field Athlete of the Week while Latosha Wallace was selected as the Female Track Athlete of the Week on April 16. On the men's side, Domenik Peterson earned the track honor on April 16 while Ryan Whiting was selected for the field accolade on April 22.

The Sun Devil women head to Stanford this weekend as the defending team champions after scoring 154 points last year in Eugene, Ore., to edge the Cardinal by 2.5 points (151.50). The title won by the women was the first conference crown in their history and the second for the program as a whole following the men's Pac-10 title in 1981.

With a pair of solid teams, the Sun Devils will look to become only the second program to win both the men's and women's team titles in the same year, joining UCLA with that distinction. The Bruins have swept the titles eight times (87, 88, 89, 93, 94, 95, 98, 04).

Arizona State returns three individual women's champions and one men's champion to the conference meet this weekend after the Sun Devils captured four women's and two men's titles one year ago. Returning women's champions include Amy Hastings in the 10,000m run, Brooke Bennett in the 3,000m steeplechase and Sarah Stevens in the shot put while Aaron Aguayo returns after winning the men's 3,000m steeplechase last year.

Aaron Aguayo is the defending champion in the men's 3,000m steeplechase after claiming titles in the event in 2004, 2005 and 2006, making him just the 10th man to win the same distance event (1,500m/mile run or longer) three times in a career and just the second to do so in the steeplechase, joining Julius Korir of Washington State (1983, 1984, 1986). If Aguayo can successfully defend his crown this weekend, he will make history by becoming the first man to win the steeplechase four times in a career and just the second four-time distance event champion in the history of the conference joining Steve Prefontaine (Oregon), the winner of the 3 mile run (5,000m run) in 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973.

The Sun Devils have enjoyed success in the steeplechase events at the Pac-10 Championships in recent years as Arizona State has recorded a pair of sweeps. Over the past three years, the Sun Devils have swept the men's and women's races with Aaron Aguayo winning all three men's titles while the women's champions have been Amy Hastings (2004), Anna Masinelli (2005) and Brooke Bennett (2006). The women also have combined to win all six of the steeplechase titles contested at the conference level since the Pac-10 included it in the meet program back in 2001. During that span, Kelly MacDonald won the 2001 crown and Lisa Aguilera took the 2002 and 2003 titles before the most recent trio retained the gold for the Sun Devil program.

At the Double Dual, Jessica Pressley won the shot put with a personal best mark of 18.16m (59-07.00), moving her into third on the all-time Pac-10 lists and second all-time at Arizona State behind the 18.40m (60-04.50) toss of Sarah Stevens one week earlier in La Jolla, Calif. The two marks mentioned above rank as the Top 2 in the nation so far this year while ranking fifth and eighth on the world lists in 2007.

Looking at the historical marks of the women's shot put (through last weekend), Arizona State's Sarah Stevens and Jessica Pressley have combined to make history this season by becoming the only set of collegiate teammates to record a mark of 18.00m or better in the same season after hitting 18.40m and 18.16m, respectively, in 2007. The duo joins tandems from Nebraska (Tressa Thompson and Becky Breisch) and Texas (Michelle Carter and Eileen Vanisi) as the only three schools to ever have two women record 18.00m or better throws during the outdoor season and one of four to record a throw over 18.00m or better (indoor and/or outdoor) with SMU's Teri Steer and Marika Tuliniemi joining the group.

With both Jessica Pressley (18.16m) and Sarah Stevens (18.40m) both having thrown over 18-meters, ASU holds the distinction of being the only women's program in the Pac-10 to have two athletes surpass 18.00m in competition in the same season as well as in the history of the program. The only other program to come close was UCLA in 1995 when Valeyta Althouse set the conference record at 18.86m and Dawn Dumble threw 17.95m.

While ASU has turned in strong performances in several events throughout the years, the shot put appears to be one of the better events this year as three Sun Devils are ranked in the Top 2 nationally in the event according to the latest NCAA order lists (May 1). For the women, Sarah Stevens leads the nation at 18.40m while Jessica Pressley is second with a toss of 18.16m. On the men's side, Ryan Whiting's mark of 20.35m is second.

According to the all-time record lists, both Sarah Stevens and Jessica Pressley own marks in the shot put that rank among the Top 12 in the history of the collegiate event. Stevens' mark of 18.40m (60-04.50) is the eighth-best all-time while Pressley's 18.16m (59-07.00) is 11th all-time, only 1.5 inch from moving into the Top 10.

Several other events' all-time lists also carry several Sun Devils' names, including six women's marks and one men's mark. On the women's lists, five others join Sarah Stevens in the Top 10, including Amy Hastings in the 10,000m run with a time of 32:30.37 that she ran two weeks ago at the Stanford Invitational. Former Sun Devils make up the rest of the list, including Lisa Aguilera ranking third in the 3,000m steeplechase (9:46.30), Gea Johnson is seventh in the heptathlon (6,132 points) while Leslie Deniz (64.94m/213-11) an Ria Stalman (62.32m/204-05) rank third and eighth, respectively, in the discus. The lone male to hold a Top 10 position comes in the javelin where Pal Arne Fagernes ranks seventh (80.96m/265-07).

Several Sun Devils are currently ranked among the Top 20 in the world, including two men and five women as of May 8. For the men, Aaron Aguayo (4:00.14) ranks seventh in the mile while Ryan Whiting (20.35m) stands 11th in the shot put. On the women's side, Sarah Stevens (18.40m) is sixth in the shot put while Jessica Pressley (18.16m) is 10th in the same event. Latosha Wallace (56.75) in the 400m hurdles and Jacquelyn Johnson (5,706) in the heptathlon are both ranked 13th while April Kubishta (4.20m) is tied for 19th in the pole vault.

Arizona State has 10 women's marks and six men's marks that rank among the Top 8 in the nation (as of May 7) with six women and five men earning those marks. For the women, Sarah Stevens is first in the shot put, second in the discus and fifth in the hammer while Jessica Pressley (2nd in shot put, 5th in discus) and Amy Hastings (2nd in 10,000m, 7th in 5,000m) are the only other women ranked in a pair of events. The remaining women ranked include April Kubishta (third in the pole vault), Jacquelyn Johnson (fifth in the heptathlon) and Latosha Wallace (fifth in the 400m hurdles). On the men's side, Ryan Whiting leads the way as he is ranked second in the shot put while Matt Turner is ranked in the Top 8 in a pair of events, standing fifth in the long jump and seventh in the high jump. Kyle Alcorn in fifth in the steeplechase while sixth-place rankings belong to Domenik Peterson (200m) and Aaron Aguayo (5,000m). The final Top 8 performance for the men is the 4x100m relay team of Deun White, Peterson, Justin Kremer and Kelvin Love, Jr.

PAC-10 TOP 3
Fourteen men's marks and 13 women's marks rank among the Top 3 on the Pac-10 lists, including four men's and five women's marks leading the league. On the men's side, Domenik Peterson has the top time in the 200m dash, Kyle Alcorn leads the steeplechase and the team of Deun White, Peterson, Justin Kremer and Kelvin Love Jr., lead the 4x100m relay on the track while Matt Turner is tied for the lead in the high jump. For the women, Amy Hastings has the top times in both the 5,000m and 10,000m runs and the relay of Bridgette Williams, Shauntel Elcock, Jordan Durham and Latosha Wallace lead the 4x400m event. In the field, April Kubishta leads the pole vault while Sarah Stevens is tops in the shot put.

Looking back at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships, Amy Hastings scored 16 team points on the weekend as she won the 10,000m run and finished third in the 5,000m event. This year, Hastings enters the meet as the favorite to win both events as she boasts the best times in both events so far this year while second in the nation in the 10,000m and seventh in the 5,000m run (she has a faster time indoors that is used for the Pac-10 meet).

EASY AS 1-2-3
Another Sun Devil woman looks to be a strong favorite in several events as well heading into the Pac-10 Championships as Sarah Stevens holds a trio of Top 3 marks. The 2007 NCAA indoor shot put champion, Stevens holds the top mark in the outdoor event, ranks second in the discus and is third in the hammer.

The Sun Devil men have a highly regarded sprinter that will be looked to complete his senior meet at or better than he is ranked. Domenik Peterson is currently ranked first in the 200m dash, second in the 400m dash and tied with teammate Kelvin Love Jr., for third in the 100m dash. Peterson also runs one of the legs of both relays with the 4x100m holding the top time in the conference while the 4x400m relay is third.

There are five women's events and five men's event that no Sun Devil has won at the Pac-10 Championships. Those events include the women's 100m dash, pole vault, triple jump, hammer and javelin along with the men's 5,000m, 10,000m, 400m hurdles, discus and javelin.

At the Cardinal Invitational two weeks ago, a pair of Sun Devils turned in school record times in two distance events. Amy Hastings ran a record time of 32:30.37 in the women's 10,000m run, bettering the previous mark of 32.54.72 run by Victoria Jackson last year to win the national title. Hastings' time also ranks as the second fastest in the history of the Pac-10 Conference. In the men's 5,000m run, Aaron Aguayo placed eighth overall and second among collegiate entries with his time of 13:37.71, bettering his own record time of 13:40.16 run last year.

Along with the school records set by Amy Hastings (10,000m) and Aaron Aguayo (5,000m) at Stanford, seven Sun Devils earned a place on the all-time Top 10 lists with their marks from the Double Dual. Those newest additions to the Top 10 outdoor lists include Jessica Pressley (No. 2 at 18.16m) in the shot put, Tai Battle (No. 3 at 59.46m) in the hammer and Alana Waterford (No. 4 at 3.80m) in the pole vault for the women and Ryan Whiting (No. 2 at 20.35m) in the shot put, Matt Turner (tied for No. 4 at 2.21m) in the high jump, Brad Roth (No. 5 at 68.91m) in the javelin and Tomas Navarro (No. 6 at 58.15m) in the hammer for the men.

At the annual Double Dual in Tempe, the Sun Devils swept their intrastate rivals with the women defeating Arizona, 115-80, and Northern Arizona, 133-57, while the men defeated the Wildcats, 110-86, and the Lumberjacks, 134-59. Overall, the men won 13 events and the women 11 while securing 15 and 17 regional qualifiers, respectively.

Matt Turner saved the best for last at the Double Dual as he put on a show in the high jump, what proved to be the final event of the competition. Already the winner of the event, Turner had the crowd behind him as he attempted to clear 2.16m (7-1.00) and nearly made it on his second attempt before clearing the bar on his third try. He move the bar up to 2.21m (7-3.00) and did the same as the bar before, nearly making the second before clearing the third. Turner also took two attempts at 2.26m (7-5.00) before calling it a night and finishing with a mark that tied him for fourth on the all-time ASU list.

Along with his 2.21m clearance in the high jump, Turner also has a pair of solid marks in the horizontal jumps. He won the long jump with a mark of 7.76m (25-05.25) before finishing second in his first triple jump of the year with a leap of 15.47m (50-09.25). Both marks qualified him for the regional meet.

A trio of Sun Devil football players will trade in their helmets and pads for a pair of sprinter's spikes and compete in the short sprints. Rodney Glass (RB), Brandon Smith (WR) and Justin Tryon (CB) will each run the 100m dash while all three could see action on one of the legs of the 4x100m relay if called upon.

A trio of Sun Devils were honored with regional accolades 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Several Sun Devils will head to Tucson next weekend to hone their skills in the Tucson Elite Classic on Saturday, May 19. Following that meet, those members of the team that have qualified, will head to Eugene, Ore., for the 2007 NCAA West Region Championships, to be hosted by Oregon on May 25-26.

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