Track & Field Wins Five Events, Sets Two ASU Records at MPSF Meet
Feb. 29, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University track and field team opened competition at the 2008 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Indoor Championships Friday by winning five individual events, setting two school records and recording 13 marks (three auto and 10 provisional) that qualify for the NCAA Championships. The meet is being held inside the Dempsey Indoor in Seattle on the Washington campus.
After the first day of action, the No. 2 Sun Devil women are halfway home to successfully defending the title it earned last year as they have scored 78 points while Stanford is in second with 64 points. The women's Top 5 is rounded out by Oregon (31), Washington (25.5) and California (23.5). On the men's side, the No. 1 Sun Devils trail defending champion and host UW by two points, 31-29, while Washington State (25), Oregon (23) and CS Northridge (17) complete the Top 5 in the men's team title race.
The men turned in a pair of top performances and were led by Jeff Helmer, who was running his first indoor collegiate race, won the 5,000m run in 14:01.83. His time earned him a place on the NCAA provisional qualifiers list while also moving into No. 2 on the all-time ASU Top 5. His teammates also earned a national berth as the distance medley relay team of Joey Heller, Jimmie Gordon, Nectaly Barbosa and Kyle Alcorn clocked in at 9:32.80 to place second overall behind Stanford (9:31.52) to earn an automatic berth into the national meet. Their time also ranks as the fastest in school history, surpassing the time of 9:39.14 turned in by Brandon Strong, LaVell Robinson-Blanchard, David Burke and Garrett Jensen in 2000.
ASU's women also had a solid day as they captured titles in three field events and one running event. Jacquelyn Johnson won the long jump with a school-record-tying leap of 6.50m (21-04.00) to earn an automatic berth into the national meet in the event. Teammate Stephanie Garnett took second at 6.42m (21-00.75) to also automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships while recording the third-best mark in school history.
The day opened with a sweep of the Top 3 places in the weight throw as Sarah Stevens defended her crown from last year with an NCAA provisional mark of 20.94m (68-08.50). Jessica Pressley finished second in 20.08m (65-10.50) and Tai Battle was third at 20.02m (65-08.25) as both provisionally qualified for the national meet. Battle's mark also stands as the fourth-best in school history.
The Top 2 positions also went to the Sun Devils in the 200m dash as Charonda Williams clocked in at 23.78, the fourth-fastest time in school history, to win the race while Dominique' Maloy was the runner-up in 23.84. Both women earned NCAA provisional status with their results. The final victory came in the pole vault as April Kubishta cleared 4.19m (13-09.00).
Several other marks earned provisional qualifying status, including Johnson in the 60m hurdles and Ali Kielty in the 5,000m run for the women and Matt Turner in the long jump for the men. Johnson ran 8.43 to lead all qualifiers into the finals on Saturday while Kielty placed fifth in the longest running event of the meet in 16:40.91. Turner took fourth in the long jump with a leap of 7.65m (25-01.25).
The MPSF Championships conclude Saturday.
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