ASU Women, Oregon Men on Top After Day One

May 16, 2008

Arizona State's women and Oregon's men lead the competition after the first day of the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships at Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

The Sun Devil women (84 points) hold a 25-point lead as they search for their third straight conference title. Stanford is second with 59 points, followed by Oregon (third, 41 points), Washington State (fourth, 31 points), USC (fifth, 27 points), Arizona (sixth, 17 points) and UCLA and Washington (tied for seventh, seven points).

Oregon's men (61.5 points), who are attempting to repeat as Pac-10 champions, have a slimmer advantage over UCLA (second, 48.5 points). Rounding out the men's standings are Arizona State (third, 35 points), Arizona (fourth, 30 points), California (fifth, 26.5 points), Stanford (sixth, 25 points), Washington State (seventh, 21 points), Washington (eighth, 14 points) and USC (ninth, 11.5 points).

The Arizona State women were powered by a dominating performance in the throws on the first day. The Sun Devils scored 22 points in the shot put, with senior Jessica Pressley (18.79 meters) finishing first, junior Sarah Stevens (17.11 meters) second and senior Tai Battle (15.22 meters) fifth. Stanford senior Melissa Yunghans (16.41 meters) was the third-place finisher in the shot put.

Pressley's winning heave set an Arizona State record, and it ranks as the second-best all-time performance in the Pac-10 and the fifth-best mark in NCAA history.

'I definitely had a lot of motivation,' Pressley said. 'I needed to come out and give it my all, and I've been practicing really well in shot. It's my senior year and my parents are here, so it's awesome.'

Arizona State also earned 21 points in the day's opening event, as Stevens won the hammer throw (66.11 meters) with Battle (63.18 meters) and Pressley (60.47 meters) finishing third and fourth respectively. USC junior Eva Orban (64.52 meters) finished second in the hammer.

'I'm very pleased with the way the hammer went this morning,' Stevens said. 'I'm getting a lot more consistent, and that consistency is pretty important. Scoring 18 points for the team in two events is about all I can do right now, so I'm pretty happy with it.'

Washington State picked up 20 points in the women's steeplechase, with the first, third, and fifth-place finishers. Cougars junior Sara Trane (10:17.80) won her second straight Pac-10 steeplechase title, beating out Stanford senior Lindsay Allen (second, 10:20.06) and her teammate, senior Meghan Leonard (third, 10:23.25).

'I really did not expect to win at all,' Trane said. 'The last 200 meters, I was just thinking `I can't do it again, I can't do it again,' but of course, I was hoping I could do it again.'

Stanford senior Erica McLain (6.50 meters) won the women's long jump, but Arizona State extended its team lead by scoring 14 points with the second and third-place finishers. Senior Jacquelyn Johnson (6.24 meters), who last weekend captured the crown in the heptathlon, finished second, while her teammate, junior Stephanie Garnett (6.20 meters), came in third.

Oregon junior Rachel Yurkovich (56.08 meters) was victorious in the women's javelin, as she beat out Stanford senior Dani Maier (second, 49.24 meters) and Arizona State's Johnson (third, 48.58 meters).

The women's competition for the day ended with the 10,000-meter run, and Stanford freshman Alexandra Gits took the top spot with a time of 36:50.42. Arizona State sophomore Ali Kielty (37:09.16) finished second, and Oregon senior Sarah Pearson (37:25.81) came in third.

On the men's side, USC junior Corey White (73.66 meters) captured the javelin, besting California sophomore Ryan Young (second, 71.67 meters) and Washington State senior Jon Jeffreys (third, 70.34 meters). White said he was happy to take the title, but not satisfied with his performance.

'First and foremost, I'm glad I could get the 10 points for my team, but it just wasn't a great day' White said. 'I just wasn't feeling it. I think I'm just not seeing those air pockets.'

UCLA scored 17.5 points in the men's pole vault, with Bruins junior Bobby Tally claiming the title by defeating Stanford senior Graeme Hoste (second) and his teammate, freshman Greg Woepse (third), on the tiebreaker, as all three had identical clearances of 5.21 meters.

Arizona State senior Kyle Alcorn (8:43.81) won the steeplechase, beating out UCLA sophomore Harry Hagenbuch (second, 8:45.91) and Oregon junior Chris Winter (third, 8:46.91). Alcorn's win kept the conference steeplechase crown with Arizona State for a fifth straight year, after former Sun Devil Aaron Aguayo won four straight from 2004 through 2007.

'There was a little pressure to keep it with ASU,' Alcorn said. 'So, I had a little bit of that going in, but I wasn't too worried about it, training with Aaron and being right with him last year. It's a pretty good honor to keep it going to ASU.'

The Sun Devils also captured the men's long jump crown, as senior Matt Turner successfully defended his Pac-10 title with a jump of 7.84 meters. Washington senior Norris Frederick (7.72 meters) finished second and Stanford junior Myles Bradley (7.39 meters) placed third in the long jump.

Arizona junior Zack Lloyd (21.03 meters) won the men's shot put, as he beat out Arizona State sophomore Ryan Whiting (second, 20.30 meters) and UCLA sophomore Darius Savage (third, 18.76 meters).

The men's 10,000-meter run ended the day, and Oregon had the top two finishers, with senior Carlos Trujillo (30:11.97) first and sophomore Kenny Klotz (30:18.77) second. UCLA senior Kyle Shackleton (30:19.12) finished third.

Most of the track events also ran their preliminaries today, with the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1,500-meter runs, the 100/110-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles cutting their fields for tomorrow night's finals.

The remaining field events and relays will also be held tomorrow, with the men's hammer throw kicking off the action at 10:30 a.m.

For complete results, see TheSunDevils.com.

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