Track & Field Plays Host to Sun Devil Invite on Saturday

April 22, 2009

Sun Devil Meet Notes (pdf)

TEMPE - The Arizona State University track and field team is set to compete in a pair of meets this weekend, including its fourth home event of the season, as many of the team's members will stay home for the Sun Devil Invitational on Saturday while several of the throwers will travel to La Jolla, Calif., for the UCSD Triton Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

For the second week in a row, a Sun Devil has been selected for a weekly honor by the Pac-10 Conference with Brandon Bethke collecting the Pac-10 Men's Track Athlete of the Week award. Bethke had an impressive run in the 5,000m event at the Mt. SAC Relays over the weekend, running a school-record 13:27.79 to finish sixth overall and first among collegiate entries. His time, which is nearly 10 seconds better than the previous record of 13:37.71 (Aaron Aguayo, 2007), is the top time in the NCAA so far this year and ranks him ninth in the world. It also is nearly a one-minute improvement on his previous best of 14:22.82, which he ran last May.

For the second week in a row, Charonda Williams took to the track and broke a school record, this time shattering the 100m dash mark. At the Mt. SAC Relays, Williams ran 11.29 to finish second only to current world leader Carmelita Jeter's 10.97. Williams' mark, which stands 14th in the world this week, broke the previous mark of 11.33 that was run by Sharon Ware in 1983 (26 years ago). One week earlier, Williams moved to the top of the charts on ASU's 200m list by running 22.82 and breaking the previous standard of 22.91 that Maicel Malone ran in 1991.

Along with her two records set outdoors in the past two weeks, Williams also is the indoor record holder in the 60m (7.30) and 200m (22.89). She also has helped several relays move up the rankings this year, including the 4x100m that ran 43.92 to move into second all-time at ASU and become only the second team to run a sub-44 in the event. Indoors, she helped the 4x400m relay clock the fourth-best time of 3:34.30 at the NCAA Championships where the team placed second overall in the meet.

Jasmine Chaney also had a fine weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays as she a part of four regional qualifying marks, including both relays and both hurdles. In the hurdles, however, Chaney improved her personal best times while also winning both events. First up, Chaney ran in the 400m hurdles and won with a time of 58.57 to move into the No. 6 position on the all-time ASU list while also becoming only the seventh woman to run a sub-59 in the event. One day later, she competed in the 100m hurdles and won with a time of 13.61, improving on the No. 9 time in program history. She also helped the 4x100m (44.17) and the 4x400m (3:37.10) to regional qualifying marks.

Speaking of hurdles, true freshman Kauren Tarver competed in her first steeplechase race as a Sun Devil at the Mt. SAC Relays and turned in a time of 10:45.94, which qualified her for the NCAA West Region meet. It also stands as the ninth-fastest time in the history of the ASU program.

At the Mt. SAC Relays, 13 different marks attained by Sun Devils met the regional qualifying standard with five of those times placing on Sun Devil in the regional meet for the first time this year. Brandon Bethke was the lone man to earn a new spot as he qualified in the 5,000m run while Kauren Tarver earned her first berth in the steeplechase. The women's sprints captured the remaining three new additions, including Jeavon Benjamin and Shauntel Elcock in the open 400m dash as well as both women in the 4x400m relay with Jasmine Chaney and Dominique' Maloy.

On the latest release of the NCAA descending order lists, two Sun Devils currently have the top mark in the nation. For the women, Charonda Williams' time of 22.82 is the best run this year in the 200m dash while the men's 5,000m run is led by Brandon Bethke (13:27.79).

Five other marks for the women also rank among the Top 10 with three belonging to Sarah Stevens, who currently stands second in the shot put (18.00m) and fourth in both the discus (54.58m) and hammer (64.87m). Williams is currently ninth in the 100m dash (11.29) to go along with her national-leading time in the 200m while the 4x100m relay of Dominique' Maloy, Shauntel Elcock, Jasmine Chaney and Williams is currently fifth (43.92).

After qualifying in three events last year at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships and earning All-America honors in all three, including the national title in the discus, Sarah Stevens is once again in position to add to her career haul of 12 All-America honors. As it stands now, Stevens is the only woman in the NCAA that is ranked in the Top 10 in all three throws so far this season.

Along with Bethke's national leading mark in the 5,000m run, six other marks on the NCAA list currently rank among the Top 10, including Ryan Whiting's marks in the shot put (19.61m) and discus (60.73m), both of which are No. 2 nationally. Mason McHenry (1:48.25) and Jason Lewis (68.15m) rank fourth in the 800m run and hammer, respectively, while Lewis is ninth in the shot put (18.55m) and Bethke is 10th in the 1,500m run (3:42.82).

The USTFCCCA released is rankings for the week with both Sun Devil teams holding onto the positions they held last week. Based upon points received from where a mark stands on the NCAA descending order list, the Sun Devil women have 190.17 points this week (down 8.4) and remain at No. 5 while Texas A&M leads the way with 367.27. On the men's side, Arizona State has 154.44 points (up 20.25 points) and remained at No. 13 while Oregon remained on top with 289.45 points. Both Sun Devil squads are the second-highest ranked teams from the Pac-10 in each ranking.

On the latest world lists, six women's marks and four men's are currently good enough for placement among the Top 20 with three and two of the marks, respectively, being held by current Sun Devils. For the women, Charonda Williams currently stands fifth in the 200m (22.82) and 15th in the 100m (11.29) while Sarah Stevens is tied for 19th in the shot put (18.00m). Former Sun Devils Lisa Galaviz (6th, steeplechase, 9:58.14), Latosha Wallace (11th, 400m hurdles, 56.62) and Amy Hastings (12th, 5,000m, 15:45.19) are also on the list this week. On the men's side, Brandon Bethke's time of 13:27.79 ranks 11th while Ryan Whiting stands 17th in the shot put at 19.61m. Former Devils Marcus Brunson (5th, 100m, 10.12) and Matt Turner (6th, long jump, 8.04m) are also on the list.

In the Pac-10 Conference, the Sun Devils are the current leaders in five men's events and six women's, including both short sprints, both 4x100m relays and the discus. For the women, Charonda Williams leads both the 100m (11.29) and 200m (22.82) and is a member of both leading relays, the 4x100m (43.92) and the 4x400m (3:34.30). Sarah Stevens is the leader in a pair of events as she tops the list in the shot put (18.00m) and discus (54.58m). On the men's side, Marcus Duncan has the top time in the 100m (10.41) and 200m (20.80) while helping the 4x100m to the top spot as well (39.79). In the field, Ryan Whiting is the current leader in the discus (60.73m) while Jason Lewis is tops in the hammer (68.15m).

On March 13-14, the 2009 indoor season came to a close for the Sun Devils as eight members of the team traveled to College Station, Texas, for the NCAA Indoor Championships and returned to Tempe with a pair of fifth-place team finishes and 12 total All-America honors. Jason Lewis (weight throw) and Ryan Whiting (shot put) each won national titles to pace the three men while Charonda Williams earned All-America honors in three events to lead the five women at the meet.

All three men and all five women that competed in the NCAA Indoor Championships over the weekend earned All-America honors with three athletes earning multiple awards. Jason Lewis was the lone man to earn multiple honors as he finished first in the weight throw and fourth in the shot put while Sarah Stevens earned honors in the same women's events with finishes of fourth and second, respectively. Charonda Williams led the way, though, as she was an individual All-American in the 60m dash (sixth) and 200m dash (third) before joining Dominique' Maloy, Shauntel Elcock and Jeavon Benjamin to place second in the 4x400m relay. The final All-American was true freshman Mason McHenry in the men's 800m run, where he placed ninth overall and was the eighth American to finish.

Next weekend will mark the final regular season competitions for the Sun Devils as they play host to the annual Double Dual with Arizona and Northern Arizona visiting Tempe for state bragging rights on Saturday, May 2. A few Sun Devils also will compete at the Cardinal Classic at Stanford that weekend, primarily in the distance races.

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