ASU Track & Field Finds Success at Three Meets over the Weekend
Feb. 13, 2010
TEMPE – The Arizona State University track & field team split its ranks and sent athletes to a trio of events over the weekend with two marks earning automatic qualification into the NCAA Championships, eight others earning provisional status and three total victories earned. Sun Devils competed in the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday and Saturday while others competed in single-day meets in Seattle at the Husky Classic and in Flagstaff in the Northern Arizona Invitational.
In Fayetteville, the site of the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships that will take place in less than one month, Ryan Whiting again led the way as he hit a mark of 21.52m (70-07.25) to win the shot put and improve his national lead in the event as the first collegiate athlete to throw further than 70-feet this season. The two-time defending NCAA champion in the event automatically qualified for the national meet and also posted the third-best mark in the world so far this year.
Fellow thrower Jason Lewis posted a pair of provisional qualifiers on the weekend as qualified in the weight throw on Friday night and the shot put on Saturday. First up, he hit a toss of 21.41m (70-03.00) to take second in the meet and currently stands third overall in the nation with a longer toss earlier this season. In the shot put, he recorded a toss of 17.88m (58-08.00) to finish third. Two other provisional qualifiers were earned by the men’s sprinters as Donald Sanford ran 46.91 to take 10th in the 400m dash on Friday and then joined forces with Justin Kremer, Allante Battle and Joel Phillip to run 3:08.19 to take fifth in the 4x400m relay and record the seventh-best time in ASU history.
At the Husky Classic at the University of Washington, one automatic and three provisional marks were recorded with Brandon Bethke leading the way as he gained an automatic berth in the 3,000m run with a time of 7:54.27. His time, which ranks fifth in the nation among college runners, is now the school record, bettering Todd Lewis’ time of 7:54.31 from 1991. In the same event, Ben Engelhardt (8:05.75) missed provisional status by 0.75 to run the seventh-best time in ASU history while Dylan Hatcher ran 8:13.92 to move into 10th on the all-time chart.
The men also received one more provisional qualifier as Mason McHenry clocked in at 1:48.69 in the 800m run to finish 11th overall. On the women’s side, Kari Hardt and Anna Sperry both added their names to the provisional list in the 3,000m run as they finished one after the other in 9:28.78 and 9:28.84, respectively. Hardt’s time ranks as the sixth-best all-time in ASU history while Sperry’s ranks seventh as they place ninth and 10th in the meet, respectively. In the same event, Allie Kieffer also added her name to the all-time list as she ran 9:34.66 to rank ninth in ASU history. In the women’s 400m dash, Jasmine Chaney ran 54.84 to win the event for ASU’s lone victory in Seattle.
The women’s long jump continues to be a back-and-forth challenge for a pair of ASU rookies with Constance Ezugha regaining the upper hand as both she and Christabel Nettey have added their names to the ASU all-time Top 10 with Nettey moving into ninth last week with a jump of 6.20m. This week in Flagstaff, however, Ezugha moved ahead of Nettey into eighth all-time as she won the event with a provisional-qualifying mark of 6.26m (20-06.50). Her mark was the lone qualifier on the day for ASU at NAU and also was the lone victory.
The Sun Devils will send several athletes to Flagstaff once again next week as they will compete in the NAU Tune-up on Friday, February 19. One day later, the Sun Devil program will play host to the Diablo Relays at Sun Angel Stadium, which is an all-comers meet. For more information on the meet, visit the track & field page at thesundevils.com.