Cross Country Hosts ASU Open Friday

Oct. 17, 2000

Friday, Oct. 20 -- Arizona State Open, Gilbert, Ariz.
Women: 4:30 p.m. (MT), 5K, Men: 5:00 p.m. (MT), 8K

This Week: The Sun Devils will host the ASU Open Friday, Oct. 20 at Freestone Park in Gilbert, Ariz. with the women's 5,000-meter race scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by the men's 8,000-meter race at 5 p.m. ASU's lineup will feature its reserve runners while the starters sit out in preparation for the Pac-10 Championships, Oct. 28 in Seattle. Friday's meet will not include team scoring.

The Field: The Sun Devils will play host to a mix of Division I 'B' teams from Arizona and Northern Arizona and junior college teams including Central Arizona College, Glendale C.C., Mesa C.C., Paradise Valley C.C., Phoenix College, Pima C.C., Scottsdale C.C., Western State College and Yavapai College.

Directions To The Course: Friday's race will be held at Freestone Park in Gilbert, Ariz., approximately 15 miles from campus. To get there from U.S. Highway 60, exit on Gilbert Road and go south. Then turn left (east) on Baseline Road and proceed one mile to Lindsay Road and turn right. The park is approximately 1.5 miles on the left.

Sun Devils In the Polls: This week, the ASU men's cross country team dropped from the MONDO NCAA Top 25 poll for the first time this season. The FinishLynx Women's Cross Country Poll was not available at release time, but the Sun Devils are sure to move up from their 14th rank after a fourth-place showing at last Saturday's NCAA Pre-National Invitational.

Last Time Out: If last weekend's performance at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational at Iowa State is any indication of things to come, the ASU women are on track for their best-ever finish at the NCAA Championships. Competing against 56 of the nation's top teams, the Sun Devil women secured a fourth place finish last Saturday. Junior Lisa Aguilera led the pack in the women's 6,000-meter race placing fifth (21:05.9), followed by freshman Cynthia Atencio (47th, 22:06.8) and senior Mary Duerbeck(52nd, 22:07.7). Rounding out ASU's top seven were junior Brianna Torres (73rd, 22:21.8), senior Colleen Burke (78th, 22:23.1), junior Kristin McFerron (119th, 22:44.9) and freshman Beth Martin (174th, 23:15.1). Last year, the women finished the 1999 season with a 12th place national finish, the best in school history. The ASU men also turned in a strong showing at Iowa State last weekend with a 28th place finish among 53 teams. Senior Garrett Jensen was the top Sun Devil with a 56th place (31:59.2) in the men's 10,000-meter race, followed by freshman Juan Reyes (95th, 32:21.2), freshman Ryan Bousquet (106th, 32:25.5), freshman Dan Maher (219th, 33:18.6), senior Brandon Strong (277th, 33:59.7) and sophomore Jeremy Rasmussen (288th, 34:12.7).

Head Coach Walt Drenth: Walt Drenth, in his fifth year as Head Cross Country Coach at Arizona State University, has taken the Sun Devils to unprecedented heights. He was named the Pac-10's Coach of the year in 1999, after leading the Sun Devils to their best finish in school history. Under his tenure, ASU has posted the best Pac-10 finishes in school history (Women 2nd in 1999, Men 4th in `98 and `99) and the best regional finishes in school history (both finished 3rd last year). In addition, the men are made their first appearance in school history at the NCAA Championships in 1999 and finished 14th, while the women earned back-to-back berths to nationals, including a 12th-place finish in 1999. Drenth came to Tempe after spending the previous six years (1990-95) at the College of William & Mary and six years at Central Michigan (1985-90). He is a seven-time conference coach of the year and two-time District Coach of the Year and has led six squads to the NCAA Championships.

Up Next: The Sun Devils will travel to Seattle, Wash. for the Pac-10 Championships hosted by the University of Washington Saturday, Oct. 28. Last year, the ASU women placed second, while the men placed fourth at the conference championships held in Long Beach.

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