Six ASU Distance Runners Qualify for Nationals at Stanford Invitational

April 1, 2001

STANFORD, Calif. -- Led by sophomore Lisa Aguilera's winning performance and automatic NCAA qualifying time in the women's 3000m steeplechase, Arizona State's distance runners turned in six national qualifying times, -- including three automatic -- six personal bests and two school records at the Stanford Invitational held Saturday and Sunday.

Aguilera blew away the competition in the women's 3000m steeplechase, beating out 26 runners and taking first place by nearly 14 seconds. Saturday marked the first time Aguilera has competed for ASU in the steeplechase and her time of 10:08.85 stands as a young personal best and school record. This season the Peoria, Ariz. native has also qualified for nationals in the 1500m.

In addition to Aguilera, sophomore Fasil Bizuneh and senior Mary Duerbeck also posted automatic qualifying times and further etched their names in the Sun Devil record books in their respective events. Bizuneh ran a personal best time 28:58.61to place eighth in the men's 10,000m, improving upon his school record of 29:13.61 set last season.

Duerbeck ran the second-fastest women's 10,000m race in ASU history, placing 10th with a personal-best time of 33:53.52. Duerbeck improved her previous best time from 35:12.48, which ranked fifth all-time.

Both ASU's competitors in the women's 5000m posted provisional qualifying times, as senior Kelly MacDonald and sophomore Brianna Torres placed ninth and 23rd respectively. MacDonald finished the race in 16:14.81, just off pace from her personal best and school record time of 15:55.90. Torres turned in a personal-best with a time of 16:47.61.

Rounding out ASU's national qualifiers, junior Brandon Strong placed sixth in the men's 1500m with a provisional qualifying mark of 3:44.13. Strong's personal-best time of 3:44.01, set last season, ranks fifth on ASU's all-time list.

In the men's 5000m, sophomore Ronnie Buchanan ran a personal best time of 14:12.54 to place 21st. In the men's 3000m steeplechase, last year's Pac-10 Champion sophomore Jeremy Rasmussen finished 13th in 9:00.56, while sophomore Kris Alexander ran a personal best of 9:07.73 to finish 21st.

Also competing for ASU at the Stanford Invitational, senior Valerie Williams placed eighth of 41 competitors in the women's long jump with a mark of 19 feet, 1.5 inches.

Next up, the Sun Devils will compete in the Texas Relays Friday, April 6 through Saturday, April 7.

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