Track and Field Hosts 22nd Annual Sun Angel Classic Saturday
April 10, 2001
This Week --
After taking last week off from competition, Arizona State track and field will host the 22nd Annual Sun Angel Classic, Saturday, April 14 at Sun Angel Stadium. Field events are scheduled to begin at noon, while running events will follow at 4:30 p.m. MST. ASU will also send a small contingent of athletes to the Mesa Classic at Mesa Community College, Friday, April 13, which begins at 3 p.m.
22nd Sun Angel Classic --
The 2001 edition of the Sun Angel Classic will feature both collegiate and high school competition and will welcome athletes from Auburn, Brigham Young, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Central Arizona College, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas State, Long Beach State, Northern Arizona, Southern Utah and Western State College, as well as many top amateur competitors. 2000 Olympian and former Sun Devil Dwight Phillips will be competing in the long jump and 100m. Phillips, who won the 2001 U.S. Indoor title in the long jump, culminated his ASU career last spring as a three-time NCAA runner-up in the long jump and an eight-time All-American. This year's meet honoree is former ASU pole vaulter and 2000 Olympic gold medalist, Nick Hysong. Tickets will be available at the gate.
Sun Angel Results --
Results from the 22nd Annual Sun Angel Track Classic will be available on ASU's official website, www.thesundevils.com, following the meet.
National Rankings --
According to the latest Trackwire.com national poll released April 3, neither ASU's men or women were ranked this week. Last week the Sun Devil men tied for 18th with George Mason and Texas A&M.
Aguilera World Leader In 3K Steeplechase --
With her winning performance in women's 3000m steeplechase at the Stanford Invitational Saturday, March 31, Arizona State sophomore Lisa Aguilera not only set a collegiate record, but logged the fastest time in the world this year. Aguilera's time of 10:08.85 was almost five seconds better than the previous best time in the world this season, 10:13.43, clocked by Melissa Rollison from Australia. Aguilera also broke the previous collegiate record time of 10:21.8 set by BYU's Courtney Meldrum in 1997, and now ranks sixth on the all-time American list. The women's 3000m steeplechase world record holder is Christina Iloc-Casandra from Romania with a time of 9:40.20, while the American record holder is Elizabeth Jackson with a time of 9:57.20. March 31 marked the first time Aguilera has competed in the 3000m steeplechase.
Sun Angel Meet Honoree Nick Hysong --
Arizona State University takes great pride in recognizing Olympic gold medal winner Nick Hysong as the 2001 Sun Angel Track Classic honoree. When Hysong culminated his Arizona State career in 1994 he was the best pole vaulter in school history. Six years later, he stood as the best pole vaulter in the world. All it took was clearing a personal-best height to win the first Olympic gold medal for an American pole vaulter in 32 years -- and the first pole vault medal of any kind in 16 years -- on the world's stage last September. Soaring over the bar at 19 feet, 4 1/4 inches at Olympic Stadium in Sydney, Australia, Hysong achieved a childhood dream that began in his hometown of Tolleson, Ariz., and stopped along the way at Arizona State University. Hysong was a six-time All-American at ASU and to this day remains the best pole vaulter to grace Sun Angel Stadium. As a senior in 1994, he captured the NCAA outdoor pole vault title with a school record effort of 18-8 1/4, the best in Sun Devil history. He also still holds the indoor pole vault record, set in 1994 with a mark of 18-7 1/4. The Sun Angel Stadium record holder at 18-6 3/4, set during his senior year of college, Hysong has been a long-time participant in the Sun Angel Track Classic. He has won the vault title six times, dating back to 1991, highlighted by an18-6 1/2 performance in 1999.
Last Time Out --
The final weekend of March saw the Sun Devils split their squad in three different directions, as many remained at home for the Arizona State Invitational, while ASU's top throwers competed in the UC San Diego Open and the elite distance runners traveled north to the Stanford Invitational. A total of nine athletes made their mark on the NCAA qualifying list, with three Sun Devils posting automatic times and six turning in provisional qualifying times: Lisa Aguilera (3K steeplechase, auto, 10:08.85), Mary Duerbeck (10K, auto, 33:53.52), Fasil Bizuneh (10K, auto, 28:58.61), Kelly MacDonald (5K, prov., 16:14.81), Brianna Torres (5K, prov., 16:47.61), Cody Sohn (3K steeplechase, prov., 10:52.07), Brandon Strong (1500, prov., 3:44.13), Adrienne Judie (hammer, prov., 184-1) and David Wood (shot put, prov., 59-7.75). Marcus Brunson clocked a PQ in the 100 at the ASU Invitational, but his time of 10.28 was not improvement upon his season-best 10.21 effort at the Baldy Castillo Invitational.
Sun Devils Assault the Record Books --
The final weekend of March also saw many Sun Devils further etch their names in the ASU record books with personal-best performances. At the Stanford Invitational, Aguilera set a young school record with her world leading time in the women's 3000m steeplechase, while Mary Duerbeck ran the second-fastest women's 10,000m race in school history with her personal best effort of 33:53.52. Also at Stanford, Fasil Bizuneh broke his own school record in the men's 10,000m with a PR of 28:58.61. At the UCSD Open, Adrienne Judie also broke her previous school record in the women's hammer with a PR of 184 feet, one inch. Other notable performances of this year's outdoor season include the men's 1600m relay team of Michael Campbell, Marcus Brunson, Jason Barton and Tony Berrian clocking the second-fastest time in ASU history with an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 3:03.20 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational. Aguilera also ranks first in the nation this year with her 1500m provisional qualifying time and personal-best of 4:20.3 (hand-timed), set at the Baldy Castillo Invitational, a time which ranks second on ASU's all-time list.
Recapping the NCAA Indoor Championships --
ASU sent eight individuals and the men's 1600m relay team to the 2001 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., only to have two Sun Devils come away with All-America honors in their respective events. For the second straight season, senior Kelly MacDonald captured All-America honors in the women's 5000m, finishing fifth in a season-best time of 16:20.83. Last year MacDonald set the school record in the event with a time of 16:13.41. Adrienne Judie came away with her first career All-America honors, placing fourth with personal-best mark of 66 feet, 10 inches in the women's weight-throw. Judie also improved upon her already existing school record in the event by two inches, and was 1.5 inches behind the third-place mark by Clemson's Jamine Moton. With points put on the board by MacDonald and Judie, the ASU women ended indoor nationals tied for 25th with Kansas State with nine points.
Head Coach Greg Kraft --
ASU's eighth director of track and field, Greg Kraft is in his fifth year as head coach of the Sun Devil program. Kraft's tenure has been brief, but his list of successes is far-reaching. Over the past four seasons, Sun Devil track has produced 18 individual All-Americans, four individual NCAA runner-up finishes, 22 first or second-team Pac-10 All-Academic selections, two Academic All-American cross country squads and the first four NCAA appearances by a cross country team in ASU history. Kraft, who coaches ASU's jumpers, is assisted by Walt Drenth (distance), Darryl Anderson (sprints), Dawn Dumble (throws), Corey Ihmels (graduate assistant) and Michelle Borgert (volunteer assistant).
Up Next --
Next weekend ASU will send split squads to the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif. and the Tucson Elite in Tucson, Ariz. The Mt. Sac Relays will be held Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 21, while the Tucson Elite will be held Friday through Saturday.