Track Opens Outdoor Season At Home This Weekend

March 5, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. - The indoor and outdoor track and field season overlaps this weekend with two meets the Arizona State track and field teams will be running. On the indoor track at Boise State, several Sun Devils will try to improve their provisional NCAA times as well as look for automatic berths into the national tournament at BSU's last chance meet. The Sun Devils also will play host to the Bill Sawyer Invitational on Joe Selleh Track inside Sun Angel Stadium Saturday at 9 a.m.

Joe Sellah Track at Sun Angel Stadium will be the site of the Bill Sawyer Invitational Saturday, opening the schedule on a five-meet slate for the Sun Devils at home. In addition to this weekend, Arizona State also will play host to the Baldy Castillo (March 21-22), ASU Invitational (March 29), Sun Angel Classic (April 12) and the Arizona/Northern Arizona Double Dual (May 5).

This week marks the last possible attempts to qualify for the NCAA Championships, March 14-15 in Fayetteville, Ark. The NCAA has declared several sites, including Boise State and Washington, as sites for athletes to compete and improve their standings in the rankings.

Senior Lisa Aguilera ran in her first 3,000m event of the season at the Pac-10 Indoor Invitational at Washington over the weekend and recorded an NCAA automatic time of 9:12.60. Aguilera, an All-American in the event, is the first Sun Devil of the year to earn a guaranteed spot in the national championships.

The NCAA will announce Monday the individual student-athletes that have qualified for the championships after the conclusion of all last chance meets. The governing body will take all automatic qualifiers and then, in order of time or mark, the provisional qualifiers until the field is filled.

Two more names made the provisional list over the weekend at the Pac-10 Invitational. Fasil Bizuneh and Jessica Scalzo, both in the 5,000m, recorded marks high enough to earn consideration for the national meet.

In the men's sprints, Seth Amoo (200m), Lewis Banda (200m and 400m) and Jason Barton (400m) all have individual marks and join Steve Fitch in provisionally qualifying for the 4x400-meter relay. In the field, Trevell Quinley (long jump), Ryan Zimmerman (triple jump) and Vince Mosca (shot put) also have recorded marks that place them in contention for a spot in the NCAA meet.

On the women's side, Seneca Holmes (60m hurdles), Joni Smith (400m) and Julia Pedersen (shot put) have turned in times/marks good enough to qualify.

Seth Amoo ran his first 200m race of the year at the Double Dual (Feb. 14) and used that performance to not only win the race and earn a provisional qualification time, he also reset his school record in the indoor event. Crossing the line at 21.01, Amoo bettered his previous mark of 21.19 that he established last year. Lewis Banda, who took third in the race, finished in a time of 21.19, tying the previous mark and moving into second on the all-time list.

The men's 4x400-meter relay team of Seth Amoo, Jason Barton, Lewis Banda and Steve Fitch have teamed to compete in the event five times this year and crossed the finish line in first place. The quartet also ran a 3:07.03 at the Double Dual which was 0.01 off the school record set two years ago.

Their female counterparts have an equally impressive season in the same event. Though no provisional times have been achieved, the ladies have finished first in three races and second in their other two appearances this year.

The Sun Devils returned to Seattle, Wash., for the Pac-10 Indoor Invitational last weekend and returned with several top performances. Lisa Aguilera had an automatic qualifying time in the 3,000-meter run while Jessica Scalzo (5,000m), Seneca Holmes (60m hurdles) and Fasil Bizuneh (5,000m), each had provisionals.

The women saw seven events end with a Sun Devil taking the top place and the men followed suit with eight winners of their own. On the women's side, Tiffany Greer (60m dash preliminaries and finals), Porchea Carroll (200m), Joni Smith (400m), Aguilera, Holmes and Julia Pedersen (shot put) each qualified provisionally.

The men had winners in Jason Barton (400m), Roger Cahill (3,000m), Trevell Quinley (jong jump), Ryan Zimmerman (triple jump), Vince Mosca (shot put), Travis Jones (weight throw), Bizuneh and the 4x400 relay team.

Greg Kraft is in his seventh year at the helm of the Sun Devil men's and women's track and field program. In his tenure in Tempe, 15 men and 19 women have garnered All-America honors, as well as one women's and six men's relay teams. Nine men and eight women's individual Pac-10 titles have been won, with three men's relays added to the mix. He also has overseen the cross country program in which two men and four women's All-American honors were achieved.

Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium has stood as the home grounds for the Arizona State track and field programs since it opened in 1976. The site of seven conference championship meets and the prestigious Sun Angel Classic, now in its 24th year, the stadium has seen numerous of the world's best including dozens of Olympians from many nations.

Next week is the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships, March 14-15, at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. The Sun Devils that qualify for the meet will compete while the remained of the team has the week off from competition. ASU's next meet will be March 21-22 in Tempe when it plays host to the Baldy Castillo Invitational.

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