Road Trips Await Sun Devil Track and Field This Week

April 17, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. - After playing hosts for its first four outdoor meets of the year, the Arizona State track and field teams will take to the road this weekend as they compete in two events. The 45th running of the Mt. SAC Relays (Thursday-Saturday) while other members of the squad will compete in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational (Friday-Saturday).

A month into the outdoor season, the national rankings are in full swing and this week finds the Sun Devil women among the nation's best. In the power rankings, the women are ranked No. 22 in the nation while the men are No. 27 (as of April 16). In the rankings, a new poll created for this year, the women are No. 16 with the men not ranked. Neither of the Sun Devil squads are among the Top 25 in the poll.

Both the Mt. SAC Relays and Pomona-Pitzer Invitational feature some the nation's elite teams this year, including many of the Pac-10 teams and such forces as LSU and Tennessee. Participation in each event is expected to reach close to 1,000 per meet.

Though closer than they may have wanted, the men's 4x400m relay team kept its perfect season in the event in tact after winning the race at the Sun Angel Classic over the weekend. Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda, Jason Barton and Steve Fitch turned in the 10th-fastest time in Arizona State history with a 3:04.44. The race came down to the wire as national male track athlete of the week Jeremy Wiener of Baylor came from third place to nearly catch Banda at the finish line.

The first Top 20 list for the Pac-10 Conference was released Monday and the Sun Devils were represented well. On the men's side, three events saw an ASU individual or team at the top of the list with Seth Amoo (200m dash) and Lewis Banda (400m dash) leading the individual charge and the men's 4x400m relay team securing the top spot. In the 400m dash, Banda is first while relay teammates Jason Barton, Seth Amoo and Steve Fitch are No. 2, No. 3 and No. 6, respectively.

For the women, two marks recorded this year are tops in the league. The women's 4x100m relay team of Cassandra Reed, Tiffany Greer, Kandace Tucker and Porchea Carroll hold the top mark at 44.27 while Greer's mark of 20-3.00 feet is tops in the long jump.

The qualifying marks just keep rolling in for the Sun Devils this year as another three men and two women added their names to the growing list of competitors for the NCAA West Region and Pac-10 Championship meets at the end of the year. All told, 34 marks have been recorded for the women's Pac-10 meet while 23 of those also are good enough for the regional meet. On the men's side, 19 Pac-10 standards have been met while 15 will get those athletes into the regional.

Arizona State played host to the 24th Sun Angel Track Classic last weekend, its fourth home meet of the year, with some of the top collegiate teams in town. The Sun Devils competed with Baylor, Auburn, Alabama, Arizona, Northern Arizona, BYU and Florida.In all, the women recorded 17 Pac-10 qualifying marks/times and 13 NCAA West region marks/times. The men recorded 11 and 10, respectively.

The Sun Devils will be split between three locations next week as they will compete at the Drake Relays (24-26) in Des Moines, Iowa, the Oregon Invitational (25-26) in Eugene, and the UC San Diego Open (25-26) in San Diego.

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