Pac-10 Track & Field Meet Awaits Sun Devils This Week

May 11, 2004

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TEMPE, Ariz. - The track and field championship season continues this weekend for the Arizona State program as the team sends its best to the 2004 Pac-10 Championships, May 14-15, at the Roy P. Drachman Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. The meet is the 74 annual event for the men and 18th annual for the women.

The two day track and field meet will be contested Friday and Saturday with starting times being pushed back later than normal on account of the desert heat. The field events open action Friday at 2:30 p.m. with the women's hammer while the running events get underway at 5:15 p.m. with the preliminaries of the women's 1,500m run. On Saturday, the men's hammer opens the final day of competition at 3 p.m. while the action on the track picks back up at 6 p.m. with the finals of the women's 4x100m relay. Action is slated to conclude each day sometime after 10 p.m.

Jacquelyn Johnson accumulated 5,603 points over the weekend to win the Pac-10 Heptathlon crown in Tucson to claim her first championship in the event and the first ever for an Arizona State heptathlete. Not only did her point total earn her the conference title, it also earned her an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships (June 9-12) in Austin, Texas, and a provisional entry into the USA Olympic Team Trials (July 9-18) in Sacramento. Johnson's 5,603 points ranks her second all-time in Sun Devil history and is third overall in the national lists.

Not only did Jacquelyn Johnson earn her first Pac-10 title, she also garnered her first conference weekly honor it was announced Monday. Johnson was selected after winning the heptathlon and is the third Sun Devil to take home the accolade, joining Amy Hastings (April 24) for the women and Domenik Peterson (April 13) for the men.

Joshua Kinnaman held the lead in the decathlon following the first day of competition over the weekend, but could not hold onto the win as he finished as the runner-up with 7,484 points. His point total places him eighth in the national lists and sixth all-time in Arizona State hisotry. He also just missed an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships as he needed 16 more points to break the 7,500 barrier and qualify for the national meet. In the conference meet, Kinnaman won the long jump and placed in the Top 3 in seven of the 10 contested events.

Not only did Joshua Kinnaman take second place in the decathlon over the weekend, he also earned a spot in an individual event this weekend. Already set to compete in the javelin this weekend, Kinnaman leaped to a mark of 7.27m (23-10.25) in the long jump to earn a spot in the event.

With Jacquelyn Johnson's heptathlon victory and 10 team points earned, Arizona State is in first place on the women's side of the standings with California in second with eight. Oregon (six), Washington (five) and UCLA (five) round out the Top 5 teams.

On the men's side, Oregon used four decathletes to secure 25 points for a commanding lead as the Sun Devils sit second with the eight points earned by Joshua Kinnaman. California (three), UCLA (two) and Washington State (one) round out the men's teams with scores heading into the weekend competition in Tucson.

On the men's side, five athletes have qualified for three events at the Pac-10 Championships this weekend while two women share the same distinction. Added to the mix is one woman who qualified for four different events.

For the men, Domenik Peterson (100/200/400), Aaron Aguayo (1500/3000SC/5000), Casey Burchill (3000SC/5000/10000), Joshua Kinnaman (Decathlon/Long Jump/Javelin) and Travis Jones (Shot Put/Discus/Hammer) all have three events ahead of them while Porchea Carroll (100/200/Long Jump) and Amy Hastings (1500/3000SC/5000) will pull triple duty for the women. Added to that is four-time qualifier Jacquelyn Johnson (Heptathlon/100m hurdles/High Jump/Long Jump). With the multi-events already completed, Kinnaman will have two events to compete in this weekend while Johnson will tackle three.

The Pac-10 Championships mark the third week in a row that the Arizona State track and field team will compete in Tucson, following the Double Dual on May 1 and the Pac-10 Multi Championships last weekend. Next week, the Sun Devils are back again for the Wildcat Classic.

For the last three years, the men's 4x400m relay team entered the Pac-10 Championships and returned home with the crown, tying the conference record for consecutive titles in the event with UCLA (1987-88-89). In the overall title count, USC holds the mark with a total of nine crowns secured while Arizona State sits second with seven total titles.

In 2000, the Pac-10 added the women's 3,000m steeplechase to the contested events at the championship meet with Sun Devil Kelly MacDonald taking the inaugural title. The following year, Lisa Aguliera took the gold before adding her second crown last year. This year, Amy Hastings will look to keep the title in Tempe as she enters the meet with the top time in the conference at 10:17.67, 11 seconds better than second place.

The Arizona State men and women return two and two Pac-10 champions, respectively, this season. On the men's side, Lewis Banda is back to defend his open 400m crown while also running on the 4x400m relay team. For the women, Cassandra Reed will look for her second 400m crown in a row while Sandra Orsund will do the same in the discus.

Four men's events and two women's events are led by Sun Devil student-athletes heading into the conference meet this weekend. For the men, Domenik Peterson is tied for the 200m lead with Wes Felix of USC at 20.57 while Lewis Banda holds the top time in the 400m at 45.23. Both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays for the men are ranked No. 1. On the women's side, Amy Hastings' 10:17.67 leads the 3,000m steeplechase while Jacquelyn Johnson's 5,603 points in the heptathlon over the weekend is the highest in the Pac-10 this year.

The women placed third and the men fifth at the 2003 Pac-10 Track and Field Championships, hosted by USC, last year. The Sun Devil women posted 109 points on their way to tying the highest finish for the program while also establishing the benchmark for points, surpassing the 104 recorded in 1993. The men tallied 82 points and saw its streak of seasons in a row with 100-plus point totals end at three. The finish also was the fifth year in a row the men placed in the Top 5.

For the second time this season, the Arizona State men and women's teams swept its intrastate rivals in the annual Double Dual, this time held in Tucson. On the men's side, the Sun Devils defeated Arizona, 104-96, and Northern Arizona, 130-60. The women posted similar scores as ASU downed the Wildcats, 103-95, and the Lumberjacks, 125-60. In the previous meeting, the Sun Devils handed defeats to both UA and NAU at the indoor dual, conducted Jan. 31 in Flagstaff.

Heading into the start of the 2004 season, no Sun Devil woman had ever cleared 12 feet in competition with Olivia Mazzaglia's mark of 11-6 in 2000 being the record (and only mark recorded over nine feet). Enter Angela Tavlarides, who has shattered the mark four times this season and cleared 12-feet twice. Last week, she reset the record mark at 3.80m (12-5.50) during the Double Dual.

In the latest Top 25 rankings (May 10), the men are ranked eighth overall. In the same release, the women did not receive votes. In the power rankings, the men are ranked sixth while the women sit in 15th, both improvements from last weeks rankings.

The men's 4x400m relay team was back at it again April 3 at the Texas Relays, breaking the school record in the event that was set before any of the four was born: 1977. The quartet of Steve Fitch, Domenik Peterson, Jason Barton and Lewis Banda returned to Tempe after finishing third in the event at 3:01.51. The Sun Devils broke the previous school mark of 3:01.74 that was set by Cliff McKenzie, Gerald Burl, Tony Darden and Herman Frazier, a mark that stood for 27 years.

Although the previous 4x400m relay mark was set numerous years ago, there are still four more marks on the men's lists that have been around longer. Jerry Bright holds the 200m mark at 20.29 while Ron Freeman II clocked a 44.41 in the 400m. Both marks were set in 1968. Two years later, Chuck LaBenz set the standard in the 1,500m and mile runs, both during the 1970 season.

Along with the success of the rookie multi-event athletes (Jacquelyn Johnson and Joshua Kinnaman), there have been several other Sun Devils that have fared well in their freshman campaigns this year. For the men, Steven Koehneman is among the top athletes in the nation at 100m and 200m while Domenik Peterson is near the top of the 400m event. Brandon Glenn and Stephen Dolk bother are faring well in the pole vault with Aaron Aguayo, though he is a redshirt freshman this year, has qualified in both the 1,500m and 5,000m events at the regional and conference level.

Johnson has qualified in three individual events so far this year with marks recorded in the 100m hurdles, the high jump and the long jump.

Members of the track and field program traveled to Fayetteville, Ark., for the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships, March 14-15, and returned with stellar performances. Of the 10 athletes that competed in the national event, six returned home as All-Americans. Those Sun Devils included Lewis Banda (4x400m), Jason Barton (4x400m and 400m), Domenik Peterson (4x400m and 200m), Seth Amoo (4x400m), Amy Hastings (5,000m) and Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon).

As a team, the men finished tied for 12th with 17 points earned while the women took a tie for 27th with eight.

Johnson was not the only Sun Devil freshman that had an impressive debut at the NCAA Championships. Domenik Peterson competed in three races to earn All-America honors twice while setting one school record. Individually, Peterson finished fourth in the 200m dash with an ASU record time of 20.54. He then anchored the men's 4x400m relay team to a third place finish.

Jacquelyn Johnson won the gold in the women's heptathlon while fellow freshman Joshua Kinnaman placed second in the men's decathlon as the championship season got underway May 7-8 at the Pac-10 Multi-Event Championships in Tucson.

The remainder of the team had the weekend off from competition as they prepared for the Pac-10 Championships.

The final tune-up of the season takes place next weekend as members of the team will travel to Tucson for the Wildcat Classic, May 22. From there, those Sun Devils that have earned berths will compete at the 2004 NCAA West Region Championships, slated for May 28-29, in Northridge, Calif.

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