Johnson Leads Heptathlon at Rain-Soaked NCAA Track & Field Championships

June 9, 2004

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AUSTIN, Texas - Although torrential downpours and flashes of lightning hindered the first day of the NCAA Track and Field Championships Wednesday in Austin, Texas, Mother Nature could not prevent Arizona State's Jacquelyn Johnson from battling her way to the top of the standings in the heptathlon. Eight hours worth of weather delays washed-out the remaining slate of events and forced the NCAA to restructure the schedule.

Johnson, the lone freshman in the heptathlon competition, opened the day by winning her heat of the 100m hurdles in a season-best 13.52 to earn 1,047 points as the rain steadily fell on the stadium. Her time placed her third in the event and third in the overall standings. In the second event of the day and following two rain delays, Johnson cleared 1.71m (5-7.25) in the high jump to tie for third in the event and scored 867 points. Holding a slim lead in the standings, Johnson scored 640 points in the shot put with her eighth-place throw of 11.68m (38-4.00) before heading to the 200m dash. In the sprint, she finished third in her heat and eighth overall at 25.08 to net another 879 points.

Overall, Johnson's 3,433 points are nine better than second place Andrea Pressley of Jacksonville with the senior scoring 3,424. The defending outdoor champion Hyleas Fountain of Georgia sits third at 3,380.

The only track event to be contested on the day was the women's 4x100m relay preliminaries. Arizona State, who was represented in the race by Porchea Carroll, Cassandra Reed, Marcia Smith and Kandace Tucker, clocked a 44.71 while placing fourth in the first of three heats. Unfortunately for the quartet, their time ranked them 12th overall and did not allow them to advance to the finals since they finished outside of the Top 9 times recorded.

Competition continues Thursday with several Sun Devils stepping on to the track and in the field. The meet runs through Saturday.

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