Men's Track and Field Finishes Tied for 10th; Women Place 20th at NCAA Meet
June 12, 2004
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AUSTIN, Texas - The final day of the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships came to a close Saturday with the Arizona State men claiming a Top 10 national finish and the women earning a Top 20 mark at the meet being held in Austin, Texas. The Sun Devil men accumulated 22 points on their way to tying Wisconsin for the 10th spot in the standings while the women's 12 points placed them 20th overall.
The day opened on the track with both Jason Barton and Lewis Banda competing in the finals of the 400m dash. Barton was ranked fifth and Banda eighth as the duo headed into the race where both earned All-America honors by placing in the Top 8. Banda, who used yet another impressive surge of speed in the final 100m of the race, closed on the leaders to finish fourth, just edging Barton who finished fifth. The finish marked just the second time in school history that two men earned All-America honors in the same event at the same meet. Ron Freeman and Ulis Williams both earned the honor in the 1963 meet in the 440-yard race, the equivalent to the 400m dash that Barton and Banda competed.
In the relay finales, the women's quartet of Marcia Smith, Kandace Tucker, Christina Hardeman and Cassandra Reed combined to finish seventh in the race at 3:30.65 to earn All-America honors for the relay for the second year in a row. The women battled back and forth with several teams to remain in the pack before the race ended and earn two team points for ASU.
In the men's race, the team of Barton, Seth Amoo, Domenik Peterson and Banda combined to clock a 3:03.60 and capture fourth place. The Sun Devils looked to be in position to win the race as the first two legs of the relay gave ASU a 15m lead, but following the third exchange, Peterson dropped the baton, but quickly recovered to pass two other teams before Banda held on to fourth. With the All-America honors earned in the race, and coupled with the honor earned one day earlier in the 4x100m relay, it marked the first time since 1981 that the Sun Devils had placed in the Top 8 in both men's relays. Couple that with the women's 4x400m relay and history was made as no other year had seen ASU earn Top 8 finishes in three of the four relays.
In the decathlon, Joshua Kinnaman, who entered the day in day in seventh place overall, accumulated 7,402 points in the final five events to finish his first national meet in 12th place. Kinnaman opened the day with a personal-best time of 15.18 in the 110m high hurdles to earn 828 points. From there, he earned 676 points in the discus for his toss of 40.57m (133-1) and another 673 points in the pole vault for clearing 4.20m (13-9.25). Kinnaman then scored 669 points in the javelin with a toss of 55.40m (181-9). He closed out the day with a time of 4:56.26 (581 points) in the 1,500m run. Also competing on the day was Desiree Davila, who placed 23rd in the 5,000m race at 17:31.78.
The men's 10th-place finish is the first time the program has ended the year in the Top 10 since a fourth-place finish at the 1981 championships. It also is a strong performance following the 2003 outdoor meet in which the men failed to score. For the women, its 20th place gives them a Top 25 finish for the 13th time in the last 19 years.
Individually, Banda paced the men with his three All-America honors (400m/4x100m/4x400m) with Barton, Amoo and Peterson each doubling. On the women's side, Reed, Smith, Hardeman and Tucker each earned one award at the national meet.