ASU Track & Field Heads to Tucson This Week

March 30, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. - Members of the Arizona State University track and field program will travel south this weekend as they are set to compete in the Arizona International at Roy P. Drachman Stadium in Tucson Saturday starting at 11:30 a.m.

The Sun Devil men and women played host to their second home meet of the outdoor season and again posted solid results as they combined to win 14 events, place a total of 26 student-athletes among the Top 3 in their respective events, set two school records and post 19 marks good enough for qualification into the NCAA West Region Championships.

The national outdoor lists were released last week with the Sun Devils earning numerous spots among the Top 10 in several events. Of those positions, two are the best on the collegiate circuit. The men's 4x100m relay of Steven Koehnemann, Domenik Peterson, Seth Amoo and Lewis Banda won the ASU Invitational in 39.14 to take the national lead while women's thrower Jessica Pressley has the top shot put mark at 16.16m.

After five weeks of outdoor competition, the Sun Devils have secured numerous regional qualifying marks. Overall, the men have 18 qualifying marks and times while the women add 22 of their own. Of the men's 18 entries, 10 rank among the Top 10 nationally while 19 of the 22 women's marks fit the same criteria.

Prior to the start of the season, the Pac-10 Conference coaches voted on how student-athletes would qualify for the conference championship meet at the end of each season. Following the vote, it was decided that no standards will be created for an athlete to try and surpass, rather, the head coach of each team selects up to 24 men and up to 24 women to compete at the Pac-10 meet. Athletes can be entered in as many events as the coach sees fit, but no more than eight per school can enter into one event.

Eight Sun Devil athletes currently hold times/marks that rank them among the Top 20 in the world. For the men, Seth Amoo and Lewis Banda sit 11th and 14th in the 200m dash while Casey Burchill and Ryan Warrenburg rank 13th in the 10,000m run and 15th in the 3,000m steeplechase, respectively. The women are paced by Amy Hastings, who is fourth in the 10,000m run. Victoria Jackson sits 19th in the same distance event while Anna Masinelli is ninth in the steeple event. Porchea Carroll is tied for 18th in the long jump as the team's lone field event entry on the world list.

Jessica Pressley has been very dominant in her first collegiate outdoor season with the Sun Devils in 2005. Not only does she lead the nation in the shot put, she also ranks second overall in the hammer and fourth in the discus.

So far this season, Pressley not only threw her way onto the Top 10 lists at ASU, she has set one record and put all three of her marks among the Top 6 all-time. In the hammer, her mark of 62.52m (205-01) not only is a school record, but also marked the first time that an ASU woman has thrown past the 60m mark and broken 200 feet. Her marks in the other two events are 16.16m (53-00.25) in the shot put and 52.19m (171-03) in the discus.

The women's hammer competition at the Baldy Castillo Invitational (March 18-19) saw Jessica Pressley set the school record in the event with a mark of 58.78m (192-10). Also in the same competition, teammate Jennifer Kowacz collected a mark of 58.53m (192-00). That mark would have become the new standard at ASU had it not been for the throw by Pressley that landed 10 inches further.

Domenik Peterson has been faring well this season in the sprinting events as he leads the Pac-10 in two events and is one leg of a conference-leading relay. So far in 2005, Peterson leads the Pac-10 in the 200m and 400m dashes and joins Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda and Steven Koehnemann, the 2004 NCAA runners-up in the event, as the league leaders in the 4x100m relay.

Travis Jones also is having a stellar start to his outdoor season as he has entered five events in two meets and posted regional qualifying marks in all five. So far, Jones has punched his ticket to Eugene, Ore., in the hammer, shot put and discus.

On March 11-12, the NCAA Championships were held in Fayetteville, Ark., with 12 members of the ASU program participating in the national event. When the two-day national meet concluded, four Sun Devils emerged as All-Americans, including Trevell Quinley in the long jump (2nd), Domenik Peterson in the 200m dash (4th) and Brandon Glenn in the pole vault (7th) for the men and Amy Hastings in the 5,000m run (5th) for the women.

Arizona State long jumping has seen success in the past year with two solid finishes in competitive meets. Most recently, Trevell Quinley finished second at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a leap of 7.92m (26-00.00) and earned the third All-America honor of his career. Seven months prior to Quinley's performance, former Sun Devil jumper Dwight Phillips captured gold at the Athens Olympics with a mark of 8.59m (28-02.25).

Brandon Glenn finished seventh in the indoor pole vault competition at the NCAA meet (March 11) to capture his first All-America honor. Glenn's accolade also was the first since 1994 when Nick Hysong captured the national honor. That same year, Glenn was nine years old.

And speaking of Hysong, the 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist competed in the Baldy Castillo Invitational over the weekend and won the event with a clearance of 5.15m. Although the winning mark was not close to his personal best and school record clearances, the result still goes down as a Sun Angel Stadium record, surpassing the 5.10m clearance attained by a trio of men.

Amy Hastings is two-thirds of the way toward history following her All-American performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships (March 11) where she placed seventh in the 5,000m run. Prior to the track season, she garnered the accolade in cross country. If she attains All-America honors during this outdoor season, she would do what only one other Sun Devil, male or female, has ever done: earn All-America honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track in one season.

Lisa Aguilera is the only runner (so far) in school history to pull off the `triple crown' as she earned the national honor in 2000. She finished fifth at the NCAA cross country meet before placing seventh in the indoor mile and 8th in the outdoor 1,500m.

Last season, Seth Amoo helped the men's 4x400m relay set the NCAA collegiate national record in the indoor version of the race as he and his teammates clocked a 3:03.43 at the Iowa State Last Chance meet. Feb. 11, Amoo, the former school record holder in the 200m dash, set a national record on his own by finishing second in the 200m at the Holiday Inn Team Invitational in 20.95. The time made him the first representative of Ghana to run under 21 seconds, giving the senior the national record.

On Jan. 29, while the team was not competing, junior All-American and 2004 Olympian Lewis Banda returned to his native Zimbabwe where he was honored as the nation's Sportsman of the Year. Banda, the two-time defending Pac-10 champion at 400m, finished ninth at the Summer Olympiad after helping the Sun Devil men to a tie for 10th at the national meet and anchoring the 2004 NCAA runner-up 4x100m relay team.

Looking over the men's record book for the indoor season, several impressive things standout. One of those is the men's 4x400m relay of Jason Barton, Steve Fitch, Seth Amoo and Domenik Peterson, who stand No. 1 on the lists with a collegiate record 3:03.43. Looking at all five of the top times for the relay event, one name keeps appearing: Jason Barton. In his four years in Tempe, Barton has helped his teammates record the fastest times around while securing All-America honors and conference championships.

The indoor men's 200m dash record section looks almost like a shortened version of the team roster as all five ranks are currently occupied by student-athletes on the 2005 team roster. Domenik Peterson leads the group at 20.43 set this season while placing fourth at the NCAA meet.

Seth Amoo (20.95) and Lewis Banda (21.19) are second and fourth, respectively. The marks by Amoo and Banda are the oldest on the current list as both were achieved in the 2003 season. The remaining two marks were both attained in Flagstaff two weeks ago with Kelvin Love (21.15) and Steven Koehnemann (21.24) sitting third and fifth, respectively.

Arizona State was represented by one current and two former student-athletes at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Lewis Banda, who is the lone current runner, competed for Zimbabwe in the 400m dash and finished in ninth place, one spot shy of making the finals on the largest stage of athletics.

Although Banda fared well, one former athlete stole the spotlight. Dwight Phillips, the world leader in the long jump for the entire year, did not disappoint as he won the gold medal on his first jump of the competition. His win was the 10th gold medal won by a Sun Devil track and field athlete and also marked the third Summer Olympiad in a row that a former ASU standout returned home with gold after Nick Hysong won the pole vault in 2000 and Maicel Malone helped the 4x400m relay win in Atlanta in 1996.

The final 2004 Olympian with ASU ties was Michael Campbell. Representing Jamaica, Campbell ran in the 4x400m relay, but his team was disqualified in the first round of competition.

The Sun Devil track and field teams return to action April 6-9 in Austin, Texas, as they are set to compete in the 78th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.

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