ASU Set to Host 26th Annual Sun Angel Classic

April 13, 2005

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TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State track and field program returns home this weekend as it is set to play host to the 26th Sun Angel Classic presented by Coca-Cola Saturday at Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium. The field events open the day with the women's hammer at 8 a.m. while the running events get under way starting at 4:15 pm. In all, 48 events will be contested, including 10 high school races.

Several highly ranked teams will be on hand this weekend to compete with seven of the women's teams and four men's teams holding places among the national Top 25. The meet will feature some of the top athletes in the collegiate ranks while numerous junior college, post-collegiate, high school and even a few Olympians round out the field.

Current Florida women's head coach and former ASU head coach Tom Jones was selected as the meet honoree for the 26th Sun Angel Classic presented by Coca-Cola. Jones, who coached the Sun Devils from 1988-1992, has had a successful tenure in Gainsville, Fla., including numerous coach of the year honors and eight conference crowns.

In his time in Tempe, Jones guided ASU student-athletes to 10 NCAA individual crowns, 45 All-America honors and three USATF Champions. Many of the top athletes to compete for ASU were guided by Jones, including national champions Maicel Malone, Lynda Tolbert, Gea Johnson and Shane Jones.

Tom Jones is not the only former Sun Devil leading another team into Tempe this weekend. From 1992 through last spring, Walt Drenth guided the ASU cross country programs to new heights and gain more success on the track. Drenth returns to Sun Angel Stadium this weekend with his new team, the Michigan State Spartans.

Teams headed to Tempe for the annual track and field classic include for the women No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 Florida, No. 12 Auburn, No. 14 ASU, No. 15 Kansas State, No. 22 Washington and No. 22 LSU. The men's teams entered into the meet No. 4 LSU, No. 5 ASU, No. 12 Michigan and No. 24 Auburn highlight the field for the men.

Several athletes competing in the meet this year also competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics this past August, including ASU's own Lewis Banda (Zimbabwe). A few of the athletes set to compete in Tempe this weekend include three gold medalists:
- Nick Hysong (2000, pole vault)
- Kelly Willie (2004, 4x400m)
- Monique Henderson (2004, 4x400m)
Others competing include: John Godina (shot put) and Bennie Brazell (400m hurdles) for the USA; Marc Burns (100m) and Candice Scott (hammer) for Trinidad & Tabago; and Tiandra Ponteen (400m) from St. Kitts.

Select members of the Sun Devil teams traveled to the Texas Relays over the weekend and turned in outstanding performances. On the track, Porchea Carroll clocked an 11.49 in the 100m dash while the men's 4x100m and 4x400m relays finished a close second to LSU and Florida, respectively. In the field events, Trevell Quinley (long jump), Ryan Zimmerman (triple jump), Travis Jones (discus) and Carroll (long jump) each won titles.

At the 2005 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays over the weekend, Trevell Quinley won the men's long jump in his first outdoor competition in the event since finishing as the national runner-up indoors in March. Not only did he win, he won big as he recorded a mark of 8.17m (26-09.75), the best mark not only in the collegiate ranks so far in 2005, but also the top mark among all Americans this year. His leap also ranks him second all-time on the ASU lists behind 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Dwight Phillips, who set the bar at 8.21m.

For his efforts in Austin, Quinley was selected as the Pac-10 Male Field Athlete of the Week (week ending April 10).

Speed has always been a staple of the ASU track and field program and, so far, this season, that tradition is holding strong among the marks posted in the Pac-10 as the men and women each hold the top spot in the 100m, 200m and 400m dashes while the men's 4x100m and 4x400m relays also lead the conference.

For the women, Porchea Carroll is the leader in the 100m dash (11.49) while Kandace Tucker sits first in the 200m dash (23.61) and Cassandra Reed is tops in the 400m dash (53.84). On the men's side, Seth Amoo (10.29) leads the way at 100m while Domenik Peterson leads both the 200m (20.43) and 400m (45.82). Both men are members of the top relays, joining Steven Koehnemann and Lewis Banda on the 4x100m (38.96) and teamming with Banda and Jason Barton on the 4x400m relay (3:02.77).

The sprinters are not the only Sun Devils that currently sit atop the Pac-10 lists. Casey Burchill and Amy Hastings are leading the way in the men's and women's 10,000m runs, respectively. In the field, Jessica Pressley holds the No. 1 position in the women's shot put while Trevell Quinley holds the top mark in the men's long jump so far in 2005.

The Trackwire Top 25 was released April 12 and the both the Sun Devil men and women find themselves among the Top 25 teams in the nation. The men are currently fifth overall with the women sitting 14th.

The latest Team Power rankings have both squads ranked in the Top 5 this week with the men sitting fifth and the women holding on to second.

In the latest update of the NCAA Order Lists, only one Sun Devil currently holds the top spot in the collegiate ranks as Trevell Quinley sits atop the long jump ranks with a mark of 8.17m. Four men's and five women's marks currently rank among the Top 5 nationally as well. Those marks for the men are: second place for both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays; third for Ryan Warrenburg in the 3,000m steeple and fifth for Seth Amoo in the 200m dash. The women are led by second place Amy Hastings in the 10,000m run; third place Cassandra Reed in the 400m dash and three marks by Jessica Pressley: fourth in both the shot put and the discus and fifth in the hammer. Fellow thrower Julia Pedersen is right outside the Top 5 in the discus, currently sitting sixth.

So far this outdoor season, 45 Sun Devils have posted marks that qualify them for the either the national or regional NCAA meets. Between men and women, the breakdown is very close as the ladies hold 23 of the marks with the men holding 22. Nationally, two women and one man have earned the automatic berths.

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.

On the latest Pac-10 performance lists, the men's 200m dash looks like a smaller version of the ASU roster as the Top 5 times belong to Sun Devil sprinters. Domenik Peterson leads the way with Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda, Kelvin Love and Jason Barton rank 2nd through 5th, respectively.

In the latest world Top 20 list, the Sun Devils are represented by two men and five women, including one Top 5 mark. For the men, Trevell Quinley is fourth in the long jump and Ryan Warrenburg sits 15th in the 3,000m steeplechase. The women see Amy Hastings in 13th in the 10,000m run, Cassandra Reed 15th in the 400m dash, both Porchea Carroll (100m dash) and Anna Massinelli (3,000m steeplechase) are 17th and Jessica Pressley is 20th in the hammer.

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 discus and fourth in the hammer.

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 16.68m (54-08.75) in the shot put and 55.07m (180-08) in the discus.

Domenik Peterson has been faring well this season 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 and 4x400m relays.

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.

Including the 2004 cross country season, the Sun Devil track and field program will see 11 of its student-athletes return to the track this season following a 2004 season in which they collectively earned 13 All-America honors.

Outdoors, Seth Amoo, Lewis Banda, Jason Barton, Domenik Peterson and Steven Koehnemann each return following a stellar spring that saw awards earned in both relays, as well as individual awards from Banda and Barton, both in the 400m. The women's 4x400m relay returns, minus one runner. Christina Hardeman, Cassandra Reed and Kandace Tucker were members of the relay while the third leg, Marcia Smith, graduated. Jaquelyn Johnson also returns after garnering the national honor in the heptathlon.

A trio of cross country runners with All-America honors return to the track this year, including two-time award honoree Amy Hastings. She is joined by Desiree Davila and Aaron Aguayo.

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. More recently, he recorded the longest leap in the collegiate and American ranks in 2005 (8.17m) outdoors at the Texas Relays (April 8). Seven months prior to Quinley's indoor meet performance, former Sun Devil jumper Dwight Phillips captured gold at the Athens Olympics with a mark of 8.59m (28-02.25). Both men are one six ASU jumpers to jump over 26 feet.

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.

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.

No Sun Devil had brought home a nation title since 1996. No woman had done so since 1992. That all changed when true freshman Jacquelyn Johnson went to Austin, Texas, and won the NCAA heptathlon crown. Johnson showed why she was touted as one of the premier athletes in the nation as she finished first at the outdoor national meet in the heptathlon, second in the national indoor pentathlon and added conference championships in both the heptathlon and the high jump. Johnson did not compete during the indoor season this year as she was playing for Charlie Turner Thorne and the Sun Devil women's basketball team. ASU advanced to the Sweet 16 of the tournament.

Amy Hastings accomplished a feat that no other Sun Devil cross country student-athlete, male or female, had in school history: win a conference title. Hastings led the women to a runner-up team finish as she won the Pac-10 championship crown, and earning the first conference gold of any kind for the program as neither the men nor women have won a team title either.

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.

Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium became the home of the Sun Devils at the open of the 1976 season. In the 28 years the track has been open, it has played host to seven conference championship meets and, on April 16, will welcome athletes to the 26th annual Sun Angel Classic presented by Coca-Cola.

A small group of athletes will travel west to La Jolla, Calif., and UC San Diego for the Triton Invitational on April 22. After that, the Sun Devils will play host to annual 'battle for state bragging rights' as Arizona and Northern Arizona invade Sun Angel Stadium on April 30 for the Double Dual.

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