Regional Meet Awaits Sun Devil Cross Country

Nov. 8, 2005

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TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University cross country team travels to the Bay Area this weekend for the 2005 NCAA West Region Championships that will be conducted Saturday on the Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto, Calif. The men lead off the day with a 10,000m run at 11 a.m. before the women run a 6,000m course starting at 12:30 p.m.

The regional meets held throughout the nation Saturday serve as the selection tool for the NCAA Championships that will be conducted Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. At each regional site, the Top 2 teams and Top 3 individuals that are not members of those two teams automatically earn a berth into the national event. From there, 13 other teams will be selected as at-large bids that the NCAA will announce Monday.

Both the men and women will be looking to preserve a streak of success this weekend as both are set to compete in the NCAA West Region Championships. For the women, a Top 2 finish would automatically qualify them for the NCAA Championships, sending ASU to the national meet for the eighth year in a row. A Top 2 finish for the men would mark their fourth appearance in the national race and their first back-to-back appearances.

The Sun Devil men and women each finished second in the team standings at the 2004 NCAA West Region Championships held at Fresno, Calif., with each setting school records for low point totals. Amy Hastings led the women as she finished second overall in the race while three women overall finished in the Top 6, including Desiree Davila (fourth) and Victoria Jackson (sixth). On the men's side, Aaron Aguayo paced the team with his fourth-place finish. In all, two Sun Devils finished in the Top 7 with Juan Reyes finishing seventh.

Athletes competing in the regional meet that finish among the Top 25 earn All-West Region honors. Last year, five women and five men each earned the distinction with their finishes at the meet held in Fresno, Calif. Those Sun Devils earning the honor included: Amy Hastings, Desiree Davila, Victoria Jackson, Anna Masinelli and Jessica Crate for the women and Aaron Aguayo, Juan Reyes, Casey Burchill, Velibor Radejovic and Ryan Warrenburg for the men.

For the second ranking release in a row, the Sun Devil women remain as the No. 5 team in the nation while the men are not among the Top 30. In the women's poll, four schools from the West Region are ranked in the Top 30, including No. 2 Stanford, No. 5 ASU, No. 21 Oregon and No. 26 Washington. The men's teams from the West Region that are members of the Top 30 are No. 4 Stanford, No. 9 Arizona, No. 13 Portland, No. 24 Cal Poly, No. 28 California and No. 29 Washington.

At the 2005 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships, the Sun Devil women captured second place for the fourth year in a row while the men finished fifth in the team meet. The women were led by Amy Hastings, who finished second in the overall race. ASU scored 40 points with Stanford winning its 10th title in a row with 34 points. The point total for the Sun Devil women is a school-record. On the men' side, Stanford won the title for the sixth time in a row while the ASU men scored 125 points to finish fifth. Ryan Warrenburg led the charge with his 11th-place finish.

In the women's race at the Pac-10 Championships, four Sun Devils place among the Top 10 and all five scoring positions finished in the Top 12. Amy Hastings finished second while Anna Masinelli was seventh, Jenna Kingma was ninth, Victoria Jackson was 10th and Rachel Ellison was 12th. Cassie Rios (21st), Corey Randall (26th), Angela Spadafino (36th) and Whitney Hardt (43rd) also finished among the Top 50 in the meet. ASU's final entrant, Brooke Bennett, did not finish the race after collapsing with 400m remaining.

As the Sun Devil men finished fifth at the conference meet, they did so without the services of a pair of their top runners in Aaron Aguayo (injury) and Kyle Alcorn (transfer). Despite that, the Sun Devils managed to place two athletes in the Top 15 as Ryan Warrenburg and Casey Burchill placed 11th and 15th, respectively. J.J. Duke finished 25th to give the men three finishers in the Top 25.

The Sun Devil women set five records this season and have atleast two more chances to add to that list. Here is what the women accomplished this year:
• Brooke Bennett became just the third runner to win mulitple races in one season as she captured titles at both the Dave Murray Invitational and ASU Invitational, joining Amy Hastings (2003 and 2004) and Lynn Nelson (1983) as the only runners to do so.
• Bennett joined Jenna Wrieden (George Kyte Invitational), Hastings (Roy Griak Invitational) and Victoria Jackson (Canyon West Classic) to set the mark for individual wins in a season with five, breaking the previous best of four by Nelson in 1983.
• The wins by four different runners also is a record, bettering the mark of two.
• Hastings' victory at the Roy Griak Invite was the fifth of her career, breaking a tie with Nelson at four.
• ASU's point total (40) at the conference meet was a record for the women.

With three team wins this season, the Sun Devil men established a program record, bettering the 1993 team that won twice: the Grand Canyon Invitational and the UNLV Invitational.

Individual women's races were not the only victories recorded by the Sun Devils this season as the women's team captured one title and the men took home three team trophies. The women captured the Roy Griak Invitational while the men were victorious at the George Kyte Invitational, the ASU Invitational and the Canyon West Classic.

A pair of runners attained All-America honors last season at the NCAA Championships, held Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind. Both Amy Hastings and Aaron Aguayo finished 22nd overall in their respective races to earn the national accolade while pacing their squads to ninth and eighth place team finishes, respectively, at the national meet. Hastings earned her second All-America honor in cross country in as many seasons while Aguayo captured his first.

The Top 2 teams from each regional meet will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships (Nov. 21) with 13 teams earning at-large selections as well. Those 13 will be announced Monday by the NCAA.

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