NCAA Championships Await Track & Field This Week
March 7, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - National championships and All-America honors are on the line this weekend when members of the Arizona State University track and field team competes in the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships Friday and Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark. The University of Arkansas will play host to the national meet once again at the Tyson Indoor Track Complex.
The accepted entries list for the NCAA Indoor Championships was released Monday night with eight Sun Devil women, two men and one women's relay gaining entrance into the meet. Here are the Sun Devils headed to Fayetteville: Stephanie Garnett (long jump), Amy Hastings (3,000m and 5,000m), Victoria Jackson (5,000m), Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon and high jump), Jenna Kingma (3,000m), April Kubishta (pole vault), Jessica Pressley (shot put and weight throw) and Sarah Stevens (shot put) for the women with Joshua Kinnaman (heptathlon) and Ryan Zimmerman (triple jump) for the men. The women's distance medley relay team will consist of Whitney Hardt, Latosha Wallace, Jessie McLaughlin and Rachel Ellison.
At noon Tuesday, the Sun Devils got a call from the NCAA letting the team know its women's distance medley relay team had qualified for the national meet after being previously left off the list. Ranked 12th on the final lists, the relay consists of Whitney Hardt, Latosha Wallace, Jessie McLaughlin and Rachel Ellison, who clocked an 11:18.37 on Feb. 24 while finishing third at the MPSF Indoor Championships in Seattle.
Of the 12 women headed to the national meet for the Sun Devils, seven are in their freshmen or sophomore seasons. Stephanie Garnett is a true freshman while Whitney Hardt, Jenna Kingma and Sarah Stevens are redshirt freshmen. The sophomores include Jacquelyn Johnson, April Kubishta and Jessica Pressley.
WHERE THEY RANK
Several of the Sun Devils heading to Arkansas are ranked highly according to the descending order list of accepted athletes. Although only two men will represent Arizona State this weekend, both are ranked among the Top 10 with Joshua Kinnaman ranked sixth in the heptathlon and Ryan Zimmerman ninth in the triple jump. On the women's side, nine of the 12 marks rank in the Top 10, led by Jacquelyn Johnson sitting second in the pentathlon. Amy Hastings ranks third in the 5,000m run and Sarah Stevens is fourth in the shot put to round out the Top 5. Others include Jenna Kingma (sixth in 3,000m run), seventh ranked April Kubishta (pole vault) and Jessica Pressley (shot put and weight throw), eighth-ranked Victoria Jackson (5,000m run) and Johnson (tied for ninth in the high jump). The other three are Hastings, ranked 12th in the 3,000m run, the distance medley relay also is ranked 12th and Stephanie Garnett, ranked tied for 15th in the long jump.
Five Sun Devils will be making a return appearance to the national meet this weekend, including two women and one man. Amy Hastings will be competing in her third meet as the junior has competed in the 5,000m run each of the past two seasons. Jacquelyn Johnson will be making her second appearance in the pentathlon after finishing second in 2004 and sitting out last season while competing on the ASU women's basketball team. Both Rachel Ellison and Jessie McLaughlin are back in 2006 to once again compete in the distance medley relay while Joshua Kinnaman also will be participating in his second meet in a row as he takes part in the heptathlon. Last year, he did not finish after sustaining an injury in the long jump.
2005 NCAA INDOOR RECAP
The men tied for 13th place with 15 points while the women tied for 43rd with four points at the 2005 installment of the meet. The women earned all of their points when Amy Hastings finished fifth in the 5,000m run (16:06.62) while earning All-America honors. The men earned their points when Trevell Quinley finished second in the long jump (7.92m), Domenik Peterson took fourth in the 200m dash (20.43) and Brandon Glenn finished seventh in the pole vault (5.40m).
LOOKING TO ADD
While all the Sun Devils heading to Fayetteville will be looking to earn All-America honors this weekend, several student-athletes will be looking to add to their list of honors. Amy Hastings enters the meet having earned the national honor five previous times (2005, 2004 and 2003 cross country, 2005 and 2004 indoor 5,000m run) while other previous All-American honorees include Jessica Pressley (2005 outdoor hammer) and Ryan Zimmerman (2005 outdoor triple jump).
Two Sun Devils head into the national meet this weekend with marks ranking highly on the world lists as well. Amy Hastings' time of 15:45.45 in the 5,000m run sits sixth overall this season while Jessica Pressley ranks 10th in the world in the weight throw at 21.39m.
WOMEN HIGHLY TOUTED
Heading into the NCAA Championships, Trackwire.com has moved Arizona State's women up to No. 4 this week while the track & field/cross country coaches placed them at No. 9.
Five women and four men's events at the MPSF Indoor Championships were won by Sun Devil athletes at the meet in Seattle, including both multi events. For the women, Jacquelyn Johnson won the heptathlon with 4,207 points while Victoria Jackson secured gold in the 5,000m run (16:03.15) on the first day of competition. On the second and final day, the women saw Christina Hardeman take the 400m dash (53.98), Jenna Kingma won the 3,000m run (9:13.09) and Sarah Stevens took the shot put title (16.55m). The men had Joshua Kinnaman winning the heptathlon with a Dempsey Indoor record 5,603 points while Ryan Zimmerman won the triple jump (15.86m). Domenik Peterson took gold in the 200m dash (21.15) and then helped the 4x400m relay continue its conference relay dominance as the team of Chris Adams, Peterson, Jerry Jones and Jimmie Gordon won in 3:09.91.
In their first Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship meet, the Sun Devils fared well with the women placing second and the men sixth. In the women's team race, Stanford secured the crown with 161 points with ASU second with 115 points. Washington won the men's crown with 107 points while the Sun Devil men placed sixth with 66 points.
Two more records were set two weeks ago with both bettering the mark the same person set one week earlier. April Kubishta cleared 4.14m in the pole vault to increase her record clearance while Ryan Warrenburg became the first Sun Devil to break 14 minutes in the 5,000m run with a time of 13:58.54.
To date, five school records have been broken during the indoor season with four coming from the women's side of competition. April Kubishta opened the year by breaking the record in the pole vault and has reset the mark on three occasions this season while fellow field event competitors Sarah Stevens (shot put) and Jessica Pressley (weight throw) have taken over the top spot in their respective events. Stevens' mark broke a 23 year-old record while Pressley's topped the mark set in 2001. The other two records came from Amy Hastings in the 5,000m run and Ryan Warrenburg in the 3,000m run (see above).
Women's throwers Sarah Stevens and Jessica Pressley recorded the first automatic qualifiers for the team while competing at the Air Force Invitational as they punched their tickets to the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships with throws of 17.52m in the shot put and 21.39m in the weight throw, respectively. Both marks are school records. Three weeks ago, Amy Hastings joined the duo with an automatic qualifier of her own as she earned a national berth in the 5,000m run with a time of 15:45.45. At the MPSF Championships, three more automatics were added with Jacquelyn Johnson scoring 4,207 points in the pentathlon, Jenna Kingma running 9:13.19 in the 3,000m run and Victoria Jackson running 16:03.15 in the 5,000m run.
OLD MARK BROKEN
Leslie Deniz set the school record in the women's indoor shot put with a heave of 17.03m back in 1983. Three years later, current Sun Devil thrower Sarah Stevens was born. Twenty years after her birth, Stevens bumped Deniz' mark to the No. 2 position after winning the Air Force Invitational with a toss of 17.52m and breaking the 23 year-old record. Deniz' mark also fell during the last outdoor season as Jessica Pressley recorded a toss of 17.05m to break the 22 year-old mark of 17.03m.
At the end of the 2005 track and field season, 10 women and 10 men earned Academic All-Pac-10 honors, including eight student-athletes (three women and five men) earning first team accolades. Following the 2005 cross country season, 17 total athletes (nine women and eight men) attained the same honor from the conference with three women and four men earning first team accolades. Kal Clark and Jennifer Kowacz were both selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII First Team with Kowacz then earning ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team.
QUICK REVIEW: 2005 CROSS COUNTRY
The Arizona State harriers turned in another fine season of competition as both the men and women advanced to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The women, led by Amy Hastings and her third cross country All-America honor in a row, finished fourth overall, earning the first trophy finish (Top 4) at a national meet for the program. This all came after the women finished as runners-up to Stanford, the 2005 national champion, in both the Pac-10 and NCAA West Region meets. The men, hit hard by injuries, continued to fight to finish 17th at the national meet following a third-place finish in the regional race and fifth-place at the conference meet. Casey Burchill and Ryan Warrenburg led the men all season and will look to help carry the load on the track as well.
NEXT TIME OUT
The outdoor track and field season gets underway for the Sun Devils next weekend as they are set to host their first of three home meets in 2006 with the Baldy Castillo Invitational taking place March 17-18 on Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium.