ASU Track & Field Plays Host to Baldy Castillo Invite

March 15, 2006

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TEMPE, Ariz. - The 2006 outdoor track and field season gets underway for the Arizona State University program this weekend as the Sun Devils are set to play host to the Baldy Castillo Invitational Friday and Saturday on Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium.

Along with several unattached entrants, the field of competitors for the Baldy Castillo Invitational will be comprised of the following schools: Arizona State, Fordham, Kentucky, Louisville, Manhattan, Northern Arizona, Northern Illinois, Southern Utah, Texas A&M and Western State College.

The meet will run Friday and Saturday, although Friday night will feature just one event, the hammer, which starts at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the field events get underway at noon with the discus while the running events are slated to start at 5:30 p.m. with the short hurdles.

The women's track and field/cross country program has been hot this academic year as the cross country team finished fourth at the NCAA Championships to claim the first trophy for the women's program. Last weekend, the women made history again by finishing third overall at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. That finish was better than the 1991 team's tie for fourth place.

Although the team finished with the bronze medal in the team standings, two individual Sun Devil women won gold in the respective events to claim the program's first national titles since the 1992 indoor season. Amy Hastings won the individual title in the 5,000m run on the first day of the meet before Jacquelyn Johnson took home the title in the pentathlon.

The titles won by Amy Hastings and Jacquelyn Johnson marked the first time in program history that a national title in an indoor distance event and an indoor multi-event had been captured. Hastings' crown is the second distance title ever and the first since 1959 when Alex Henderson won the school's first NCAA title by taking the men's two mile run. The multi-event crown had been won three other times in school history with Dana Collins winning the outdoor pentathlon in 1977 (the first women's national title) before Gea Johnson in 1990 and Jacquelyn Johnson in 2004 won the outdoor heptathlon. All told, the women have now won seven individual and one relay national title indoors while adding 10 individual and three relay crowns outdoor. The men, despite not having won an indoor title, have collected 13 individual and one relay national championship, as well as the 1977 team title.

Eight Sun Devils earned All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships over the weekend, including six women and both men's entrants. For the women, Jacquelyn Johnson (penathlon), Amy Hastings (5,000m), Victoria Jackson (5,000m), Jenna Kingma (3,000m), Sarah Stevens (shot put) and Jessica Pressley (weight throw) all attained the honor while Joshua Kinnaman (heptathlon) and Ryan Zimmerman (triple jump).

In the history of the women's track & field/cross country program, Amy Hastings has earned the eighth-most All-America honors with six after capturing three in indoor track and field and three in cross country (the only Sun Devil to do so). Jacquelyn Johnson is tied for 17th with a handful of others after earning her third career accolade (two indoor, one outdoor).

NCAA champions Amy Hastings and Jacquelyn Johnson added to their successful careers over the weekend by winning their first and second titles, respectively. Hastings, who became the first Sun Devil to win a distance event national title in track, also is the only ASU cross country runner to ever win the Pac-10 title, doing so in 2004. Johnson, the national runner-up indoors in 2004, also won the outdoor heptathlon in 2004 before redshirting last year to compete on the ASU basketball team.

Several of the Sun Devils that attained All-America honors over the weekend earned the award for the first times in their careers. That list includes Victoria Jackson, Jenna Kingma, Sarah Stevens and Joshua Kinnaman.

Two Sun Devils finished the indoor season with marks ranking highly on the world lists in 2006. Amy Hastings' time of 15:45.45 in the 5,000m run was sixth overall this season while Jessica Pressley ranked 10th in the world in the weight throw at 21.39m.

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.

During the indoor season, five school records were broken 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.

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.

Both the men and women recorded four school records during the outdoor season one year ago, including two relay marks. On the women's side, Amy Hastings took over the top spot in the 10,000m run with her time of 33:19.32 while Angela Tavlarides cleared 4.10m (13-5.25) to become the first Sun Devil to clear 13 feet outdoors. Jessica Pressley, in her first outdoor season with the team, set the standard in the shot put at 17.05m (55-11.25), breaking a 22-year old record before becoming the first ASU woman to break the 200-foot barrier in the hammer with her record toss of 63.51m (208-4). The men saw Aaron Aguayo set the mark in the 3,000m steeplechase (8:38.16) and the 5,000m run (13:49.11), beating out Todd Lewis in both categories 13 and 15 years later, respectively. In the relays, the team of Steven Koehnemann, Domenik Peterson, Seth Amoo and Kelvin Love, Jr., ran a 38.71 4x100m relay to break the 26-year old record of 38.78 set in 1979 by Ron Brown, LaMonte King, Greg Moore and Dwayne Evans. Amoo and Peterson joined Rich Allen and Lewis Banda in setting the 4x400m relay mark as the four men combined to finish second in the nation with a blistering time of 3:00.57.

Four men and two women return to the track this season after winning Pac-10 titles one year ago while one other woman returns after a redshirt season. For the men, two-time 3,000m steeplechase champion Aaron Aguayo is back and will look for his third title in a row while Steven Koehnemann (4x100m), Kelvin Love Jr. (4x100m) and Domenik Peterson (4x100m and 4x400m) round out the returning men. On the women's side, Christina Hardeman is the lone returning member of the championship 4x100m relay of one year ago while Anna Masinelli is back following her victory in the steeplechase last year. Two years ago, Jacquelyn Johnson won gold twice as she was crowned champion in the heptathlon and the high jump during the 2004 season.

Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium has served as the home of Arizona State track and field since 1976 and has seen its share of successful athletes participate in events on its surfaces. Olympic champions, such as Dwight Phillips (2004 long jump) and Nick Hysong (2000 pole vault), and both team and individual national champions have called the 5,000-plus seat venue home. Most recently, Jacquelyn Johnson was the newest addition to the list as she won the 2004 NCAA Heptathlon title. Sun Angel Stadium also plays host to at least four ASU events each season, culminating with the prestigious Sun Angel Classic presented by Coca-Cola. Entering its 27th year, the Classic features come of the top collegiate programs in the nation each year.

The outdoor track and field season continues for the Sun Devils with a pair of competitions on the slate. The first will come March 23-24 as several members of the team head to Tucson for the Arizona Multis. Then, on March 24-25, the Sun Devils will play host to the Arizona State Invitational at Sun Angel Stadium.

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