Two Road Meets Await Sun Devil Track & Field

March 29, 2006

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TEMPE, Ariz. - After playing host to two meets in a row, the Arizona State University track and field team will return to being the visitors this weekend as it divides its ranks for a pair of meets on the road. Several members of the Sun Devil distance corps will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invitational on Friday and Saturday while the remaining members of the squad set for action this weekend will travel south to Tucson for the Arizona International on Saturday.

Both Jacquelyn Johnson and Joshua Kinnaman fared well in their first outdoor combined events meet following All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships three weeks ago. Both competed in the Jim Click Combined Events meet at Arizona with Johnson winning the heptathlon with 5,797 points and Kinnaman placing fourth overall and second among collegiate competitors in the decathlon with 7,331 points. Johnson's point total not only won the meet by nearly 400 points, but also automatically qualified her for the NCAA Outdoor Championships while Kinnaman's point total is a provisional qualifier.

The point totals recorded in the combined events by Jacquelyn Johnson and Joshua Kinnaman rank highly in the collegiate standings with Johnson leading the nation while Kinnaman stands second overall. Internationally, the duo also holds places in the Top 20 with Johnson coming in at No. 13 and Kinnaman 18th. Johnson also is the top American at any age level on the list while Kinnaman is third.

Johnson's heptathlon mark is not the only national leader so far this season. The men's 4x400m relay of Jerry Jones, Chris Adams, Domenik Peterson and Jimmie Gordon clocked a 3:06.82 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational two weeks ago.

Over the weekend, 13 women's marks and five men's marks met the NCAA Regional standards. On the women's side, Jacquelyn Johnson recorded two marks, both while competing in the heptathlon in Tucson, as she met the mark in the 100m hurdles and high jump. Jessica Pressley and Sarah Stevens also earned regional berths in a pair of events as both punched their tickets in the hammer and discus competitions. Other Sun Devils meeting the standards included Christina Hardeman (400m dash), Latosha Wallace (400m hurdles), Jenna Kingma (1,500m run), Victoria Jackson (1,500m run), Brooke Bennett (3,000m steeplechase), April Kubishta (pole vault) and the 4x400m relay of Shauntel Elcock, Hardeman, Jordan Durham and Wallace. On the men's side, regional standards were met by 1,500m runners Ryan Warrenburg and Aaron Aguayo, Brandon Glenn (pole vault), Tomas Navarro (discus) and the 4x100m relay of Steven Koehnemann, Domenik Peterson, Jimmie Gordon and Kelvin Love Jr.

The women's 4x400m relay team of Shauntel Elcock, Christina Hardeman, Jordan Durham and Latosha Wallace not only qualified for the NCAA West Region meet with their time of 3:39.53, they also set the meet record for the ASU Invitational.

TOP 10
The women came away from the ASU Invitational with 10 marks earning a place on the school's all-time Top 10 lists, including Sarah Stevens with two. Stevens improved her second-place ranking in the hammer with a toss of 63.17m (207-3) while moving into eighth in the discus at 51.63m (169-5). Sara Shisslak joined her in the hammer in sixth with her toss of 53.69m (176-2). Also in the field, a trio of athletes in the pole vault also placed their names on the list with April Kubishta sitting third at 3.80m (12-05.50) and Alana Waterford and Carly Geitler tying for fifth with a clearance of 3.49m (11-05.25). Jacquelyn Johnson rounded out the field events with her sixth-best clearance of 1.77m in the high jump. On the track, Latosha Wallace is sixth in the 400m hurdles at 58.70 while Jenna Kingma took over the 10th spot in the 1,500m run at 4:25.87 and Brooke Bennett secured the sixth spot in the 3,000m steeplechase in 10:35.43.

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, including six women and both men's entrants. For the women, Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon), Amy Hastings (5,000m), Victoria Jackson (5,000m), Jenna Kingma (3,000m), Sarah Stevens (shot put) and Stephanie Garnett (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.

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).

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.

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.

One road meet awaits the Sun Devils next weekend as they will travel to Austin, Texas, for the Texas Relays on April 7-8 hosted by the University of Texas.

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