Sun Devil Track & Field Heads to Flagstaff for Mt. T

Feb. 1, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - Following a weekend that saw one automatic and six provisional national berths attained, the Arizona State University track and field team will head to Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University for the Mountain 'T' Invitational Friday and Saturday inside the Walkup Skydome.

The Mountain 'T' Invitational will feature a collection of schools of various levels, including Arizona State, Arizona, Northern Arizona, UNLV, San Diego State, Southern Utah, Scottsdale CC, Paradise Valley CC, Mesa CC, Dine College and Phoenix College.

The USTFCCCA released its first national rankings of the season and, based upon the votes of 35 coaches representing every Division I conference in the nation, the Sun Devil women were selected No. 1 while the men were selected No. 16. In the Trackwire Top 25 rankings, the women slipped one position to No. 3 while the men fell from the Top 25 in the rankings based upon projected individual finishes at the national meet.

Several Sun Devils are on the NCAA descending order lists this week with three holding positions in the Top 4 nationally. On the women's side, April Kubishta has cleared 4.17m and is tied with three others for the national lead in the pole vault while Sarah Stevens is on top of the women's shot put list as her mark of 17.86m is over one meter more than the second-highest qualifier. On the men's side, Ryan Whiting's shot put mark of 19.19m ranks as the third-best in the nation so far this season while it also makes him the only freshman on the list of 18 that have met qualifying standards in 2007.

For the second weekend in a row and the sixth time in two years, April Kubishta cleared another record bar in the pole vault, this time topping 4.17m (13-08.25) to improve her own school record by two centimeters, set one week prior at the 2007 National Pole Vault Summit in Reno. Kubishta cleared her record height while winning the Dan DeHart Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., on January 26 and moved into a tie for the national lead on the women's NCAA list.

While competing in the Dan DeHart Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., last weekend, five Sun Devils won their respective events to help the men place second in the team race and the women fifth. On the men's side, Matt Turner jumped 7.60m (24-11.25) to win the long jump event while Ryan Whiting collected a mark of 19.19m (62-11.50) in his shot put victory. Domenik Peterson was the final male winner as he clocked a 21.46 to take the 200m dash. On the women's side, April Kubishta's school record clearance of 4.17m (13-08.25) won the pole vault while Sarah Stevens secured the shot put victory with her national-leading toss of 17.86m (58-7.25).

In the first meet of the season, the Dan DeHart Invitational, the Sun Devils posted one automatic qualifier on the women's side as Sarah Stevens earned her ticket to the NCAA Indoor Championships in the shot put. Stevens won the shot put with a toss of 17.86m (58-7.25) and is the national leader in the event by more than one meter.

Three other women and three men each attained provisional qualifying status into the NCAA meet with their performances over the weekend as well. On the women's side, April Kubishta made the list in the pole vault with her clearance of 4.17m (13-08.25) as did Jessica Pressley in the weight throw with her mark of 19.10m (62-08.00). Jacquelyn Johnson rounded out the women's provisional qualifiers with her 3,855 points scored in the pentathlon at the Roger Cox Multis. The men saw Matt Turner qualify in the long jump with his leap of 7.60m (24-11.25) while Ryan Whiting made the list in the shot put with his mark of 19.19m (62-11.50). Joshua Kinnaman rounded out the qualifiers for the men as his 5,408 points earned him a provisional berth in the heptathlon.

Two women and three men recorded marks good enough to make it on Arizona State's all-time indoor Top 5 lists over the weekend. On the women's side, freshman Jasmine Chaney ran 8.85 in the 60m hurdles to record the fifth-fastest time in school history while April Kubishta's clearance of 4.17m (13-08.25) in the pole vault is No. 1 all-time. On the men's side, Marquis Profit improved upon his third-fastest time in the 60m hurdles to 8.16 while Ryan Whiting (fourth in the shot put) and Jason Lewis (third in the weight throw), both freshmen, moved into the Top 5 in their respective throwing events.

The Trackwire D12 ranks individuals in each of the contested events and this week, two individual men, seven individual women and two women's relays appear on the Dandy Dozen. For the men, Ryan Whiting is ranked third in the shot put and Matt Turner is ranked eighth in the long jump. Along with the women's 4x400m (12th) and distance medley (11th) relays, the women have No. 1 Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon), No. 2 Amy Hastings (5,000m), No. 2 April Kubishta (pole vault), No. 2 Sarah Stevens (shot put), No. 6 Jessica Pressley (shot put), No. 7 Jenna Kingma (3,000m) and No. 11 Pressley (weight throw).

The recent success the women's program has enjoyed has been helped along by the strong individual accomplishments of Jacquelyn Johnson and Amy Hastings, Arizona State's returning NCAA champions. Johnson, who entered last season as the 2004 NCAA heptathlon champ, captured both the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon crowns while Hastings won the indoor 5,000m run for her first title. The duo has combined to earn 11 All-America honors with Hastings recording seven individual national honors and Johnson four.

A pair of men return to the track this season after earning All-America honors last year with both bringing two awards with them. Joshua Kinnaman returns after earning the national acclaim in the indoor heptathlon before securing All-America honors in the outdoor decathlon later in the year. Aguayo comes to the track after earning All-America status in the outdoor 3,000m steeplechase before finishing ninth to claim the honor at the most recent NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Six women return this season after earning All-America honors in 2006, including four women that earned the acclaim in indoor and outdoor events. Indoors, Jacquelyn Johnson and Amy Hastings won national titles in the pentathlon and 5,000m run, respectively to earn their awards while Jenna Kingma earned her honor in the 3,000m run. In the field, Stephanie Garnett was an All-American in the long jump while Sarah Stevens earned the honor in the shot put. Outdoors, Johnson again won the national title (heptathlon) while Hastings (10,000m run) and Kingma (5,000m run) also earned All-America status. Stevens added another honor in the shot put while Jessica Pressley was the only Sun Devil to double during the championships, earning All-America status in both the discus and shot put events.

At the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, seven women combined to score 30 points to help the team place third in the overall standings. This year, six of those seven women return, accounting for 29 of the 30 points scored. The lone loss came in Victoria Jackson (graduation) who placed eighth in the 5,000m run to earn one team point. The team's finish marked the highest ever for the program and also earned it's first trophy.

For only the second time in NCAA women's history, one program finished in the Top 4 at the cross country championships, indoor track & field championships and the outdoor track & field championships to earn a trophy in each of the three major events in the same academic year. The first was Tennessee during the 1982-83 season with the second coming last year from the Sun Devil program. After placing fourth at the cross country meet, the women place third at the indoor track & field meet before closing out the campaign in a tie for fourth outdoors.

With 154 points, the Sun Devil women edged Stanford (151.5) for their first Pac-10 Championship at the meet held in Eugene, Ore. The Sun Devils had five individual champions, including Jacquelyn Johnson in the heptathlon, Victoria Jackson in the 5,000m run, Amy Hastings in the 10,000m run, Sarah Stevens in the shot put and Brooke Bennett in the 3,000m steeplechase. The conference crown is the first for the women's program and the first since the men captured the 1981 Pac-10 title.

Two Sun Devil women earned several awards from the USTFCCCA at the end of the season with one coming in the academic sector. Jacquelyn Johnson was tabbed as the USTFCCCA Women's West District Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year before being named as the USTFCCCA Women's Co-National Field Athlete of the Year. The academic honor went to Victoria Jackson who was named the USTFCCCA Women's Division I Outdoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

All the individual and team success the Sun Devil women enjoyed in 2006 also translated into recognition for their coaches. Head Coach Greg Kraft was honored as the 2006 Pac-10 Women's Coach of the Year before earning the USTFCCCA Women's West District Coach of the Year. A pair of Kraft's assistants, throws coach David Dumble and distance/cross country coach Louie Quintana, also earned recognition, both regionally and nationally. Dumble was named the USTFCCCA West District and USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year (women's throws) while Quintana earned the same honors for women's distance.

In his final cross country race, Aaron Aguayo made sure he went out in style as he placed ninth overall at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., covering the 10,000m course in 31:06.60. His placement not only earned him his second All-America honor in the sport, it also marked the highest finish for a Sun Devil male in the meet. The previous best came from Todd Lewis when he finished 11th in the 1991 Championships. The highest finish ever in the program came from Lisa Aguilera during the 2000 meet when she placed fifth overall.

Its off to a trio of meets next weekend for the Sun Devils as different event groups will travel to one of three meets: the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, or the Washington Invitational in Seattle. All three meets will be held on Feb. 9-10.

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