Track & Field Heads to MPSF Indoor Championships

Feb. 21, 2007

Notes in pdf format

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University track and field team will head to the Dempsey Indoor Center on the Washington campus this weekend as the Sun Devils are set to compete in the 2007 MPSF Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday and Saturday in Seattle, Wash. The event will crown both team and event champions with nine men's and 10 women's teams from both the Pac-10 and Big West set to compete.

The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) meet this weekend will feature athletes from 10 different institutions. On the men's side, Arizona State, Arizona, California, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Washington and Washington State from the Pac-10 will be joined by Long Beach State while the women's field will be comprised of all nine teams from the men's field with the addition of entrants from UC Irvine.

Four women's and three men's teams enter the MPSF Championships this weekend ranked in the latest USTFCCCA National Top 20 including five of the seven ranked teams holding positions in the Top 10. On the women's side, No. 1 Arizona State leads the way with No. 5 Stanford, No. 16 Washington State and No. 20 Oregon following the Sun Devils while the men's side has No. 5 Washington, No. 6 Stanford and No. 8 Oregon.

At the 2006 MPSF event, the Sun Devil women scored 115 points to finish second overall and the men placed sixth overall with 66 points scored at the meet held in Seattle. Each gender recorded four titles with the women's victories coming from Christina Hardeman (400m), Victoria Jackson (5,000m), Sarah Stevens (shot put) and Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon) while the men saw Domenik Peterson (200m), Ryan Zimmerman (triple jump), Joshua Kinnaman (heptathlon) and the 4x400m relay of Jerry Jones, Peterson, Chris Adams and Jimmie Gordon for the men.

Of the seven individual crowns won last year, four return to the meet this year and will look to defend their crowns. In the women's meet, Sarah Stevens will look for her second shot put title in a row while Jacquelyn Johnson will seek her second pentathlon title. The men will see Domenik Peterson try to defend his 200m crown while Joshua Kinnaman will seek to do the same in the heptathlon. The men also will field a 4x400m relay and try to win the race for the second year in a row.

Following the 2006 meet, the Sun Devils have combined to win 20 individual and five relay crowns in the seven MPSF Championships they have participated in. The women lead the way with 11 individual titles and three relay crowns while the men have secured nine individual titles and two relay victories.

Since 1993, the MPSF Championships have been held throughout the west with meets conducted in Flagstaff, Ariz., Reno, Nev., and Seattle, Wash. Dating back to 1997, the Sun Devils have been a part of seven championships with the 2006 meet marking a return to the MPSF for Arizona State after not competing in the event since 2002. In those seven meets, the men's best finish came at the 1999 meet with a third-place finish while the women, who also finished third in 1999, posted their highest placement of second last year.

Three records for the MPSF Championships are held by Sun Devil athletes, including two that were set last year. In the first meet that featured the multi-events, Jacquelyn Johnson won the women's pentathlon in 2006 with a record 4,207 points while Joshua Kinnaman's 5,603 total is the record in the heptathlon. Marcus Brunson holds the 55m dash mark with a blistering 6.06 run at the 1999 meet in Reno.

On the final performance lists for the MPSF, two men and five women hold the top marks in their respective events heading into the championship meet this weekend. For the men, Aaron Aguayo holds the top 3,000m run time in 7:59.39 while Ryan Whiting is tops in the shot put with his mark of 19.89m. The women have leading marks from Latosha Wallace in the 400m dash (53.67), Amy Hastings in the 5,000m run (15:30.17), Sarah Stevens in both the shot put (17.86m) and weigh throw (20.28m) and April Kubishta in the pole vault (4.30m). Added to this, the women rank 1-2 in three events, including the 5,000m run (Cassie Rios is second in 16:44.40), the shot put (Jessica Pressley is second at 16.70m) and the weight throw (Pressley is second in 20.25m).

While many of the Sun Devils will be competing in Seattle, four former athletes that wore the maroon and gold will take part in the 2007 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston, Mass. Lisa (Aguilera) Galaviz will run in the women's 3,000m event while the men will be represented by Marcus Brunson (60m dash), Trevell Quinley (long jump) and Vince Mosca (shot put).

As of February 20, three men and four women with ties to the Sun Devil track and field program currently are on the world lists in their respective events. For the men, current Sun Devil Ryan Whiting ranks 20th in the shot put (19.89m) while former athletes Marcus Brunson is ranked first in the 60m dash (6.46) while Trevell Quinley is seventh in the world and first among Americans in the long jump (8.07m). On the women's side, three current Sun Devils are ranked with Amy Hastings standing sixth in the 5,000m run (15:30.17), Jessica Pressley is 14th in the weight throw (20.25m) and Sarah Stevens is 14th in the shot put (17.86m) and 12th in the weight throw (20.28m). Former NCAA champion Victoria Jackson is ranked 10th in the 5,000m run (15:57.18) and is the second American on the list.

Along with the three national leaders (Amy Hastings in the 5,000m, April Kubishta in the pole vault and Sarah Stevens in the shot put), the Sun Devil women have six other Top 20 marks, including one other in the scoring position (Top 8). That belongs to Jessica Pressley, who ranks seventh with her mark of 16.70m in the shot put. On the men's side, seven have qualified with Matt Turner's mark of 7.72m in the long jump ranking him seventh, joining him with Ryan Whiting (national leader in the shot put) among the Top 8 in the nation.

The Trackwire D12 ranks individuals in each of the contested events and this week, two individual men and seven individual women appear on the Dandy Dozen. For the men, Ryan Whiting is ranked third in the shot put and Matt Turner is ranked 10th in the long jump. The women have No. 1 Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon), No. 1 April Kubishta (pole vault), No. 1 Sarah Stevens (shot put), No. 1 Amy Hastings (5,000m), No. 5 Jessica Pressley (shot put), and No. 7 Stevens (weight throw).

According the most recent NCAA order lists, four Sun Devils also are ranked No. 1 in the nation in their respective events. On the women's side, April Kubishta's clearance of 4.30m is the top mark in the pole vault so far this year while Sarah Stevens' toss of 17.86m in the shot put is the national leader. Amy Hastings' time of 15:30.17 is also tops in the women's 5,000m run. In the men's shot put, redshirt freshman Ryan Whiting has the top toss with a mark of 19.89m.

At the Husky Classic, Amy Hastings not only broke her own school record in the women's 5,000m run, she also broke a 26 year old America collegiate record in the event. Her time of 15:30.17 bettered her previous school mark of 15:45.45 set last year in the same meet and also was faster than the previous mark of 15:34.5 run by Margaret Groos of Virginia in 1981.

Hastings' American collegiate record in the 5,000m run (15:30.17) at the Husky Classic last weekend made her the third Sun Devil to currently hold an overall and/or American collegiate record. Indoors, she joins the men's 4x400m relay of Jason Barton, Steve Fitch, Seth Amoo and Domenik Peterson who set the mark of 3:03.43 in Ames, Iowa, on March 6, 2004. Another relay holds the collegiate mark on the outdoor surface as the 4x800m squad of Pete Richardson, Eddie Davis, Treg Scott and Mike Stahr ran 7:08.96 on April 7, 1984, in Tempe.

Over the weekend, two NCAA automatic marks were recorded with one each recorded by the men and women. The women saw April Kubishta clear 4.22m to earn an automatic berth in the pole vault while Ryan Whiting hitting 19.56m in the shot put. Both have better automatic marks recorded so far this season.

The throws produced four provisional qualifiers over the weekend with two each coming from the men and women. For the men, Jason Lewis and Tomas Navarro each earned their first NCAA provisional marks of the season in the shot put with tosses of 18.14m and 17.80m, respectively. Jessica Pressley improved her provisional standing in the shot put with her toss of 16.70m while Sarah Stevens added her name to the weight throw list with a mark of 20.28m.

While many members of the team were competing at indoor track meets throughout the nation, several current and former Sun Devils were in Boulder, Colo., to run in the USA Cross Country Championships. Kari Hardt placed third in the women's junior 6k race and former All-American Fasil Bizuneh placed seventh in the men's open 12k race, earning both runners a place on the US teams that will compete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 24 in Kenya. Also competing at the US meet were Mikias Gelagle, who placed 23rd in the junior men's 8k race while Patrick Milloy did not finish in the same race. Former Sun Devil Mary Duerbeck competed in the women's open 8k run, placing 13th overall in the event.

When Kari Hardt and Fasil Bizuneh compete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March, they will become the second and third Sun Devils to compete for the US team, following Amy Hastings, who ran for the American team in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the 2003 event. Hastings clocked a time of 22:34 to finish 20th in the world while placing first among U.S. entrants.

April Kubishta seems to set a school record every time she takes the pole vault runway as she has reset the standard three times this season all ready and seven total times in the past two indoor seasons. Last weekend at the Mountain 'T' Invitational, Kubishta not only broke her own record, she broke a big barrier in school history by becoming the first female to clear 14 feet in competition with her winning mark of 4.30m (14-01.25). Her mark not only is the national leader so far this season, it also earned her an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships next month in Fayetteville, Ark.

In the early months of 1986, Jim Camp set the school record in the men's indoor shot put with his toss of 19.77m (64-10.50), becoming the first Sun Devil to surpass 19 meters. Now, over 20 years later, Camp's record has fallen as Ryan Whiting (who had not been born at the time the record was set) recorded a mark of 19.89m (65-03.25) to etch his name on top of the record book as well as the top of the national lists. The first Sun Devil to surpass 65 feet in competition, Whiting achieved the record in just his second collegiate meet after redshirting last year.

The women's weight throw produced two marks over the weekend that earned a place on the Arizona State All-Time Top 5 Indoor Lists. Sarah Stevens recorded a mark of 20.28m to move into third on the all-time list while Tai Battle's mark of 18.51m is the fourth-best all-time at ASU.

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.

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.

Depending upon this weekend's results, several Sun Devils may hit the road next weekend for one of the certified Last Chance Meets throughout the nation. Those destinations include Seattle, Ames, Iowa, and South Bend, Ind. If not, the next action the Sun Devils would see will come March 9-10 in Fayetteville, Ark., at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

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