Track & Field Set to Host Baldy Castillo Invitational

March 14, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. The Arizona State University track and field program, coming off one of the more historic weekends in school history, will open its 2007 outdoor season this weekend as the program is set to play host to the Baldy Castillo Invitational Friday night and all day Saturday at Sun Angel Stadium. Eight schools and several unattached athletes will comprise the field in the first of four home meets scheduled for ASU this spring.

Arizona State will be joined by representatives from Fordham, Louisville, New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Northern Illinois, Washington State and Western State this weekend at the Baldy Castillo Invitational.

The hammer throw will be the only event held Friday with the women opening things with their competition at 5 p.m. and the men to follow. Saturday's events open at noon with the women's discus while the running events start at 5:30 p.m. with the 100m hurdles.

Over the weekend, the Arizona State women scored 38 points and captured their first national team crown by winning the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. The title, the first for the University since the women's golf team in 1998, is the second in track and field history at ASU after the men captured the 1977 outdoor crown under the direction of legendary Sun Devil coach Senon 'Baldy' Castillo.

The Sun Devil women opened the season as the No. 1 team in the nation according to the USTFCCCA poll and ended the season that way as well with their crown. The top-ranking during the season was the first in program history, as was the title won.

For the second NCAA indoor meet and the third NCAA track & field event in a row, the Sun Devil women captured two individual championships. This year, Jacquelyn Johnson successfully defended her 2006 pentathlon crown while Sarah Stevens won her first national title by capturing the shot put. Last year, Johnson was joined by Amy Hastings, the winner of the 5,000m run. Outdoors last year, Johnson won her second heptathlon crown while Victoria Jackson took home gold in the 10,000m run.

Four women earned six total All-America honors over the weekend with both Amy Hastings and Sarah Stevens earning two accolades each. Stevens won the shot put and placed fifth in the weight throw to earn All-America status while Hastings was fourth in the 5,000m run and sixth in the 3,000m event. Jacquelyn Johnson (pentathlon) and Jessica Pressley (shot put) also earned their honors by placing among the Top 8 as they finished first and third, respectively.

All four men that competed in the NCAA Championships earned All-America honors, led by the third-place finish of Ryan Whiting in the shot put. Matt Turner finished seventh in the long jump and Joshua Kinnaman took eighth place in the heptathlon for the second year in a row to garner their awards while Aaron Aguayo earned the honor in the 3,000m run. Aguayo, who placed 10th overall in the race, was the seventh American to finish.

With their honors attained, several Sun Devils moved up the all-time All-American list in Sun Devil history. Aaron Aguayo received his fifth honor, moving him in to a tie for ninth all-time on the men's list while four women climbed higher as well. Amy Hastings received accolades eight and nine to move into a tie for second all-time and one All-America honor away from tying Maicel Malone for the most all-time. Jacquelyn Johnson (five), Jessica Pressley (four) and Sarah Stevens (three) are tied for 12th, 15th and 19th, respectively.

A trio of Sun Devils were honored with regional accolades Tuesday (March 6) as members of the program swept the women's West Region awards announced by the USTFCCCA. Head Coach Greg Kraft was selected as the 2007 West Region Women's Coach of the Year while Sarah Stevens and Amy Hastings were selected for the Women's Field and Women's Track Athlete of the Year honors, respectively. One week later, Kraft was honored as the 2007 USTFCCCA National Women's Coach of the Year.

Arizona State's women have brought home trophies in numerous meets throughout the past 16 months, including national trophies at the 2005 NCAA Cross Country Championships (fourth), the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships (third), the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships (fourth) and the recent indoor NCAA meet (first). On the conference level, the women have earned crowns in the 2006 Pac-10 Outdoor Track & Field Championships while adding a 2007 MPSF Indoor Championship two weeks ago.

While several Sun Devils competed in last chance indoor meets two weeks ago, several members of the sprinting corps hit the outdoor surface in Tucson to start their outdoor season. For the women, Jasmine Chaney competed in the hurdles and won both the 100m and 400m events. On the men's side, Kelvin Love Jr. (20.91 in the 200m) and Jimmie Gordon (47.13 in the 400m) both qualified for the regional meet while winning their respective events. Love Jr. and Rodney Glass tied for the victory in the 100m dash while Marquis Profit was the final runner, finishing third in the 400m dash.

As of March 14, three men and four women with ties to the Sun Devil program have marks ranking them on the World Indoor Top 20. For the men, Marcus Brunson is No. 1 in the 60m dash (6.46) while Trevell Quinley ranks ninth in the long jump (8.07m) and Ryan Whiting is tied for 20th in the shot put (20.01m). For the women, current Sun Devil Sarah Stevens is ranked in two events, standing ninth in the weight throw (21.16m) and 13th in the shot put (18.16m) while Amy Hastings is seventh in the 5,000m run (15:30.17) and Jacquelyn Johnson is 17th in the pentathlon (4,393). Former Sun Devil Victoria Jackson is 13th in the 5,000m (15:57.18).

Two weeks ago, the Sun Devils headed to Seattle and competed in the MPSF Indoor Championships on the Washington campus. Overall, the women scored 135 points to capture the team championship, snapping Stanford's four-year winning streak, while the ASU men placed fourth (79 points). The women also won six individual crowns, including Latosha Wallace (400m), Amy Hastings (3,000m), the 4x400m relay of Wallace, Bridgette Williams, Shauntel Elcock and Jacquelyn Johnson, April Kubishta (pole vault), Sarah Stevens (shot put and weight throw) and Johnson (pentathlon). The men recorded a pair of victories in the meet with Domenik Peterson winning the 400m dash and Ryan Whiting taking the shot.

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.

Competing in his first NCAA event and the only freshman in the field, Ryan Whiting turned in a solid debut as he recorded a personal best and school-record toss of 20.01m. His mark, at the time, was the leader in the event before two others passed him in the later rounds. This is the second time Whiting has set the school mark this season.

En route to winning her second indoor national title, Jacquelyn Johnson also turned in a pair of personal bests. In the shot put, her throw of 12.83m (42-01.25) was a two-foot personal best while her time of 2:13.52 bettered her previous best of 2:17.74.

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.

Four former Sun Devils competed at the 2007 USA Indoor Championships in Boston on February 25 with one winning a championship crown. Trevell Quinley won the men's long jump with a top mark of 8.03m while Marcus Brunson (60m dash) and Lisa Galaviz (3,000m run) both finished as runners-up in their respective events with times of 6.58 and 9:10.75, respectively. Vince Mosca competed in the men's shot put, placing seventh overall with a mark of 19.33m.

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. She was later added to the roster for the world team after several women withdrew.

When Kari Hardt, Mary Duerbeck and Fasil Bizuneh compete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March, they will become the second, third and fourth 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.

After making the world team, Fasil Bizuneh went to work on training for the March 24 meet by winning the NACAC Cross Country Championships held March 3 in Clermont, Fla. Bizuneh covered the course in a record-time of 24:46 as the Americans won the team race with all four runners placing in the Top 4 positions.

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 this season, it also earned her an automatic into the NCAA Championships.

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. He is the first Sun Devil to surpass 65 feet in competition.

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.

Two Sun Devil women earned several awards from the USTFCCCA at the end of the 2006 outdoor 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.

A pair of meets await the Sun Devils next weekend as several members of the team will travel to Tucson to compete in the Jim Click Multis on March 22-23 while the remaining members of the team will stay home and compete in the ASU Clif Bar Invitational on March 23-24.

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