Whiting Sets Collegiate Shot Put Record while Winning NCAA Title

March 14, 2008


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Ryan Whiting won the men's shot put national title with a collegiate record mark to highlight the first day of action at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships for the Arizona State University track and field team Friday in Fayetteville, Ark., with both teams in striking distance for national team titles. Along with Whiting's victory, the each team also earned a second-place finish in an event to put the Sun Devils in contention.

As a team, the men have accumulated 19 points and sit in third place with Florida State leading with 26 points and Tennessee in second with 20. On the women's side, the defending national champion Sun Devils have scored 15 points and are in fifth place, just three points out of first as Michigan leads with 18 points while Texas, Mississippi and Virginia Tech are all tied for second with 16 points.

Whiting's shot put competition set the tone early as he took the lead in the first flight at 21.12m before Russ Winger of Idaho took over at 21.29m in the second flight. In the finals, Winger held the lead until there were two throws remaining (one for Whiting and one for Winger) when Whiting launched his mark of 21.73m (71-03.50) to take the lead for good. While capturing his first national title, Whiting also broke a collegiate record older than him as he over-took the all-time mark previously held by Stanford's Terry Albritton, who hit a toss of 21.50m (70-06.50) in 1977.

Before Whiting's impressive throws, three women competed in the weight throw with Jessica Pressley taking second overall with her school-record toss and 16th-best all-time of 22.04m (72-03.75), bettering her previous record of 21.39m (70-02.25) in 2006. Also in the event, Sarah Stevens advanced to the finals, but did not score as she placed ninth with a best of 20.32m (66-08.00). Tai Battle finished 16th at 18.30m (60-00.50).

The men also picked up a runner-up finish in an event as the team of Joey Heller, Justin Kremer, Nectaly Barbosa and Kyle Alcorn ran 9:32.49 to take second in the distance medley relay. Entering the meet ranked fourth, the group stayed in the hunt through the first three legs of the race, hanging in the middle of the pack before Alcorn charged late in the final leg of the race (the mile) and nearly edged Texas at the line as the Longhorns ran 9:32.04.

Back in the field events, Jacquelyn Johnson competed in a pair of finals, scoring in one as she took fifth in the long jump with a mark of 6.31m (20-08.50) while teammate Stephanie Garnett placed just behind her in sixth place with a leap of 6.30m (20-08.00). Johnson also competed in the high jump, placing ninth with a clearance of 1.80m (5-10.75). The men's long jump was also contested with Matt Turner placing eighth with a leap of 7.83m (25-08.25).

On the track, the duo of Joel Phillip and Jimmie Gordon qualified for the final of the 400m dash with Phillip turning the sixth-best time of 46.83 while Gordon was eighth in 47.14, the final qualifier in the event. In the women's 200m dash, Charonda Williams ran 24.07 in the preliminary rounds, placing 15th overall and not advancing to the final.

The Sun Devils will continue their respective quests for national titles Saturday with several men and women competing, including defending national champions Johnson (pentathlon and heptathlon), Stevens (indoor shot put), Pressley (outdoor shot put) and April Kubishta (outdoor pole vault).

NCAA Indoor Championships - Day 1
Men's Shot Put - Final
1. Ryan Whiting - 21.73m (71-03.50) - NCAA Champion & Collegiate Record

Women's Weight Throw - Final
2. Jessica Pressley - 22.04m (72-03.75)
9. Sarah Stevens - 20.32m (66-08.00)
16. Tai Battle - 18.30m (60-00.50)

Women's High Jump - Final
t-9. Jacquelyn Johnson - 1.80m (5-10.75)

Men's 400m Dash - Prelims
6. Joel Phillip - 46.83 - advances to final
8. Jimmie Gordon - 47.14 - advances to final

Men's Long Jump - Final
8. Matt Turner - 7.83m (25-08.25)

Women's Long Jump - Final
5. Jacquelyn Johnson - 6.31m (20-08.50)
6. Stephanie Garnett - 6.30m (20-08.00)

Women's 200m Dash - Prelims
15. Charonda Williams - 24.07 - does not advance

Men's Distance Medley Relay - Final
2. Arizona State - 9:32.49
Joey Heller, Justin Kremer, Nectaly Barbosa, Kyle Alcorn

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