ASU Track & Field Splits Squad for Meets in Oregon, Iowa

April 24, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. - Following a weekend off from competition, the Arizona State University track and field program will send athletes out to a pair of meets this weekend as members of the team are set to compete in the 99th Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, as well as the Oregon Relays in Eugene, Ore. Both meets will be held Friday and Saturday at their respective venues.

Both meets this weekend will be the host sites of two important meets later on this season that the Sun Devils hope to fare well in. First up will be the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, the site of the Drake Relays, with Eugene hosting the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field in late June and early July.

When the Sun Devils take to the tracks in both Eugene and Des Moines on Friday, the team and University will be just two weeks out from playing host to the 2008 Pac-10 Track & Field Championships presented by 76 Gasoline in Tempe. On May 9-10, the women's heptathlon and men's decathlon will be contested at Sun Angel Stadium to open the championships with the remaining events of the meet being held one week later (May 16-17).

Fans can purchase their tickets to one of the top collegiate conference meets in the nation by visiting the home of the ASU ticket office online at Tickets for the championships will be $15 for general admission and $13 for juniors (18 and younger)/seniors (60 and older) for single-session (single-day passes) while full session passes (both Friday and Saturday included) are $20 for general admission and $18 for juniors/seniors. Tickets will also be available at the entrance to Sun Angel Stadium on both days of competition (May 16-17). Admission to the heptathlon/decathlon weekend is free.

The latest national team rankings were released April 23 with both the Sun Devil women and men earning placement among the Top 10. The women remained second in the rankings behind LSU for the second week in a row while the men are eighth this week as LSU leads the men's rankings.

According to the latest order lists compiled by the NCAA, the Sun Devil women have nine marks that rank in the scoring positions (Top 8) while the men have five in the Top 8. For the women, Jacquelyn Johnson leads the way with the top point total in the heptathlon while the throwing trio of Sarah Stevens, Jessica Pressley and Tai Battle account for six of the remaining top marks. Stevens is fourth in the discus and third in the hammer; Pressley is fourth in the shot put, fifth in the discus and fourth in the hammer while Battle stands eighth in the discus. Stephanie Garnett (long jump) and the 4x400m relay are both ranked eighth for the women as well. For the men, Matt Turner leads the way as he stands second in the long jump while Joel Phillip is third in the 400m dash. Also among the Top 8 are Ryan Whiting (fifth in the discus), Brad Roth (eighth in the javelin) and the 4x400m relay (eighth).

Four current men and one woman are among the Top 20 on the world lists while one man and one woman that formerly competed for the Sun Devils also are on the lists. For the women, Jacquelyn Johnson is first in the world in the heptathlon while former Devil Latosha Wallace is 12th in the 400m hurdles. On the men's side, current competitors on the list include Joel Phillip (seventh in the 400m dash), Matt Turner (14th in the long jump and 16th in the high jump) and Ryan Whiting (20th in the discus). Former Sun Devil Dwight Phillips is currently ranked tied for second in the long jump.

The Sun Devils recorded several top performances at the 29th Sun Angel Track Classic two weeks ago as eight women's marks and five men's marks rank among the Top 10 all-time in ASU history. The women recorded marks in four running events, including both relays, and four in the field events while the men picked up marks in one running event and four field events.

At the Sun Angel Track Classic two weeks ago, junior Sarah Stevens broke her own school record in the hammer throw, tossing the implement 66.52m (218-03). Her mark currently ranks third in the nation and places her sixth on the all-time Pac-10 ledger.

One of the fastest events of the Sun Angel was the men's 400m dash that produced two of the top three times in the collegiate ranks so far this year as Jordan Boase of Washington won in 44.82 and Sun Devil Joel Phillip turned in a time of 45.34, the ninth-best time in school history.

The women's relays both recorded fast times at the Sun Angel Track Classic as both times rank among the Top 10 on the all-time lists in Arizona State history. In the 4x100m relay, the team of Dominique' Maloy, Charonda Williams, Jordan Durham and Shauntel Elcock combined to run 44.66, placing their names at the No. 9 position all-time. To close out the meet, the group of Maloy, Elcock, Durham and Jeavon Benjamin ran 3:33.73 to place their names into the No. 10 position on the lists.

For only the third in program history, a female athlete cleared 4.00m (13-01.50) in competition as Alana Waterford hit that clearance at the Sun Angel Track Classic. Waterford joins record-holder and defending outdoor national champion April Kubishta (4.26m/13-11.75) and second-place Angela Tavlarides (4.10m/13-05.25 in 2005).

The Sun Angel Track Classic also produced a solid day in the hammer throw for the Sun Devils as four athletes (two men and two women) recorded marks good enough to be on in the Top 5 all-time in program history. Already standing first and second on the women's record ledger, Sarah Stevens improved her top mark to 66.52m (218-03) while Jessica Pressley improved her second-place mark to 64.92m (213-00). On the men's side, Tomas Navarro improved upon his third-place ranking with a toss of 62.31m (204-05) while Jason Lewis moved into the Top 5 with his toss of 60.50m (198-06).

The MPSF announced its annual indoor academic honors this week with nine Sun Devil men and seven women earning placement on the list. The men's honorees included Kyle Alcorn, Ben Engelhardt, Andy Haas, Joey Heller, Jeff Helmer, Jeff Helwig, Justin Kremer, Jason Lewis and Ryan Whiting while the women's honorees included Jacquelyn Johnson, Ali Kielty, Jenna Kingma, April Kubishta, D'Metra Macedon, Sarah Stevens and Alana Waterford.

The Sun Devils will return to Tucson next Saturday night as they will face intrastate rivals Arizona and Northern Arizona in the annual Double Dual.

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