Pac-10 Track & Field Champions Crowned

May 17, 2008

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Arizona State's women and Oregon's men each successfully defended their conference titles Saturday at the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships at Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

The Sun Devil women (186.5 points) cruised to their third straight Pac-10 title, as Stanford (117 points) finished second and Oregon (100 points) finished third. The women's standings were rounded out by USC (fourth, 91 points), UCLA (fifth, 80 points), Washington State and California (tied for sixth, 71.5 points), Arizona (eighth, 65 points) and Washington (ninth, 32.5 points).

Oregon's men (144.5 points) held off a late charge from Arizona State (second, 134 points). The Sun Devils had the winners of the last four men's events, but they could not quite catch the Ducks. Rounding out the men's standings were UCLA (third, 108 points), California (fourth, 81.5 points), Stanford (fifth, 79 points), Washington State (sixth, 73.5 points), USC (seventh, 69.5 points), Arizona (eighth, 65 points) and Washington (ninth, 63 points).

The day opened with the men's hammer throw, and UCLA junior Boldizsar Kocsor (68.54 meters) took the top spot. However, Oregon was able to extend its team lead by earning 14 points with three of the top seven finishers, including senior Colin Veldman (66.80 meters), who finished second. Washington sophomore Zack Midles (63.38 meters) came in third.

California senior Ed Wright (2.22 meters) successfully defended his high jump crown, as he edged Washington senior Norris Frederick (second, 2.19 meters) and Washington State sophomore Trent Arrivey (third, 2.16 meters).

'My goal was to come down and defend the title,' Wright said. 'I knew it was going to be a close battle. I tried to go first attempt on everything, but I had one second attempt jump, and that's what got it for me.'

Washington's team captured the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 39.52 seconds, beating out Arizona State (second, 39.84) and Stanford (third, 40.24).

Stanford senior Garrett Heath (3:42.02) won the 1,500-meter run, narrowly edging Oregon sophomore A.J. Acosta (second, 3:42.34) and California junior Mark Matusak (third, 3:42.52).

'It's been a dream to win a race like this,' Heath said. 'There were a lot of great guys this year. The Pac-10 is stacked. Any given day, any five or six of these guys could have won. I was just lucky enough to do it today.'

UCLA had back-to-back victories in the discus and 110-meter hurdles, as senior Greg Garza defended his Pac-10 discus crown and junior Kevin Craddock did the same in the hurdles.

Garza (60.60 meters) won on his last throw for the second straight year, defeating California junior Martin Maric (59.68 meters) finished second and Arizona junior Zack Lloyd (55.80 meters), who won the shot put title last night, came in third.

'It was fun,' Garza said. 'Martin [Maric] passed me on his last throw. My coach just said 'you've got to put one out, you've got to step up, (and) you've got to be a senior.''

Craddock (13.58) beat out USC senior Kai Kelley (second, 13.85) and California junior Jordan Paul (third, 13.95) to take his title, and he said he was motivated by the death of his grandfather this week.

'I've been dealing with a lot this past week,' Craddock said. 'I didn't get to make the funeral yesterday because I had to come here to run trials, so I just wanted to come out here and do that for him; get out there on the track and get him a win.'

USC senior Lionel Larry was another who defended his conference title, as he took the 400 in 44.77 seconds. Washington junior Jordan Boase (44.97) finished second and Arizona State junior Joel Phillip (45.29) placed third.

Stanford senior Wopamo Osaisai captured the 100-meter crown with a time of 10.47 seconds, as he was able to defeat the Arizona State tandem of junior Marcus Duncan (second, 10.52) and junior Calvin Abram (third, 10.60).

Oregon sophomore Andrew Wheating (1:46.83) won the 800 to give the Ducks slightly more cushion in the team standings at that stage. USC senior Duane Solomon (1:47.65) finished second while UCLA freshman Cory Primm (1:47.75) was third.

Washington State freshman Jeshua Anderson took the title in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 49.55 seconds, edging out California junior Jake Hanson (second, 49.82 seconds) and USC's Kelley (third, 49.92 seconds).

Arizona State began to make its move in the 200, as the Sun Devils had the top two finishers in junior Darryl Elston (first, 20.91) and Abram (second, 21.00). Oregon senior Phil Alexander (21.00) finished third.

The Sun Devils continued their push in the triple jump, as senior Matt Turner (15.63 meters) took the top prize and brought his squad within 1.5 points of the lead at that point. Arizona senior Daniel Marshall (15.60 meters) finished second while UCLA freshman Jonathan Clark (15.41 meters) was third.

Arizona State senior Kyle Alcorn (14:12.76) added another conference title to his steeplechase crown from last night by winning the 5,000-meter run. However, Oregon locked up the team title with 21 points in that event. The Ducks had five of the top eight finishers, including freshman Diego Mercado (second, 14:17.82). California junior Yosef Ghebrav (14:19.85) finished third.

The Sun Devils capped the night with a victory in the 4x400 relay, as their team finished in 3:04.75 to defeat Oregon (second, 3:04.85) and USC (third, 3:05.35).

A big part of Arizona State's ability to run away with the team title was junior Charonda Williams, who captured both the 100 and 200 crowns.

Williams won the 100 in a photo finish, as she finished in 11.444 seconds while California freshman Cherrelle Garrett had a time of 11.446 to finish second. USC senior Jessica Onyepunuka (11.50) was third.

Williams then took the 200 in 23.09 seconds, and her teammate, freshman Dominique Maloy, was second in 23.28 to give the Sun Devils 18 points in that event. UCLA senior Jolanda Diego (23.28) finished third in the 200.

Arizona State also swept the top three spots in the discus. Senior Jessica Pressley (55.93 meters) took the top prize, her second conference title of the weekend after winning the shot put last night. Junior Sarah Stevens (55.68 meters) finished second and senior Tai Battle (54.93 meters) placed third.

For the weekend, the trio of Pressley, Stevens and Battle earned a total of 67 points for their team.

'I just expect it,' ASU head coach Greg Kraft said of his three throwers. 'That's what's hard about it, you expect it. So, sometimes you don't give them the pat on the back and you don't enjoy the moment.'

The Sun Devils capped off a dominant performance with a win in the 4x400 relay, as their team finished with a time of 3:34.45. California (3:36.93) was second and Oregon (3:37.43) finished third.

USC's team took the spot in the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 44.00 seconds. The Trojans beat out California (second, 44.69) and Stanford (third, 45.73) to take the top spot.

Washington sophomore Katie Follett (4:22.41) took the top prize in the 1,500, as she beat out the Stanford duo of junior Lauren Centrowitz (second, 4:23.07) and junior Alicia Follmar (third, 4:23.65).

California sophomore Kimyon Broom responded quickly after being part of the Golden Bears' second-place 4x100 relay team, as she won the 100-meter hurdles in 13.26 seconds. Arizona State senior Jacquelyn Johnson (13.39) finished second and USC sophomore Shalina Clarke (13.47) came in third.

'I thought it was a pretty good race,' Broom said. 'I had about 15 minutes to rest. I came out, stayed low, attacked the hurdles, so I can't really complain.'

Oregon sophomore Keshia Baker (53.27) captured the 400 title, edging out the Arizona State tandem of junior Jeavon Benjamin (second, 53.45) and senior Jordan Durham (third, 53.64).

'I ran the best race that I've ever ran,' Baker said. 'I did exactly what my coach told me to do. I got out strong in my first 60 meters, I maintained, and then my last 180, I gave it all I had.'

Stanford senior Erica McLain (13.58 meters) backed up her long jump title from last night by successfully defending her Pac-10 crown in the triple jump. UCLA senior Renee Williams (12.86 meters) was second while Oregon freshman Jamesha Youngblood (12.62 meters) finished third.

California senior Alysia Johnson (2:00.57) also defended her conference title in the 800, as she beat out Oregon sophomore Zoe Buckman (second, 2:04.52) and Washington State freshman Anna Layman (third, 2:04.87).

UCLA senior Ingrid Kantola took the pole vault title with a clearance of 4.31 meters, setting a new venue record for Sun Angel Stadium. Arizona State senior April Kubishta (4.21 meters) finished second while California senior Katie Morgan (4.11 meters) was third.

'April [Kubishta] has always been one of the top competitors in the NCAA,' Kantola said of her duel with Kubishta. 'So, having her there, it's competition but it's also motivation. She's really a good person to compete with. She cheers for you, and you want to cheer for her too.'

USC's Clarke, the third-place finisher in the 100-meter hurdles, took the top spot in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.05 seconds. Washington State junior Lorraine King (58.72) was second and Oregon senior Kasey Harwood (58.98) finished third.

Oregon sophomore Nicole Blood (16:33.70) won the 5,000-meter run, as she was able to beat out Stanford's tandem of senior Teresa McWalters (second, 16:42.66) and Centrowitz (third, 16:46.98).

The night ended with Arizona sophomore Elizabeth Patterson (1.88 meters) taking the high jump crown over Washington State freshman Ebba Jungmark (second, 1.81 meters) and fellow Wildcat sophomore Jasmin Day (1.78 meters).

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