Eight Sun Devils Automatically Earn Berths to NCAA Championships

May 30, 2008


TEMPE, Ariz. - The first day of action at the 2008 NCAA West Region Championships came to a close for the Arizona State University track and field teams with the Sun Devils leading the team scores and automatically qualifying eight entries into the NCAA Outdoor Championships in two weeks. In meet, which is being held at the Matador Track Complex on the CS Northridge campus, the Sun Devils also won three individual events and qualified 11 others to the finals that are set for Saturday.

In the team standings, both squads lead the way as the women have accumulated 50 points and the men 22. The women are ahead of Stanford (33), UCLA (23.50), USC (15) and Oregon (14) while the men are just ahead of Arizona (20), USC (18), California (16.50) and Washington State (15).

The women's day opened with the hammer throw and the Sun Devils scoring 17 points as Sarah Stevens placed second (63.15m), Jessica Pressley third (62.21m) and Tai Battle sixth (59.54m) with the first two earning an automatic berth to the national meet in the hammer. Battle punched her ticket to the national meet later in the day in discus as the senior led a 1-2-3 sweep for ASU, winning the event with personal-best toss of 55.02m. Pressley was second in 53.34m and Stevens third at 53.18m to push all three into the national meet automatically.

The three throwers were joined as automatic qualifiers by Stephanie Garnett, who placed third in the long jump at 6.23m. One other Sun Devil just missed the automatic berth as April Kubishta placed sixth in the pole vault at 4.06m. Kubishta, along with Battle (hammer) and Jacquelyn Johnson (10th in the long jump), will now await word from the NCAA if they are selected as at-large entries into the national meet.

The men posted a pair of victories on the day with Ryan Whiting capturing the shot put and Matt Turner the long jump. Whiting hit a toss of 20.60m to record the second-best mark in school history (behind only Gary Williky at 20.78m) and earned 10 points for the team. Turner also earned 10 points as he won the long jump with a leap of 7.92m. Two other men scored for the Sun Devils as both Jeff Helmer (14:22.61) and Brad Roth (66.34m) placed eighth in the 5,000m run and javelin, respectively.

In the preliminary rounds of the running events, Charonda Williams advanced to the finals of the 100m and 200m dash events while Dominique' Maloy will join her in the 200m final. Jeavon Benjamin and Jordan Durham both earned a berth to the final of the 400m dash as well. On the men's side, Calvin Abram earned a place in the finals of the 100m and 200m events while Darryl Elston will join him in the 200m. Joel Phillip (400m), Nectaly Barbosa (800m) and Marquis Profit (400m hurdles) each will run in the finals on Saturday as well.

The region meet concludes Saturday.

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