Sun Devils Open Olympic Track & Field Trials with Solid Performances
June 27, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. – The first day of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field came to a close Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., with several current and former members of the Arizona State University track & field program posting impressive marks in the early stages of competition. Eight athletes competed in the qualifying rounds of their respective events with six advancing to the finals while seven-time NCAA champion Jacquelyn Johnson is halfway to finishing in the Top 3 of the heptathlon and earning a berth to the Olympic Games.
With the Top 3 advancing to the Olympic Games in Beijing (August 8-24), Johnson has positioned herself well through the first four events of the heptathlon as she stands third with a personal-best score of 3,717 points. Johnson opened the day with a personal-best and ASU heptathlon record time of 13.12 in the 100m hurdles to earn 1,106 points to stand third overall. She then cleared 1.78m (5-10.00) for another 953 points and remained third before moving up to second through three events with her personal-best mark of 12.94m (42-05.50) in the shot put for another 723 points. In the final event, the 200m dash, Johnson slipped back to third in the overall standings as she ran 24.48 to collect another 935 points and finishing 17 points ahead of her personal-best heptathlon total of 3,700 set at the Pac-10 Championships in Tempe (May 9).
Johnson trails overall leader Hyleas Fountain by 272 points as the former NCAA champion from Georgia has scored 3,989 points and sits just 33 points behind Diana Pickler (formerly of Washington State) for second place. Johnson is ahead of GiGi Johnson (3,671 points) by 46 points and Michigan’s Bettie Wade (3,633 points) by 84 points. Johnson trails after day one for only the third time in the heptathlon in her career; the first was the 2004 NCAA Championships where true-freshman Johnson came back to upset senior Fountain in Texas; the second was the 2004 Olympic Trials where Johnson finished 13th; and the final was the 2007 NCAA Championships where Johnson came back to pass both Pickler sisters, Diana and Julie.
On the track, Latosha Wallace ran 56.67 in the 400m hurdles to rank sixth overall in the quarterfinals and will advance to the semifinal on Saturday. The final women’s qualifying event held was the discus where Tai Battle hit a mark of 56.33m (184-10) to not only rank seventh overall in the event, but also improve her personal-best by nearly two feet.
Staying in the field, all three entries into the men’s long jump advanced to the finals with Matt Turner leading the way in third place with a personal-best mark of 8.09m (26-06.50). Former Devils Trevell Quinley and Dwight Phillips also advanced to the finals with Quinley jumping 8.00m (26-03.00) and Phillips, the reigning Olympic champion, hitting a mark of 7.93m (26-00.50), placing them fifth and eighth, respectively. In the men’s shot put, Ryan Whiting earned a berth into the finals as his toss of 20.29m (66-07.00) was the fourth-best on the day while Vince Mosca placed 20th and did not advance with a mark of 18.36m (60-03.00).
Three Sun Devils will compete on Saturday, including Johnson in the final three events of the heptathlon, Wallace in the semifinals of the 400m hurdles and Whiting in the shot put.
Women’s Heptathlon - Day 1
3. Jacquelyn Johnson - 3,717 points (3rd overall)
3. 100m Hurdles - 13.12 - 1,106 points - 1,106 points (3rd overall)
4. High Jump - 1.78m (5-10.00) - 953 points - 2,059 points (3rd overall)
6. Shot Put - 12.94m (42-05.50) - 723 points - 2,782 points (2nd overall)
5. 200m Dash - 24.48 - 935 points - 3,717 points (3rd overall)
Women’s 400m Hurdles - Quarterfinal
6. Latosha Wallace - 56.67 - advances to semifinal
Women’s Discus - Qualifying
7. Tai Battle - 56.33m (184-10) - advances to final
Men’s Long Jump - Qualifying
3. Matt Turner - 8.09m (26-06.50)(+3.5) - advances to final
5. Trevell Quinley - 8.00m (26-03.00)(+2.2) - advances to final
8. Dwight Phillips - 7.93m (26-00.50)(+1.1) - advances to final
Men’s Pole Vault - Qualifying
-. Nick Hysong - no height