Track & Field Heads to Eugene for Pac-10 Championships

May 13, 2009

Sun Devil Championship Notes (pdf)

TEMPE - The championship season gets into full swing for Arizona State University this weekend as the Sun Devils will compete in the 2009 Pac-10 Track & Field Championships on Saturday and Sunday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The Sun Devil women will battle for their fourth Pac-10 title in a row while the men will look to win their first since the program won its first title with the 1981 crown.

The Pac-10 Championships got underway last weekend in Eugene with the men's decathlon and women's heptathlon being held at Hayward Field. Following the events, the Oregon women lead the early team standings with 19 points and are followed in the team race by USC (10 points), UCLA (five), Stanford (three) and Arizona (two). On the men's side, the Ducks also lead the way with 19 points are followed by Washington (six), California (five), Stanford (four), Arizona (three) and UCLA (two).

According to the latest national rankings released by the USTFCCCA on Tuesday, the Pac-10 Championships will be filled with numerous Top 25 teams, including six women's and seven men's teams. In the women's rankings, host Oregon leads the way as the No. 2 team in the nation while USC and Arizona State are both in the Top 10, standing fifth and seventh, respectively. No. 13 UCLA, No. 15 Stanford and No. 17 Washington also are ranked in the national Top 25 this week. On the men's side, Oregon moved back into the No. 1 position with the Sun Devils (No. 6) and Stanford (No. 10) as the only other members of the national Top 10. The remaining ranked teams include No. 14 Washington, No. 16 USC, No. 17 California and No. 21 Washington State.

The Sun Devil women enter the Pac-10 Championships as the three-time defending champions and will look to join UCLA as the only program to win the conference crown four or more times in a row (UCLA won eight in a row before ASU won the last three and also has won four in a row one other time). The Sun Devils, who claimed the title by the largest margin of victory in Pac-10 history last year (69.5 points), are returning to the site of their first crown after winning the 2006 title in Eugene during the 2006 season. That year, Arizona State outscored Stanford, 154-151.5, to win the program's first title on the women's side and just the second overall (the men won in 1981).

In each of the past two Championships, the Sun Devil men have been close to winning the team title, but fell short to Oregon as the Ducks won in 2007 (114-110) and 2008 (144.5-134). The 1981 team champions, Arizona State's only other close call came in 1983 when it tied for second with UCLA. In the 30 previous Pac-10 Championships the Sun Devils have competed, the men have placed among the Top 3 eight times with five of those finishes coming under current head coach Greg Kraft. In that span, ASU has placed second twice (2007, 2008) and third three times (2000, 2004, 2005).

For the second year in a row, the Sun Devil women won the Pac-10 title and the men took second, this time placing highly on their home track in Tempe. The women scored 186.5 points to win its third title in a row while capturing six individual and one relay crown while the men were second (134) to Oregon (144.5) after capturing five individual and one relay crown. ASU athletes won both 200m dash titles (Charonda Williams for the women and Darryl Elston for the men) while also sweeping the 4x400m relay.

Although the Sun Devil women won six individual Pac-10 titles last year, only three of those winners are returning, as well as some of the runners on the victorious 4x400m relay. Individual, Charonda Williams is back to defend her 100m and 200m titles while Sarah Stevens will look to win the hammer again and regain the shot put and discus titles she claimed in 2007. Jeavon Benjamin, Shauntel Elcock and Dominique' Maloy all ran on the victorious 4x400m relay last year and are back this season to try and defend their title.

Only won Sun Devil man returns to the Pac-10 Championships after winning a title last year as Justin Kremer was one of four Sun Devils on the victorious 4x400m relay.

Two men and six women's marks stand as the best in the Pac-10 heading into this weekend's meet. For the men, Marcus Duncan is the league leader in the 100m dash at 10.41 while Jason Lewis leads the way in the hammer with a toss of 68.15m. On the women's side, Charonda Williams is tops in the 100m (11.29) and 200m (22.82) -- both of which are school-record times -- while Sarah Stevens has the best marks in the shot put (18.00m) and discus (55.31m). The Sun Devil women also have the best times in both relays, leading the 4x100m at 43.92 and the 4x400m at 3:34.30.

While the Sun Devils have eight marks overall that are the best in the conference, eight men's and four women's marks also rank among the Top 3 in the Pac-10. For the men, Marcus Duncan is third in the 200m (20.80); Mason McHenry is second in the 800m (1:47.74); Brandon Bethke is second in the 5,000m (13:27.79); Ryan Whiting is second in both the shot put (20.41m) and discus (60.73m) and Jason Lewis is third in the shot put (19.30m) while both relays also stand third overall (39.79 in the 4x100m and 3:08.52 in the 4x400m). On the women's side, Ali Kielty stands third in the 10,000m run (33:56.97); Jasmine Chaney is third in the 400m hurdles (58.57); Cj Navarro is third in the discus (50.85m) and Sarah Stevens is second in the hammer (64.87m).

Looking the scoring positions (Top 8 in the meet), the Sun Devils have four true freshmen and one redshirt freshman that are in position to pick-up points for the team this weekend. The men have a trio of true freshman, including Mason McHenry, who stands second in the 800m run (1:47.74). True freshmen Allante Battle is seventh in the 200m dash (21.21) while Marc Peck is eighth in the javelin (63.40m). For the women, true freshman Kayla Sanchez stands fifth in the 400m hurdles (59.80) -- a time she ran in her last race (May 2) -- while redshirt rookie Cj Navarro stands third in the discus (50.85m).

Heading into the weekend, senior Sarah Stevens has competed in three Pac-10 meets in her career and averaged about 24 points per championship, including scoring 26 team points in each of the last two meets. With 73 total points, Stevens needs 27 points this weekend in the three events she is entered (shot put, discus and hammer) to break the 100 point barrier and move past Jacquelyn Johnson for the most points scored (90.5).

...that Sarah Stevens is one of just two women in the history of the Pac-10 Conference to win titles in three different throwing events? Stevens is a two-time champion in the shot put (2006, 2007) and has added single crowns in the discus (2007) and hammer (2008). While she is the only woman to have won those three events in a career at the Pac-10 meet, she is joined by UCLA's Seilala Sua as the only three-throw champions after the Bruin won the shot put, discus and javelin at the 1999 meet.

Charonda Williams heads into the Pac-10 meet as the defending champion in both the 100m and 200m dashes and also sports the fastest time in both events this season. If she can successfully defend both of her titles, she will become just the second woman in conference history to win both short sprints in the same meet on two different occasions while becoming the first to do so in back-to-back meets. The only other two-time sweep came from Torri Edwards (USC), who won the 100m and 200m in 1996 and 1999.

The women's 4x100m relay, which enters the meet with the fastest time in the league at 43.92, will look to capture the event for the third year in a row. If the Sun Devils succeed, they will join another ASU squad (1993-94-95) and USC (1998-99-00) as the only schools to win the event three-times in a row.

EASY AS 1-2-3
In the men's throws, Ryan Whiting and Jason Lewis rank among the Top 2 in at least one event and will be a threat to win a conference title, which would be their first. Whiting is ranked second in the discus and a win would be the first for a Sun Devil in the program's history as a member of the Pac-10. He also ranks second in the shot put and a victory would make him the third Sun Devil (fourth overall title) to win the event. Lewis, who holds the top mark in the hammer, will look to win just the second title in the event after Mika Laiho won in 1998.

On the latest release of the NCAA descending order lists, two Sun Devil men hold the top marks in the nation so far this year with Brandon Bethke's time of 13:27.79 setting the standard in the 5,000m run while Ryan Whiting's toss of 20.41m leads the shot put.

Six marks recorded by the women currently rank among the Top 10 nationally with three of those marks being held by Sarah Stevens, who ranks second in the shot put (18.00m), fourth in the hammer (64.87m) and seventh in the discus (55.31m). Charonda Williams ranks second in the 200m (22.82), ninth in the 100m (11.29) and is a member of the fifth-ranked 4x100m relay (43.92).

After qualifying in three events last year at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships and earning All-America honors in all three, including the national title in the discus, Sarah Stevens is once again in position to add to her career haul of 12 All-America honors. As it stands now, Stevens is the only woman in the NCAA that is ranked in the Top 10 in all three throws so far this season and is one of only three women to hold a qualifying mark in all three of those events that also rank among the Top 25 nationally.

Along with Bethke and Whiting's marks, five other marks rank among the Top 10 nationally, including Whiting's toss of 60.73m in the discus, the third-best in the nation. Jason Lewis is in the Top 10 in three throws, including seventh-place standings in the discus (58.62m) and the hammer (68.15m) while also standing 10th in the shot put (18.55m). Mason McHenry is the final Sun Devil ranked in the Top 10 as he stands fifth in the 800m run (1:48.25).

Jason Lewis has continued to build upon his impressive indoor season when the former walk-on captured the NCAA Indoor Weight Throw title and earned All-America honors by placing fourth in the shot put at the same meet. As it stands now, Lewis is the only man in the nation that ranks among the Top 25 nationally in all three events outdoors as he ranks in the Top 10 in the discus (seventh), hammer (seventh) and shot put (10th).

On the latest world lists, two men and two women currently on the Sun Devil rosters are ranked among the Top 20 internationally. For the men, Ryan Whiting stands eight overall in the shot put at 20.41m while Brandon Bethke ranks 14th in the 5,000m run at 13:27.79. On the women's side, Charonda Williams ranks fifth in the 200m dash at 22.82 while Sarah Stevens is tied for 19th in the shot put at 18.00m.

Five men and three women that formerly competed for the program also rank highly on the world lists, including Dwight Phillips, who leads the way in the long jump at 8.51m and is sixth in the 100m dash at 10.06. Also on the list for the men are Marcus Brunson in the 100m (11th at 10.12); Fasil Bizuneh in the 10,000m run (14th at 28:00.22); Matt Turner in the long jump (13th at 8.04m) and Trevell Quinley in the long jump (15th at 8.02m). On the women's side, Jacquelyn Johnson is third overall in the heptathlon at 6,020 points while Desiree Davila is eighth in the 10,000m run at 32:25.78 and Lisa Galaviz is 20th in the steeplechase at 9:58.41.

It was announce Tuesday by USA Track & Field that former Sun Devil Desiree Davila will represent the U.S. at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics as a member of the women's marathon team. Davila, who was selected after competing in the Chicago Marathon and was the top American finisher by crossing the line fifth overall in 2:31:33, will travel with the U.S. squad to Berlin, Germany, and run the race on August 23

Over the weekend (May 2), the Sun Devils played host to the annual Double Dual with Arizona and Northern Arizona and walked away with a sweep over both of their intrastate rivals. In the women's team scoring, the Sun Devils defeated the Wildcats, 107-93, while downing the Lumberjacks, 116-68. On the men's duals, the Devils knocked off the 'Cats, 109-89, while defeating the 'Jacks, 134-51.

In the Double Dual, the Sun Devils won 23 different events while also collecting 22 second and third-place finishes overall. Along with the women winning 14 events and the men taking nine, the Sun Devils combined to record 27 regional qualifying marks on the day, including 14 by the men and 13 by the women.

Of those 23 victories, the Sun Devils swept the titles in eight different events, including four on the track and four in the field. On the track, Arizona State dominated in the sprints as both genders won the 100m and 200m events while also collecting wins in both relays (4x100m and 4x400m). In the field, the Sun Devils were victorious in all four throws, including the shot put, discus, hammer and javelin.

Four Sun Devil women had very successful Double Duals as each had a hand in at least three event wins with one of the women in on four victories. Jasmine Chaney led the charge as she swept the hurdles with wins in the 100m hurdles (13.77) and the 400m hurdles (59.10) while also running on the victorious 4x100m (44.02) and 4x400m (3:43.30) relays. Triple winners included Dominique' Maloy (100m, 4x100m and 4x400m), Charonda Williams (200m, 4x100m and long jump) and Sarah Stevens (shot put, discus and hammer).

While there were only two men that won more than one event on the day, one of those men made quite a statement as true freshman Allante Battle had a hand in four victories. The rookie opened the day by helping the 4x100m relay to a win in 40.31 before taking the 100m dash in 10.58, just 0.01 off his seasonal-best. Then, he won the 200m dash with a personal-best and regional qualifying time of 21.21 before capping the day as a late addition to the 4x400m relay that won in 3:10.25.

The other Sun Devil man to win two or more events came in the field as Ryan Whiting captured the shot put with a NCAA-leading mark of 20.41m while also taking the discus with a toss of 60.32m.

The remaining women's victories came from Jeavon Benjamin (400m, 4x400m); Haley Paul (5,000m); Shauntel Elcock (4x100m); Kayla Sanchez (4x400m); Marjorie Rima (triple jump); and Lissa Regets (javelin).

The remaining men's victories came from: Nectaly Barbosa (800m); David Mehlhorn (3,000m steeplechase); Jason Lewis (hammer); Mark Peck (javelin); Calvin Abram (4x100m); Ray Miller (4x100m); Marcus Duncan (4x100m); Ian Caracciolo (4x400m); Lawrence Trice (4x400m); and John Kline (4x400m).

While ASU recorded 27 regional qualifiers on the day, three Sun Devils recorded the first qualifying marks of their ASU careers. On the track, two of those marks came in the 400m hurdles as true freshman Kayla Sanchez ran 59.80 to qualify for the women's meet while junior transfer Roberto Archibold ran 51.72 to earn a place in the men's meet. The final first-time qualifier came from the men's javelin as true freshman Mark Peck won the event with a toss of 63.40m (208-00).

On April 28, Sarah Stevens was named as one of 29 women selected for the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, a one-time, non-renewing $7,500 scholarship that is given annually to scholar-athletes that have excelled academically and athletically and are completing their senior seasons. Stevens, the lone woman from the Pac-10 to be honored with the scholarship among winter sports, is a two-time NCAA champion and 12-time All-American while also having earned numerous academic honors, including twice being named the USTFCCCA Women's Division I Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year (indoor 2007, outdoor 2008).

For the second week in a row (April 18), Charonda Williams took to the track and broke a school record, this time shattering the 100m dash mark. At the Mt. SAC Relays, Williams ran 11.29 to finish second only to current world leader Carmelita Jeter's 10.97. Williams' mark, which stands 14th in the world this week, broke the previous mark of 11.33 that was run by Sharon Ware in 1983 (26 years ago). One week earlier, Williams moved to the top of the charts on ASU's 200m list by running 22.82 and breaking the previous standard of 22.91 that Maicel Malone ran in 1991.

Along with her two records set outdoors, Williams also is the indoor record holder in the 60m (7.30) and 200m (22.89). She also has helped several relays move up the rankings this year, including the 4x100m that ran 43.92 to move into second all-time at ASU and become only the second team to run a sub-44 in the event. Indoors, she helped the 4x400m relay clock the fourth-best time of 3:34.30 at the NCAA Championships where the team placed second overall in the meet.

Jasmine Chaney also had a fine weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays (April 16-18) as she a part of four regional qualifying marks, including both relays and both hurdles. In the hurdles, however, Chaney improved her personal best times while also winning both events. First up, Chaney ran in the 400m hurdles and won with a time of 58.57 to move into the No. 6 position on the all-time ASU list while also becoming only the seventh woman to run a sub-59 in the event. One day later, she competed in the 100m hurdles and won with a time of 13.61, improving on the No. 9 time in program history. She also helped the 4x100m (44.17) and the 4x400m (3:37.10) to regional qualifying marks.

On March 13-14, the 2009 indoor season came to a close for the Sun Devils as eight members of the team traveled to College Station, Texas, for the NCAA Indoor Championships and returned to Tempe with a pair of fifth-place team finishes and 12 total All-America honors. Jason Lewis (weight throw) and Ryan Whiting (shot put) each won national titles to pace the three men while Charonda Williams earned All-America honors in three events to lead the five women at the meet.

All three men and all five women that competed in the NCAA Indoor Championships over the weekend earned All-America honors with three athletes earning multiple awards. Jason Lewis was the lone man to earn multiple honors as he finished first in the weight throw and fourth in the shot put while Sarah Stevens earned honors in the same women's events with finishes of fourth and second, respectively. Charonda Williams led the way, though, as she was an individual All-American in the 60m dash (sixth) and 200m dash (third) before joining Dominique' Maloy, Shauntel Elcock and Jeavon Benjamin to place second in the 4x400m relay. The final All-American was true freshman Mason McHenry in the men's 800m run, where he placed ninth overall and was the eighth American to finish.

Ryan Whiting broke his own facility record to win the shot put and successfully defend the crown he won last year as he recorded a winning mark of 20.16m (66-10.75) to take the shot put by almost three feet. With his back-to-back crowns in the event, Whiting became the ninth man in NCAA indoor history to win the shot put twice in a career and became the first back-to-back winner since Carl Myerscough of Nebraska in 2002-03.

The Arizona State throws program made a big name for itself once again at the national meet as Assistant Coach David Dumble's three throwers combined for two national titles, one national runner-up and five All-America honors in the only two throwing events available. Along with the three Top 3 placements, the other two finishes remained among the Top 4 as well. On the men's side, the 25 points earned tied the team for fifth-place, just four points shy of finishing tied for fourth and earning a trophy.

Charonda Williams had an outstanding meet for the Sun Devil women at the NCAA Indoor Championships as the sprint standout earned three All-America honors while recording two school records as well. Last year, Williams qualified only in the 200m dash and did not advance out of the preliminary round. This year, she was the eighth qualifier for the national meet and advanced to the final with the sixth-best time in the field at a then-school record 23.23. In the finals later that night, she crushed that time down to 22.89, the fourth-best in the world this year, to take third overall. Then, in the finals of the 60m dash, she advanced to the finals with the sixth-best time of 7.30 (school record) after entering the meet ranked 12th. In the finals, she finished sixth to earn her second All-America honor. In the final event of the meet, she ran the second leg of the 4x400m relay, helping the team to a time of 3:34.30 to finish as the national runners-up.

In her previous six trips to the NCAA Championships (three indoor and three outdoor), Sarah Stevens had collected one indoor shot put crown, one outdoor discus crown and a school record-tying 10 career All-America honors. Over the weekend, Stevens competed in both throws and took national runner-up honors in the shot put for the second year in a row one day after taking fourth in the weight throw to give her a school record 11th and 12th All-America honor. And, to top all of that, she accepted a marriage proposal at the end of the meet from her boyfriend, Ross.

After taking a week off from competition, the Sun Devils will return to Eugene for the 2009 NCAA West Region Championships on May 29-30. The Top 5 finishers in each individual event and the Top 3 relays will automatically advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., June 10-13.

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