Shaylah Simpson Signs National Letter of Intent with ASU Track & Field

Feb. 4, 2010

TEMPE – Shaylah Simpson (Phoenix, Ariz.) has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Arizona State University where she will continue her education and athletic career with the Sun Devil track & field program, ASU Head Coach Greg Kraft announced today. A senior at local power Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Simpson will enroll at ASU this fall before joining the program in time for the 2011 season.

“We are very excited about Shaylah Simpson joining the Sun Devil family,” Barela, a former Sun Devil vaulter and current pole vault coach at ASU, said. “She is one of the top returning vaulters in the prep ranks going into her senior year. Shaylah’s impact is huge as she will be able to continue the great success and tradition in the vault program at ASU and I believe she has the personality and athletic commitment to excel on a conference, regional and national level that will help us contend for more championships. Not only are her athletic credentials amazing, but her work ethic and devotion to success makes her a great fit with the rest of our program.”

“I’m honored to be chosen by the Sun Devil Track & Field team and I know exactly what I am getting when I go there,” Simpson said. “Coach Barela’s experience and knowledge in coaching the pole vault will make everything a lot more comfortable. Coach Kraft, along with the rest of the coaching staff, have built an amazing team not only on the track, but off the track as well. I love that the whole team has a certain “family” bond, which is really important to me. I want to be able to know I can turn to anyone on my team if I ever need help and, at ASU, I know I will have that. Academically, the team is solid and there are so many resources for athletes to be able to succeed in college. Overall, the ASU Track & Field team is amazing and I know I will be able to take my vaulting to a the next level. Being an Arizona native, I am proud to represent Arizona State in the Pac-10 and nationally.”

Simpson has continued to improve throughout her career, which has included three Top 4 finishes at the Arizona 5A-I State Championship Meet. The defending state champion with a winning and personal-best clearance of 12-09.75, Simpson took fourth in 2008 and third in 2007 with the state title going to Cara Carpenter, a current member of the Sun Devil program. Simpson’s personal-best clearance surpassed a mark of 12-06.25 she recorded to take sixth at the Nike Indoor Nationals earlier in 2009.

In her junior season with DVHS, Simpson entered 12 meets and won nine, adding her second-consecutive 5A-I Central Region title to her first state crown. She also finished second at the Great Southwest Meet after taking fifth in 2008. Simpson also has competed for places on Team USA as she took second at the 2008 USATF Junior Nationals and fourth at the 2009 U.S. World Youth Trials. Simpson will enter her senior outdoor season with seventh-best clearance returning from last year (12-09.75), which also stood as the 11th-best in the U.S. in 2009.

The Simpson File
: Shaylah Simpson
Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.
High School: Desert Vista HS (Phoenix)

Quick Notes: Defending state pole vault champion after winning the crown in 2009 with a personal-best clearance of 12-09.75... took third as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore in the state meet with current Sun Devil Cara Carpenter winning both years... won nine of the 12 meet she entered during the outdoor season... 2008 and 2009 5A-I Central Region champion... runner-up at the 2009 Great Southwest and the 2008 USATF Junior Nationals... fourth at the U.S. World Youth Trials (2009).

What They Are Saying About Simpson
Bob and Cathy Simpson (parents):
“Shaylah has worked extremely hard for this and we are very excited that her effort and commitment to this sport has resulted in her being offered the opportunity to compete for a championship program that Coach Kraft and his dedicated staff have put together at Arizona State. We feel confident that she will continue to excel athletically and academically based on the incredible services that are provided for student-athletes. The facilities for athletes are impressive and show that they are dedicated to caring for their athletes. We are pleased that she will be close to home and will be training in great weather in Arizona. Shaylah is a team player and will be contributing to the team in many ways. We look forward to great things for Shaylah at ASU.”

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