Track & Field Heads to Austin for NCAA Preliminary Rounds
May 25, 2010
TEMPE - The road to national titles and All-America honors begins this week for the Arizona State University track & field team as it heads to Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium in Austin, Texas, to compete in the West site of the NCAA Preliminary Round, which serves as the opening rounds of competition for the NCAA Outdoor Championships that will be held June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore. The preliminary round meet will run Thursday through Saturday with the Top 12 in each event advancing to the national finals in Eugene. Overall, 35 Sun Devils will compete in this week's meet on the Texas campus.
QUICK RECAP: 2010 PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
The women placed third (89.5 points) and the men fourth (85) in the Pac-10 Championships that were held at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., May 15-16. Both teams were fifth overall following the first day of action before picking up points in numerous events on the final day to move up. The men won two titles as Ryan Whiting swept the shot put and discus while Cj Navarro was the lone winner for the women as she captured the discus. Oregon won both team titles in the event.
MEET INFORMATION: WEST
This weekend's meet is the opening rounds of competition in the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and features 48 individuals (24 relays) in each event at two sites, including Austin, Texas (west) and Greensboro, N.C. (east). At each site, all events except the heptathlon/decathlon will be contested with the Top 12 in every event earning a berth into the national finals that will be held in Eugene, Ore., June 9-12. The 'regional' meets will not be scored and will only be used to determine those athletes advancing to the national finals. Team points, national titles and All-America honors will be determined in Oregon.
The University of Texas will provide both live results and live web streaming for this weekend's meet. To access the live results, click on the following link: http://www.texassports.com/livestats/m-track/index.htm. To view the live web streaming, go to the following site and click on the appropriate day to watch: http://www.ncaa.com/sports/c-otrack/champpage/c-otrack-div1-west-index.html. More information on the meet can also be found on the NCAA's site (ncaa.com) and on Texas' site (texassports.com).
IT ALL STARTED HERE
The last time the Sun Devils competed in an NCAA event in Austin, Texas, was the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Looking back, that meet was the turning point for the program as Jacquelyn Johnson, who was a true freshman, won the heptathlon national title for the first of her seven national crowns and the first for the program since 1996. Since then, the Sun Devils have won 20 individual national titles (indoor and outdoor combined) and captured four team crowns, including the 2007 women's indoor and outdoor titles and the 2008 men's and women's indoor crowns.
IN THE FIELD
The west site of the Championships in Austin, Texas, will be made up of student-athletes from 25 different states, including: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
According to the latest release of the National Top 25 rankings from the USTFCCCA, the Sun Devil men remain part of the Top 10 this week as they remained No. 6 while the women are not ranked in the Top 25. Looking at the breakdown between the two regions, the West has 14-of-25 nationally ranked teams on the men's side while 16-of-25 women's teams are from the West. Half of the men's teams in the Top 10 are from the West while four of the women's Top 10 hail from the West.
The Sun Devils will have 19 men competing this weekend in Texas, including a very busy Jason Lewis, who will throw in the shot put, discus and hammer events. The team is well-rounded with five men in the sprints, eight in the mid-distance and distance events, five in the throws and one in the pole vault. Of the 19 men set to compete, three are rookies, including true freshman Eddie McClain in the javelin and redshirt freshmen Jordan Clarke (shot put & discus) and Austin Prince (pole vault).
The ASU women will be represented by 16 individuals in Austin, including Jasmine Chaney, who will run in a pair of individual events and a pair of relays. Just like the men, the women have a well-rounded balance to the roster this weekend, including five sprinters, seven in distance events, one thrower, one in the pole vault and three in the jumps. Of the Sun Devils headed to Texas to compete, three are true freshmen, including Christabel Nettey (100mH, 4x100m, long jump), Keia Pinnick (400mH, 4x400m) and Constance Ezugha (long jump).
AMONG THE TOP 12
Six individual men, one men's relay, two individual women and two women's relays head into the meet ranked in the Top 12 in their respective events which is where they will need to finish to advance to the national finals. The men's individuals include Ryan Whiting (shot put #1, discus #7), Brandon Bethke (5,000m #2), Jason Lewis (shot put #3, discus and hammer #4), Donald Sanford (400m #4), Mason McHenry (800m #8) and Jordan Clarke (shot put #10) while the women's individuals include Jasmine Chaney (400mH #4, 100mH #12) and Keia Pinnick (400mH #12). The men's 4x400m relay is ranked fourth while both women's relays (4x100m and 4x400m) stand 10th. Two men and seven women all enter the weekend ranked between 13th and 20th, putting them just outside the Top 12.
DUMBLE DOES IT AGAIN
David Dumble continues to build one of the top throws programs in the nation as he has five men that have qualified in all four throws (three in the shot put and discus, two in the javelin and one in the hammer) while also having one woman in the discus and a current athlete that is redshirting (Anna Jelmini), who would rank first nationally in the discus and second in the shot put. The 2010 USTFCCCA Men's National Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year, Dumble has the only group in the nation that qualified three men in the shot put and one of two in the west to qualify three men in the discus.
Although she is redshirting this year, rookie Anna Jelmini served notice over the weekend that she will be one to watch next year as she popped a pair of impressive tosses at the Tucson Elite Throws Classic. On Thursday, she won the shot put with a toss of 17.63m (57-10.25), which would rank as the second-best toss in the NCAA this year. She came back on Saturday and threw the discus 60.80m (199-5), which would be the national leader by nearly 12 feet. Both of those marks would rank third all-time in ASU history as well.
Jason Lewis again ranks among the Top 11 in the collegiate ranks in a trio of events and is one of four men to qualify for the preliminary rounds in all three weight events this weekend. Competing in the shot put, discus and hammer, Lewis enters the weekend ranked third, fourth and fourth with two other men in the west also competing in all three events, but they are ranked 37th-47th-46th and 29th-35th-31st. Overall, only Adonson Shallow of SE Louisiana compares to what Lewis has accomplished this year as he qualified in all three throws in the east, ranking 17th, fifth and tied for 11th (with Lewis) in the three throws, respectively. Both men are seniors.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO MOVE BACK A LITTLE BIT...
Heading into the season, Ryan Whiting had recorded a 70-foot throw in the shot put twice in his outdoor career. The current national leader and third-ranked putter in the world at 21.71m (71-02.75), Whiting has surpassed the 70-foot barrier in six competitions this outdoor season, including twice last week at the Tucson Elite Throws Classic, to set a single-season record, breaking a tie with John Brenner of UCLA, who had four, 70-foot tosses in the 1984 season. Heading into the Tucson meet, Whiting and Brenner were tied for the most 70-foot measurements in a career with six before Whiting recorded two more to take the career lead as well. Whiting tied the single-season and career records two weeks earlier at the Pac-10 Championships when he won with a toss of 21.34m (70-00.25) before winning the discus on his final throw (58.85m/193-1).
Ryan Whiting has competed in the shot put seven times this outdoor season with his lowest mark coming in at 21.26m (twice) and his best being a school-record and NCAA-leading 21.71m. Putting his best marks from each meet together, Whiting is averaging 21.43m per meet, which is 70-03.75. Compared to the mark that is the second-best in the NCAA this year, Whiting leads the nation by 6-06.75.
OFF THE CHANEY
Jasmine Chaney has turned in stellar times this year and led the women to a third-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships as she placed in the Top 3 in five events, including third-place showing in the 100m dash, 100m hurdles and 200m dash, while helping the 4x400m relay to second place the 4x100m relay to third. This weekend, Chaney will compete in the hurdles and enters ranked 12th in the 100m hurdles and seventh in the 400m hurdles. She also will run both relays, that are ranked 10th. Looking at the hurdles, Chaney is one of three women in the west that will compete in both hurdle events with the other two including Brittany Hyter of Arkansas (20th in the 100mH and 21st in the 400mH) and Caitlin Winey of Arkansas State (41st and 43rd).
In the west, nine schools have multiple entries in the women's 3,000m steeplechase with only two having three. Those two schools are Arizona State and SMU. The Sun Devil trio of Cherise McNair (10:26.40), Kauren Tarver (10:26.61) and Angela Spadafino (10:40.60) currently rank 19th, 20th and 39th, respectively, heading into the meet while SMU has runners ranked 10th, 23rd and 28th.
Two weeks ago, two Sun Devil throwers won Pac-10 titles in three events as they swept the discus with Ryan Whiting taking the men's title and Cj Navarro winning the women's crown. Whiting also added the title in the shot put to give him a sweep, marking the 13th time in the history of the Pac-10 Championships that the same man won the shot put and discus in the same meet and the first since Dan Ames (UCLA) in 2004.
NAVARRO NABS DISCUS TITLE
For the fourth year in a row, a Sun Devil woman has won the Pac-10 discus crown with Cj Navarro taking the title with a toss of 51.06m (167-6) this year. Sarah Stevens won the title in 2007 and again last year (2009) with Jessica Pressley winning the title in 2008. Navarro captured her first conference crown with her throw in the fourth round. Earlier in the day, she recorded a personal-best toss of 53.75m (176-4) in the first round of the hammer competition (seventh-best all-time at ASU) and eventually finished third overall to give ASU 16 points.
ADDING TO THE TOP 10
Navarro's toss in the hammer was not the only mark recorded at the Pac-10 Championships that ranks among the all-time best in school history as three other marks by the women and two by the men joined the ranks of the Top 10. For the women, Keia Pinnick is now eighth in the 400m hurdles (58.86); Cherise McNair is now seventh in the steeplechase (10:26.40) and Linsday Prescott is now ninth in the 10,000m run (34:46.82). Both men's marks came in the 10,000m run with Jeff Helmer moving up to fifth (29:42.58) and Alonso Contreras on the list in seventh (30:19.73).
HOW SWEEP IT IS
The men's shot put podium was full of Sun Devils as Ryan Whiting, Jordan Clarke and Jason Lewis went 1-2-3 in the event to grab 24 points for the team. Whiting won in 21.34m (70-00.25) to win by 10 feet as Clarke was second in 18.29m (60-00.25). Lewis was third in 18.25m (59-10.50) and was just over 5-feet clear of the fourth-place finisher.
PICKING-UP THE POINTS
Each year, the program honors the highest-scoring Sun Devils with the High Point Award based upon points scored at the Pac-10 Championships and this year, Jasmine Chaney earned the women's honor while Ryan Whiting and Jason Lewis shared the men's honor. Chaney was the overall high-scorer with 21.5 points as she scored six points each with third place finishes in the 100m dash, 100m hurdles and 200m dash while collecting points from a second-place finish in the 4x400m relay and a third-place showing in the 4x100m relay. On the men's side, Whiting score 20 points by winning both events he entered (shot put and discus) while Lewis also scored 20 points by taking second in the hammer (eight) and third in both the shot put and discus (six points each).
AMONG THE BEST IN THE WORLD
After holding the world lead for much of the season, Ryan Whiting is currently fourth following an impressive two weeks of action in the event. Cory Martin has moved into first with a toss of 22.10m at the Tucson Elite meet (where Whiting was second) while Christian Cantwell is second at 21.82m (thrown May 14). Andrei Mikhnevich of Belerus is third at 21.81m while Whiting is fourth in 21.71m. If Whiting is able to eclipse the collegiate record of 22.00m this weekend, he will move into at least second on the world list.
LARGE GROUP IN THE 5,000m
Of the 48 runners in the men's 5,000m run in Austin, 20 hail from just five teams, including four from the Sun Devils, who have the second-largest group in the event. Brandon Bethke (2nd), Zeke Van Patten (26th), Jeff Helmer (33) and Daniel Lovell (42nd) all will compete in the event with only Colorado having more runners in the event with six. Oregon also has four runners in the race with New Mexico and Stanford each contributing three.
BETHKE BRINGS IT
At the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., on April 17, Brandon Bethke competed in the invitational section of the men's 5,000m run and took fourth overall behind a trio of professional runners with a time of 13:27.83. That time, which was just 0.04 seconds off the school record he ran last year, remains one of the best in the world as it stands just outside of the Top 20 this week. His mark also is the second-best time in the collegiate ranks behind only David McNeill of Northern Arizona, meaning the Top 2 times in the nation are from Arizona schools.
JELMINI JOINS THE LIST
Whiting (shot put) is not the only current Sun Devil thrower on the world lists as redshirting freshman Anna Jelmini added her name to the women's discus ledger. At the Tucson Elite Throws Classic last weekend, Jelmini bettered her all-time best in the discus with a toss of 60.80m (199-5) to finish fourth in the event and record the 16th-best toss in the world this year.
MORE WORLD LISTINGS
Two men and five women that formerly competed for the Sun Devils also are ranked among the best in the world this year, including Dwight Phillips, who is third in the long jump (8.32m). The other man on the list is Kyle Alcorn, who ranks 18th in the steeplechase (8:27.95). On the women's side, Desiree Davila (32:06.85) and Amy Hastings (32:28.77) are ranked seventh and 11th, respectively, in the 10,000m run while Lisa Galaviz is eighth in the steeplechase (9:41.62). Charonda Williams is currently 15th in the 200m dash (22.97) while Sarah Stevens stands 18th in the shot put (18.23m).
IN THE NCAA TOP 10
Six marks currently rank in the Top 10 of the NCAA with all six coming from the men. On the track, Brandon Bethke ranks second in the 5,000m run (13:27.83) and the 4x400m relay of Justin Kremer, Ray Miller, Donald Sanford and Joel Phillip ranks fifth (3:03.78). In the field, Ryan Whiting leads the nation in the shot put (21.71m) while Jason Lewis is fourth in the discus (59.78m) and eighth in the shot put (18.70m).
RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS: MEN
Three men return for their senior seasons after earning All-America honors outdoors. Ryan Whiting is back to defend his shot put title and improve upon his second-place finish in the discus while Jason Lewis, the only man in the nation last year to qualify for all three weight events outdoors, is back after sixth-place showings in the discus and hammer. Brandon Bethke also is back after taking fourth place in the 5,000m run.
RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS: WOMEN
Four women that earned All-America honors last year are back this season, including two with individual honors. On the track, the returning All-Americans include Jasmine Chaney (4x100m and 4x400m relay), Dominique' Maloy (200m, 4x100m and 4x400m relay) and Kayla Sanchez (4x100m relay) while the lone returning field event All-American is Cj Navarro (discus).
On Wednesday (May 5), the NCAA released the names of 29 men and 29 women that were selected as a 2009-10 Postgraduate Scholarship Awardee with Sun Devils Jason Lewis and Ryan Whiting both being selected for the award. Both men will receive one-time grants to apply toward postgraduate studies. Lewis and Whiting were selected as they are student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. Last year, Sarah Stevens earned the same award.
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) announced its annual list of MPSF All-Academic honorees for the indoor season with 13 Sun Devil men and eighth women named to the list. The men honored included Brandon Bethke, Ian Caracciolo, Ben Engelhardt, Kyle Fugit, Duggan Grant, Justin Kremer, Jason Lewis, Jeremy Marcinko, Mason McHenry, Jamie Sandys, Michael Stokes, Lawrence Trice and Ryan Whiting while the women's honorees included Courtney Golden, Ashley Lampley, Dominique' Maloy, Cherise McNair, Cj Navarro, Lisa Navarro, Lisa Nelson and Ashley Wimmer.
SUN ANGEL PRODUCES
At the 31st Sun Angel Track Classic, the action was outstanding as 23 different marks recorded in Tempe ranked among the Top 20 on the world lists this season with four of those marks recorded by former Sun Devil women and three total by current Sun Devils. On the track, Charonda Williams ran 11.34 in the 100m dash and 22.97 in the 200m dash to post a pair of Top 10 times, including the 10th-best in the 100m and the second-best in the 200m. Also on the track, meet honoree Desiree Davila clocked a personal-best time of 15:55.81 to run the 15th-best time in the world and also lower the meet and venue record in the 5,000m run. Sarah Stevens improved her standing on the world list to No. 10 in the shot put with her personal-best toss of 18.23m.
Heading into the outdoor season, one Sun Devil returns to competition as the defending national champion and that is Ryan Whiting in the men's shot put. The senior captured his first outdoor title last year in Fayetteville, Ark., and the middle of what is three in a row overall (2009 indoor, 2009 outdoor, 2010 indoor). Whiting won the competition with a heave of 20.11m (65-11.75) and gave him a sweep of the indoor and outdoor crowns, marking the 18th time in the past 45 years a man has accomplished the sweep. He is the 12th different man to do so and the first since 2007.
MORE ON WHITING
With his indoor shot put championship back in March, Ryan Whiting now has four total NCAA titles in the event, including a three-peat in the indoor event and one outdoors. In the history of the shot put at the NCAA meets, Whiting is currently tied for fifth all-time with Carl Myerscough (Nebraska), who won two indoors and two outdoors, and a title outdoors this year for Whiting would move him into a three-way tie for third-most with Hans Hogland (UTEP) and Janus Roberts (SMU). Whiting concluded his indoor campaign with three titles, making him one of four men to win at least three in a career. Should he win the outdoor title this year, his two crowns would tie him 11 other men that won twice and make him the 19th man to win two or more in a career.
In January at the NCAA convention in Atlanta, former Sun Devil standout Sarah Stevens was presented with the NCAA Top VIII Award, which is one of the highest honors handed out each year by the Association. Awarded for excellence in the classroom, in competition and in the community, the Top VIII recognized eight individual student-athletes from all divisions of NCAA governance. Just the second Sun Devil to earn the distinction, Stevens was a two-time NCAA champion and earned the most All-America honors in program history with 15 total, including five during her senior season.
NEXT TIME OUT
Those that advance through the rounds in Austin will next compete in Eugene, Ore., at the national finals, June 9-12.