ASU T&F To Open 2014 Slate In Flagstaff
NAU MEET INFO
TEMPE -The Arizona State University track and field teams are set to open the 2014 indoor schedule on Friday, traveling to Flagstaff for the Lumberjack Team Challenge, hosted by Northern Arizona.
While there will be no live stats, check the Sun Devil track and field Twitter account @SunDevilTFXC for updates throughout the meet.
THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILSASU joins host Northern Arizona, Pac-12 rival Arizona, along with six other schools at Friday’s meet. Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Fullerton, Grand Canyon University, Northwestern State University, UC Riverside, and UNLV will also be competing in Flagstaff.
Per NAU’s tentative schedule, the first events of the day are the women’s pole vault, women’s long jump, and women’s shot put, which will all begin at 4 p.m. MT.
The running events are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. MT with the men’s mile.
The women’s 4x400m relay will cap the day’s competition, which is tentatively scheduled for 9:30 p.m. MT.
MAKING THEIR DEBUTThe Sun Devils have 50 entrants in the Lumberjack Team Challenge, including a host of newcomers to the squad.
Daveon Collins (Boise State), Keith Cleveland (Ashland University), Michael Ohakwe (TCU), Jessika Byrd (Riverside Community College), Jasmine Gibbs (Kansas State), and Sara McDonald (Moorpark JC) are all set to compete for the Maroon and Gold for the first time in their careers.
IN THE RANKINGS: USTFCCCA TOP 25Both the Sun Devil men and women will open 2014 ranked, as the men’s team sits at No. 21 and the women sit at No. 23. The men’s team opened last season ranked, while the women are in the preseason rankings for the first time since opening 2012 at No. 16.
THROWING THEIR WEIGHTOver the past 12 years, David Dumble has continued to bring in top talent and build the throws program at Arizona State, which has collected 15 total national titles, including five in the indoor shot put and one in the weight throw. ASU returns the reigning NCAA Champion in the shot put, Anna Jelmini.
KEEP AN EYE OUTThe USTFCCCA has its eye on Anna Jelmini, naming her to the Preseason Bowerman Watchlist for the third time in her career. The NCAA Outdoor champion in the shot put was named to a midseason list during her junior campaign, and was also part of a list during her freshman year in 2011.
I’VE GOT A HINCHHead coach Greg Kraft believes that indoor All-American Derick Hinch will step into a leadership position on the men’s side as the squad saw 12 Sun Devils compete in their final season in 2013. Hinch finished sixth at the indoor NCAA meet last season. His best mark of 5.41m (17-09.00) remains No. 2 in ASU history behind Olympian Nick Hysong.
SHELBY GT500Coming off a stellar cross country season, Shelby Houlihan looks to continue that momentum to the indoor season, where she is set to compete in the middle distance. In 2013, Houlhan earned the second All-American honor of her career, finishing eighth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Houlihan was the MPSF mile champion, and finished 12 at last year’s NCAA indoor meet in the 800m.
GOING THE DISTANCEJoining Houlihan in the distance corp are Adriana Olivas, who was a consistent presence for the Sun Devil cross country team, and Chiara Warner, who ran the latter half of the cross season, and looks to continue strong on the indoor stage.
KEYS TO THE EVENT: THE SPRINTSHead coach Greg Kraft touts Brianna Tate as one of the keys to the women’s sprint group, and she’ll be joined by seniors Asiah Gooden and Alycia Herring. Joining those Sun Devils are transfer Jasmine Gibbs (Kansas State) and freshman Troya Franklin, who look to make an immediate impact. Kira Moreland, a high school All-American, is set to make her first appearance as a Sun Devil at NAU as well.
FILLING IN THE HOLESHead coach Greg Kraft sees Ryan Milus as one of the seniors to take charge this season, propelling the men’s side to the national level, while William Henry is coming off a strong fall practice. Boise State transfer Daveon Collins is set to make an immediate impact on the Sun Devil squad, as will Ashland University transfer Keith Cleveland in the sprints.
HE’S THE REAL DEALBernie Montoya has been touted as one of the top freshmen in program history long before he stepped onto the Tempe campus, and he more than prooved his abilities during the cross country season, where his 19th-place finish at the NCAA West Reigonal meet sealed ASU’s fifth-place finish, and earned him his first set of All-Region honors..
THIS PUN IS A WORK IN PROGRESSOn the men’s distance side, redshirt senior Garrett Seawell was the Sun Devil leader in half of ASU’s meets, leading the squad to a third-place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 28, and to a fourth-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships on Nov. 2. Head coach Greg Kraft expects Seawell to make an impact in the 5,000m and 10,000m races, while Steven Schnieders and Garrett Baker-Slama look to continue their consistency in the 3000m steeplechase.
THE SEASON IS ALMOST OVERThe season has barely begun, but every beginning has an end, and the 2014 season represents the exactly that for 22 Sun Devils--13 on the men’s side and nine on the women’s--who will exhaust his or her eligibility come June. The group includes Dylan Austin, Garrett Baker-Slama, Jordan Benesh, Keith Cleveland, Daveon Collins, Nathan Estes, William Henry, Derick Hinch, Chris Manuele, Ryan Milus, Kevin Rayes, Steven Schnieders, Garrett Seawell, Heather Arseneau, Sarah Geren, Kelli Gibson, Asiah Gooden, Ke’Nya Hardge, Alycia Herring, Anna Jelmini, Linda Kuenzi, and Shaylah Simpson.
SAME TEAMMATE, DIFFERENT TEAMAs the season begins, there are 22 Sun Devils on the roster that were teammates before they came to Arizona State, up 17 from a season ago. CJ ALbertson, Cody Brazeal, and Macy Bricks prepped at Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif. (also the Alma mater of ASU great Kyle Alcorn), while Ginger Jarchow and Ryan Leslie went to high school at Centennial in Peoria, Ariz. Ryan Norton and Bernie Montoya ran together at Cibola HS in Yuma, Ariz., while six Sun Devils boast ties to Desert Vista High School in Phoenix (Heather Arsenau, Edmond Baker, Natalie Krafft, Sarah Lynde, Jenna Mack, and Shayla Simpson). Twins Blake and Kyle Elliott continue to run together at ASU after competing at Dobson High School, while Jack Balder and Miranda Kewley are recent graduates of Great Oak High School in Temecula, Calif., while Amber Pasternak and Ryan Milus competed at Hamilton HS (Chandler, Ariz.) at the same time. The Sun Devils have a trio of graduates from Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Alexander Harris, Bryan McBride, and Marcus Setoki
KRAFT LEADS THE WAYHead Coach Greg Kraft is entering his 18th year as the leader of the Sun Devil program, a tenure that has brought Arizona State back to the top of the standings in both the NCAA and Pac-12 events. Since his hiring, the program has continued to evolve into one of the more well-rounded in the nation with strength on the track and in the field as well as in cross country. Kraft and his staff have worked diligently to reach their goals of championships and success in education and that has not been more clearly seen than in the past five years as the hardware has continued to roll in. His program has annually produced some of the top individuals in the nation with 26 of the program’s 59 individual and relay national titles won since 2004 while both his teams and individual student-athletes have garnered national academic acclaim. Prior to his arrival, the program boasted one NCAA Championship (men’s outdoor track & field, 1977) and one Pac-12 Championship (men’s outdoor track & field, 1981). In the last seven years, his Sun Devils have captured four national crowns (2007 women’s indoor and outdoor track & field, 2008 men’s and women’s indoor track & field) and added three Pac-12 Championships (women’s outdoor track & field, 2006-08). Kraft’s teams have finished in the Top 10 of the NCAA Track & Field Championships on 22 occasions in 16 years while the program had done so just 14 times prior to his arrival in Tempe.
LONG TENURE IN TEMPEAs he begins his 18th year at Arizona State, Kraft’s tenure ranks as the second-longest in Sun Devil track & field history and the third-longest active streak among all current ASU head coaches. The only coach that has led the track & field program longer than Kraft is legendary coach Senon ‘Baldy’ Castillo, who led the way for 26 years (1954-79). Among current Sun Devil head coaches, Kraft’s 17th year ranks behind John Spini, who is in his 34thd year with gymnastics and Sheila McInerney, who is in her 30th year with women’s tennis.
NEXT TIME OUTThe Sun Devils won’t be away from Flagstaff for long, returning to the city up north on Jan. 24-25 for the NAU Invitational.
A LOOK BACK AT 2013The Arizona State University track and field squad has wrapped up yet another successful season with both teams finish in the top 30 at both the indoor and outdoor championships while posting several conference champions and All-Americans as well as three national champions and several school records. Jordan Clarke won his fourth NCAA Championship in the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this year while Chelsea Cassulo and Anna Jelmini won the hammer and discus throw competitions, respectively, at the outdoor championships. The Sun Devils have now earned 30 individual NCAA titles since head coach Greg Kraft took over the helm in 1996. To put that into perspective, the program had only won 26 individual titles in program history, which dates as far back as the early 1900s, prior to his arrival. The Sun Devils posted five First-Team All-Americans as well as three second-team All-Americans and a second-team All-American relay at the recent NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Indoors, seven Sun Devils earned first-team honors while four and a relay were named to the second-team.