March 9, 2013
LOS ANGELES – The Arizona State University track and field teams finished up the indoor campaign on Saturday, with the women taking seventh overall and the men finishing 16th at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
It was an exciting day for the women, kick-started by an exceptional pentathlon performance by senior Keia Pinnick. Never having competed at an indoor championship in her life, Pinnick obliterated her personal best with a score of 4,327 to finish as the runner-up after five events at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Pinnick opened the day by blitzing the field in the 60-meter hurdles, clocking an all-time career best (pentathlon or not) of 8.22 – setting the school pentathlon record in the event while beating the rest of the competition by over a tenth of a second.
The performance was needed after Pinnick struggled in the high jump, only clearing 1.63m (5-04.25) in a result that was 12 overall and knocked her back to 10th in the competition.
The senior bounced back, however, nearly scoring a personal best in the shot put with a throw of 11.23m (36-10.25) to keep her hopes alive heading into the final two events.
Following a foul on her first jump and an average second jump in the long jump, Pinnick came through in the clutch with a huge mark of 6.23m (25-05.25) on her third and final attempt to rocket back up the rankings and into third, just 60 points out of the lead. The jump was also good for 10th-best in ASU history in the long jump, pentathlon or not.
Heading into the 800-meter run – one of her strongest events – Pinnick needed to defeat the cumulative leader, Erica Bougard of Mississippi State, by about five seconds to win. Pinnick was up to task, clocking a new indoor career-best of 2:11.31 but Bougard laid down the hammer with a four second personal record of her own in 2:10.80 to win the race and the event.
Pinnick finished in a tie with Arkansas’ Makeba Alcide with 4,327 points, but was awarded second due to defeating Alcide in three of the five events contested.
It was the second time in her career that she earned first-team All-America honors, doing so in the outdoor heptathlon last season. The score was over a 100 points better than her previous personal best and improved her standing in second-place on ASU’s all-time record list in the event.
In the women’s shot put, junior Anna Jelmini earned the third first-team All-America award of her career with a fifth-place finish and a mark of 17.20m (56-05.25). Jelmini was also an indoor All-American as a freshman and sophomore.
Pinnick would later return to lead off the women’s 4x400-meter relay as she joined Sarah Geren and Brianna Tate for a time of 3:36.21 and a __-place finish.
Bryan McBride came just shy of first-team honors, finishing ninth overall in an stacked high jump field with a best clearance of the day of 2.23m (7-03.75) – a season’s best.
Senior Chris Benard also just narrowly missed a point-scoring finish as he finished tenth overall in his final meet as a Sun Devil with a mark of 15.76m (51-08.50) in the men’s triple jump.
With the finish, the ASU women finished in the top 10 at the indoor championships for the first time since 2009 with their tally of 25.0 points. The men posted a top-25 finish for the eighth time in the last 10 years with 13 points.
On the weekend, ASU had six first team All-Americans and four second-team All-Americans and one second-team All-America relay.
The Sun Devils will waste no time getting into the outdoor season, as they will open up the 2013 home campaign next weekend in Tempe, Ariz., at the Baldy Castillo Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
NCAA Championship Recap (Men)
Jordan Clarke – First – Shot Put – 20.50m (67-03.25)
Derick Hinch – Sixth – Pole Vault – 5.50m (18-00.50)
Bryan McBride – Ninth – High Jump – 2.23m (7-03.75)
Chris Benard – Tenth – Triple Jump – 15.76m (51-08.50)
Nick Happe – Fifteenth – 3000m – 8:14.46
NCAA Championship Recap (Women)
Keia Pinnick – Second – Pentathlon – 4,327
Christabel Nettey – Second – Long Jump – 6.55m (21-06.00)
Chelsea Cassulo – Fourth – Weight Throw – 21.23m (69-08.00)
Anna Jelmini – Fifth – Shot Put – 17.20m (56-05.25)
4x400m Relay (Pinnick, Herring, Geren, Tate) – Twelfth – 3:36.21
Shelby Houlihan –Twelfth – 800m – 2:07.26