Nov. 18, 2003
ON THE STARTING LINE
The Arizona State women's cross country team, ranked No. 23 in the final FinishLynx Top 25 poll, will head to Waterloo, Iowa, for the 2003 NCAA Championships, Monday, Nov. 24. The race is set for a 12:15 p.m. Central time start at the Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course and will be hosted by Northern Iowa.
THE 2003 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2003 cross country season comes to a conclusion Monday with the running of the NCAA Championships in Waterloo, Iowa. The Arizona State women, after finishing fourth at the NCAA West Region Championships Nov. 15, are entered into their sixth nationals in a row and will look to better the tied for 23rd they finished in a year ago. Thirty-one teams and a total of 255 runners will compete for the national title.
Those runners finishing in the Top 35 of the race will earn All-America honors. If any of the Top 35 finishers are not Americans, the NCAA will award All-America accolades to American-born runners until 35 have received the honor.
In school history, three women have earned All-America honors in cross country with Lisa Aguilera winning twice (2001 and 2000) and Kelly MacDonald (1999) and Priscilla Hein (1998) earning the honor once each.
HASTINGS IS A CONTENDER
Having won twice this year and finishing second, third and fourth in her other three races, Amy Hastings has moved among the nation's elite runners. Upon taking runner-up honors at the regional race over the weekend, Hastings is viewed as a contender for the individual national championship.
With her wins at the Dave Murray and ASU Invitationals, Hastings became the first Sun Devil woman to win multiple races since Lynn Nelson set the record of four victories in 1983. A win at nationals would not only give her the second-most wins in a season in school history, but also would make her the first Sun Devil to win the NCAA meet.
In the final FinishLynx Women's Top 30 national poll, the women slipped to their lowest ranking of the season at No. 23. The ranking does, however, increase the program's streak of 42 weeks in a row of being a member of the Top 30.
On Oct. 7 and again on Oct. 13, the Sun Devil women were ranked No. 3 in the national polls, tying the mark for the highest ranking in program history. They also earned the same rank Sept. 27, 1999.
2002 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN REVIEW
Following school-record low point totals at the conference and regional meets, the Sun Devil women went to the NCAA Championships at Furman and finished tied for 23rd. Amy Hastings, after being second on the team in every race of 2002, finished first on the team and took 69th overall. Also competing for Arizona State in its fifth appearance in a row were Cody Sohn, Desiree Davila, Anna Masinelli, Jessica Scalzo, Mandi Fitz-Gustafson and Liz Lindgren.
SIX IN A ROW
Not only are the Sun Devils heading to their sixth NCAA Championship meet in a row, it also marks just their sixth appearance at the NCAAs in school history.
By winning the Arizona State Invitational (10/18/03), the women secured their second team title of the year, marking the eighth time in history the Sun Devils have more than one team title. ASU won twice in 2001, 1999, 1993, 1992, 1990, 1982 and 1981.
LAST TIME OUT
Following a week off from competition at the Pac-10 Championships, both the women and men's teams traveled to Portland, Ore., for the 2003 NCAA West Region Championships. When the races had concluded, the women finished fourth and the men eighth, neither team earning an automatic berth to the national meet. Individually, Amy Hastings took runner-up honors in the meet for the women while Aaron Aguayo again led the men to the tape.
NEXT TIME OUT...
The 2003 cross country season has come to an end. The indoor track and field season will start Jan. 17 when the Sun Devils travel to Flagstaff, Ariz., for the Northern Arizona Invitational.