Sept. 19, 2005
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University cross country teams will head to Minneapolis, Minn., for the 20th Annual Roy Griak Invitational to be held on the Les Bolsted Golf Course Saturday morning. The men lead off the day with an 8,000m run at 11:20 a.m. before the women cap the competition with a 6,000m run at 12:10 p.m.
IN THE POLLS
The preseason national rankings were released over the past two weeks with the Sun Devils earning a place among the Top 11 in both polls. The women are ranked 8th in the Sept. 8 FinishLynx Top 30 while the men sit 11th in the MONDO Top 30 poll.
Last weekend at the Dave Murray Invitational, redshirt freshman Brooke Bennett won the race to give the Sun Devil women two individual victories in their first two meets of the season. Junior Jenna Wrieden won the season-opening George Kyte Invitational in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sept. 3.
The 2005 meet marks the seventh year in a row the Sun Devils have competed in the Roy Griak with both teams faring well throughout. The women have had the best results on the team front with team titles in 2003, 2001 and 1999 and adding runner-up finishes in 2004 and 2002. ASU's other finish was a third-place showing in 2000. The men have placed among the Top 9 every year with 2004 being their best finish: third.
Individually, the women have had a runner finish among the Top 4 all seven years, including Lisa Aguilera finishing second in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and current Sun Devil Amy Hastings finishing third each of the last two meets. Juan Reyes posted the top men's finish as he was the meet runner-up in 2001 while Aaron Aguayo has the second-best placement at fourth in the 2004 race.
IN THE FIELD
The Division I field will be comprised of 33 women's teams and 25 men's teams, including several nationally ranked squads. On the men's side, No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 4 BYU, No. 8 Cal Poly and No. 11 ASU are four of the 11 teams set to compete that hold Top 30 rankings while nine women's squads, including No. 7 Providence, No. 8 ASU and No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, also will be on hand.
Amy Hastings made history last year at the Pac-10 Championships as she became the first Sun Devil harrier, male and female, to win the conference title as she finished first at the annual meet conducted at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Hastings' victory helped the women to second place in the team standings for the third year in a row. For her efforts, she also was selected as Pac-10 Athlete of the Year.
A pair of runners attained All-America honors last season at the NCAA Championships, held Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind. Both Amy Hastings and Aaron Aguayo finished 22nd overall in their respective races to earn the national accolade while pacing their squads to ninth and eighth place team finishes, respectively, at the national meet. Hastings earned her second All-America honor in cross country in as many seasons while Aguayo captured his first.
Thirteen women and 15 men return in 2005 to compete for the Sun Devils. On the women's side, several notable returnees include a quartet of harriers that competed at the NCAA Championships in 2004: Amy Hastings, Victoria Jackson, Anna Masinelli and Rachel Ellison. On the men's side, six of the seven runners at the national meet return, including Aaron Aguayo, Casey Burchill, Roger Cahill, Kal Clark, Velibor Radejovic and Ryan Warrenburg.
HELLO! MY NAME IS ...
The Sun Devil men's and women's rosters each expanded by 10 spots this season with the women adding eight freshmen and one transfer while the men brought in eight freshmen and a pair of transfers. On the women's side, the rookie class includes freshmen Jocelyn Buras, Chelsea Caloia, Krystal Duke, Jill Glover, Ali Kielty, Samantha Knobbe, Angela Spadafino and Allyson Stewart. They are joined by Taylor Carroll, a transfer from Pepperdine and Lauren Hayes, a member of ASU's track and field team last season.
On the men's side, the freshmen are Max Baecker, Ross Blahnik, Ken Brook, Michael Cronin, Ian Moore, Tyler Raspiller, Tyler Scott and Sandy Skouson. Kyle Alcorn comes to the program after transferring from conference rival Oregon while Brent Wood rounds out the class after transferring in from near-by Mesa Community College.
One final addition to the Sun Devil program is Rhonda Riley, who will serve as a graduate assistant following her graduation from Oregon State in 2004.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Over the past four seasons, the men's roster has had a Duke on it and this year, that will remain true as J.J. Duke returns for his senior season. This year, however, the women's roster also will include a Duke as Krystal Duke, J.J.'s sister, joins the Sun Devils.
LOUIE THE LEADER
Louie Quintana returns to the helm of the Sun Devil cross country program for his second season following one of the most successful seasons in program history. Not only did Quintana guide Amy Hastings to the program's first conference title in cross country, he also put together men's and women's teams that placed second in the Pac-10 and second in the NCAA West Region before earning berths into the NCAA Championships. At the national meet, Quintana's men took eighth and the women ninth as each team also produced one All-American each.
IN THE CHUTE
Following a weekend off from competition, the Sun Devils will play host to their annual meet as the ASU Invitational is set for Friday, Oct. 7 at Tempe Kiwanis Park.