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Cross Country Prepares for Canyon West Classic
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 09/26/2000
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Sept. 26, 2000

Saturday, Sept. 30-- Canyon West Classic, Tempe, Ariz.
Women: 7:15 a.m. (MT), 5K, Men: 8 a.m. (MT), 8K

This Week: The Arizona State "B" teams on both the men's and women's sides will compete in the seventh annual Canyon West Cross Country Classic Saturday, Sept. 30 at Kiwanis Park in Tempe, Ariz. The event is hosted by Mesa Community College. The women's 5,000-meter race is scheduled for 7:15 a.m., while the men's 8,000-meter race will take place at 8:00 a.m.

The Field: At least 25 teams will be competing in the meet this Saturday including Northern Arizona "B", Lewis University (Illinois), Utah Valley State College, Antelope Valley College, Mesa Community College, Yavapai College, Pima Community College, Central Arizona College, Phoenix Community College, Scottsdale Community College, Glendale Community College, Quest Club of Arizona and Strapped Jock Racing Club.

Sun Devils In the Polls: According to this week's FinishLynx Women's Cross Country Poll and the MONDO Men's Cross Country Poll, both the ASU men and women are ranked 12th in the nation. The Sun Devil women dropped from last week's seventh place ranking, while the men dropped just one spot from their 11th place preseason ranking.

Last Time Out: The seventh-ranked Arizona State women's cross country squad placed third, while the 11th- ranked men finished sixth at the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota at Lee Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday, Sept. 23. Junior Lisa Aguilera, who led the ASU women to the Griak championship last year, placed second (21:08) in the women's 6,000 meter gold race behind Arizona's Tara Chaplin (21:00). Additional top scorers for the Sun Devils were junior Brianna Torres (21:33), senior Mary Duerbeck (21:44), and senior Colleen Burke (22:03). In the men's 8,000 meter gold race, senior Garrett Jensen placed fifth (24:35) to pace the Sun Devils. Freshman Juan Reyes finished 36th (25:08), sophomore Kris Alexander finished 48th (25:17) and senior Brandon Strong finished 51st (25:18) to round out top ASU placers. Host team Minnesota claimed the women's gold race title, while Providence College finished first in the men's gold race.

Back at Home: After opening the season on the road in California and Minnesota, the Sun Devils will compete in three of their next four meets at home in the Valley of the Sun. Following the Canyon West Classic, ASU will run on its home course of Freestone Park at the ASU Invitational Friday, Oct. 8. After a visit to the NCAA Pre-National Invitational at Iowa State Saturday, Oct. 14, the Sun Devils will once again host the Arizona State Open Friday, Oct. 20. Then ASU will hit the road for good to wrap up the season with Pac-10 Championships, regionals and nationals.

Head Coach Walt Drenth: Walt Drenth, in his fifth year as Head Cross Country Coach at Arizona State University, has taken the Sun Devils to unprecedented heights. He was named the Pac-10's Coach of the year in 1999, after leading the Sun Devils to their best finish in school history. Under his tenure, ASU has posted the best Pac-10 finishes in school history (Women 2nd in 1999, Men 4th in `98 and `99) and the best regional finishes in school history (both finished 3rd last year). In addition, the men are made their first appearance in school history at the NCAA Championships in 1999 and finished 14th, while the women earned back-to-back berths to nationals, including a 12th-place finish in 1999. Drenth came to Tempe after spending the previous six years (1990-95) at the College of William & Mary and six years at Central Michigan (1985-90). He is a seven-time conference coach of the year and two-time District Coach of the Year and has led six squads to the NCAA Championships.

Up Next: ASU will host the first of two home meets this season Friday, Oct. 6 with the Arizona State Invitational at Freestone Park in Gilbert, Ariz. The women's 5,000-meter race will begin at 4:45 p.m., while the men's 8,000-meter race will begin at 5:15 p.m.

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