May 16, 2013
TEMPE - The Arizona State University track and field programs will be well-represented in the first round of the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas next week as the squads combined for 40 entries into the competition, the NCAA announced on Thursday.
The Sun Devils will compete in the West Preliminaries beginning Thursday, May 23 at the Mike A. Myers Stadium with 20 entries on both the men's and women's sides.
For the No. 10 women, ASU will have three athletes ranked as the No. 1 entries in the West in their respective events. The list includes Christabel Nettey (long jump), Anna Jelmini (discus) and Chelsea Cassulo (hammer). All three are coming off Pac-12 individual championships in those events, and are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation as well.
Nettey and Jelmini are both entered in two events as they will take part in the 100-meter hurdles and the shot put competitions, respectively, in addition to their primary events.
Keia Pinnick will have a relatively easy weekend by her standards and her current No. 3 ranking in the heptathlon has automatically advanced her to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., in June. She will, however, still take part in the long jump as an individual competitor in addition to her work with both the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays.
The Sun Devils will have multiple entries in the 100-meter hurdles (Nettey and Ke'Nya Hardge), pole vault (Heather Arseneau and Shaylah Simpson), long jump (Nettey, Pinnick , Alycia Herring, Constance Ezugha) and the discus (Jelmini and Alex Hartig).
The men's side will feature four-time defending NCAA Champion Jordan Clarke in the shot put and he will forgo competing in either the hammer or discus competitions.
The team has a solid contingent in the distance events with three qualifiers in the 5,000-meter run (Ryan Herson, Nick Happe and Darius Terry), two in the 1,500-meter run (Happe and Terry) and Garrett Baker-Slama in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
The NCAA Preliminary rounds work as an elimination format for track and field, with student-athletes having to advance out of the preliminaries and quarterfinal rounds in order to advance to the semifinals and finals at the NCAA Championship Finals.
The nation is split into an East and West Region, with the top 48 student-athletes per event and the top 24 relays over the course of the season per region advancing to the Preliminary Rounds.
At the NCAA Preliminaries, the top 12 student-athletes per event and top 12 relays per region after the preliminary round will earn a qualification to the NCAA Championships.