Oct. 28, 2006
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The championship season got underway for the Arizona State University cross country program Saturday morning on the Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto, Calif., with the Sun Devils competing in the 2006 Pac-10 Championships hosted by Stanford. A pair of local products led the way for the Sun Devils as Aaron Aguayo placed fourth overall for the men while Cassie Rios placed fifth for the women.
In the team standings, the No. 8 Sun Devil women scored 51 points while No. 1 Stanford captured its 11th Pac-10 team title in a row and 13 of the 14 with 22 points, tying for the lowest point total in the history of the race. The finish for the Sun Devils marked the fifth year in a row ASU placed second overall while their 51 points ranks as the third-lowest in program history behind the 39 points scored last year and the 47 total in 2004.
On the men's side, the Sun Devils scored 113 points to finish fourth overall, one place higher than one year ago, while No. 7 Oregon snapped the Cardinal's string of six titles in a row with its upset of No. 5 Stanford, 53-58, while No. 25 Arizona finished third (107 points). The Sun Devil men finished ahead of one ranked team with No. 26 Washington placing sixth overall with ASU's 113 points ranking as the sixth-lowest in program history.
The women were led by Rios, who finished fifth in 20:38.65 and tied Desiree Davila (2004) for the sixth-best finish at the Pac-10 meet by a Sun Devil. She was joined on that list by Brooke Bennett who captured seventh place in 20:47.04 to tie Anna Masinelli (2005), Lisa Aguilera (2001) and Mary Duerbeck (2000) for the 10th-best race finish in program history. Based on their finish, both Rios and Bennett earned First Team All-Pac-10 honors (Top 7 finishers earn first team).
Jenna Kingma placed 10th overall in the race in 20:59.42 while Ali Kielty (13th in 21:10.12) and Krystal Duke (16th in 21:18.81) rounded out the Top 5 Sun Devils that figured into the team's scoring. Like Rios and Bennett, Kingma and Kielty each earned honors from the conference as each attained second team accolades. Rounding out the competitors for the Sun Devil women were Kari Hardt (21st in 21:26.04), Corey Randall (29th in 21:45.65), Sereena Harmon (51st in 22:18.02), Whitney Lemieux (59th in 22:33.70) and Jenny Cohen (72nd in 22:49.48).
In the men's race, Aguayo ran well in his first Pac-10 meet since the 2004 competition in San Francisco and finished fourth overall in 23:20.40, tying Fasil Bizuneh (1999) for the third-highest finish in a conference race in program history. Kyle Alcorn gave the men their second Top 10 finisher as he placed 10th overall in 23:44.34. For their efforts and based upon their overall placements, Aguayo earned First Team All-Pac-10 honors while Alcorn took second team honors.
Joey Heller crossed the line in 23:56.82 to finish 17th overall while Jeff Helmer (43rd in 24:46.21) and Kal Clark (48th in 24:54.95) rounded out the Sun Devils' Top 5 finishers. The other men that competed included Mikias Gelagle (57th in 25:12.43), David Gott (59th in 25:18.43), David Mehlhorn (61st in 25:24.23), Eric Dall (65th in 25:48.25) and Garrett Kelly (66th in 25:55.07).
Following a week off from competition, the Sun Devils will head to the NCAA West Region Championships in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 11. The Top 2 teams will earn automatic berths into the NCAA Championships on Nov. 20 with 13 other teams being selected as at-large entries into the meet by the NCAA.