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Cross Country Hosts ASU Invitational Friday
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 10/03/2000
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Oct. 3, 2000

Friday, Oct. 6 -- Arizona State Invitational, Gilbert, Ariz.
Women: 4:45 p.m. (MT), 5K, Men: 5:15 p.m. (MT), 8K

This Week: Arizona State cross country will host the first of two meets this season Friday, Oct. 6 with the ASU Invitational at Freestone Park in Gilbert, Ariz. An open race for both men and women is scheduled for 4 p.m., while the women's 5,000-meter race will take place at 4:45 p.m. and the men's 8,000-meter race will follow at 5:15 p.m.

The Field: The Sun Devils will play host to a mix of Division I and junior college teams including Arizona, Central Arizona College, Dine College, Glendale C.C., Houston, Mesa C.C., New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands, Northern Arizona, Paradise Valley C.C., Phoenix College, Pima C.C., Scottsdale C.C., UTEP, Western State College and Yavapai College.

Directions To The Course: Friday's race will be held at Freestone Park in Gilbert, Ariz., approximately 15 miles from campus. To get there from U.S. Highway 60, exit on Gilbert Road and go south. Then turn left (east) on Baseline Road and proceed one mile to Lindsay Road and turn right. The park is approximately 1.5 miles on the left.

What Happened Last Year?: Western State College captured the men's title and Adams State College won the women's race in the 1999 ASU Cross Country Invitational. The overall winner on the men's side was Michael Aish from Western State College and on the women's side, Johanna Nielsen from Utah captured the individual title. ASU, running only its reserves, finished fifth and fourth on the men's and women's sides respectively.

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 14th in the nation. Last week both teams began the week ranked 12th.

Last Time Out: The ASU men's and women's cross country "B" squads both placed second at the Canyon West Classic hosted by Mesa Community College at Kiwanis Park in Tempe, Saturday, Sept. 30. Leading the Sun Devils in the women's 5,000-meter race was sophomore Candi Criscione who finished seventh with a season-best time of 18:41.6. Freshman Jen Hurbis also broke the top-10, finishing ninth (18:49.3), while junior Tiela Cairns (19:11.5, 15th), freshman Penny Jacobson (19:18.4, 17th) and senior Jen Bridgeman (19:24.5, 18th) scored for ASU. In the men's 8,000-meter race, senior David Burke finished sixth in a time of 26:16.9. Also placing in the top-20 for the Sun Devils were junior Phillip Prince (26:32, 11th), senior Charles Sharpe (26:51.4, 15th), freshman Kyle Morgan (27:00.8, 16th), and senior Chad Barrett (27:12.9).

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 travel to Iowa State for the NCAA Pre-National Invitational Saturday, Oct. 14. The Cyclones will host the NCAA Championships held Monday, Nov. 20.

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