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ASU T&F To Wrap Up Season at NCAA Outdoor Champs
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 06/03/2013
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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June 3, 2013

2013 Meet Notes - NCAA Outdoor Get Acrobat Reader | CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL

EUGENE, Ore. - The Arizona State men's and No. 9 women's track and field teams will take part in the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships this week in Eugene, Ore., beginning Wednesday, June 5.  The Sun Devils will have eight individuals and two relays in action at Hayward Field, with events running through Saturday afternoon.  Five individuals competing in six events will be in action for the ASU women while the men will have three individuals competing.  The women's 4x400-meter relay and men's 4x100-meter relay squads will also be in action. Chelsea Cassulo will get the action going for the Sun Devils in the women's hammer throw beginning at 1:30 p.m. PT on Wednesday while the men's 4x100-meter relay will be the first running event in action beginning at 4:15 p.m. Thursday's field events start at 1:30 p.m. and the running begins at 4 p.m. The field events on Friday start at 3:15 p.m. with the running starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the final day of competition, is scheduled to have the field events start at 12:30 p.m. and the running at 2:05 p.m. 

OUT OF THE BLOCKS

•  The Sun Devil track team lays claim to four returning first-team outdoor All-Americans (Jordan Clarke, Anna Jelmini, Keia Pinnick and Christabel Nettey) in action this weekend

• The ASU women finished in the top 10 at the indoor championships for the first time since 2009 while the men posted a top-25 finish for the eighth time in the last 10 years

• The Arizona State women currently have three student-athletes ranked No. 1 in the country in their respective events: Christabel Nettey (long jump), Anna Jelmini (discus) and Chelsea Cassulo (hammer)

• Two of ASU's longest-standing school records were dropped this season at the Sun Angel Classic, with Christabel Nettey knocking off Jacinta Bartholomew's 24-year old school record in the long jump and Shelby Houlihan taking the reins in the 1,500-meter run after unseeding Priscilla Hein's 14-year old record as well.

Chelsea Cassulo set the NCAA Dual Meet hammer throw record with her winning mark of 69.52m (228-01) at the Double Dual. She set the school record and became the sixth-best collegiate performer in history after going over 70 meters at the NCAA West Prelims

• Cassulo, Nettey and Ryan Herson (5k) have all been named Pac-12 Athletes of the Week with their performances this season

Chelsea Cassulo (hammer) and Christabel Nettey (long jump) each broke conference championship records at the Pac-12 Championships in their winning performances

• In finishing third overall, the ASU women have been in the top-three at the conference championships in eight of the last nine seasons (since 2005).  No other school can lay such a claim.

• On the men's side following the team's fourth-place at the Pac-12 Championships, the Sun Devils have been a top-four team in 11 of the last 14 seasons (since 2000). Only USC and Oregon (both 12 of 14) have a better track record in that time. 

FOLLOW THE ACTION

Coverage throughout the weekend will be provided through a combination of the University of Oregon live streaming service through the Pac-12 Networks and the ESPN Family of Networks. A full broadcast schedule is available here: http://www.ustfccca.org/weekly-results/national-championships-central-outdoor-track-field.  Fans can follow the Sun Devils on Twitter at @SunDevilTFXC for updates throughout the week on the ASU squad. 

A LOOK BACK: NCAA WEST PRELIMINARIES

The Arizona State University men's and No. 9 women's track and field teams wrapped up competition at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin, Texas, adding seven individual qualifiers and two relay qualifications to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.. In what was essentially the opening rounds of the NCAA Championships, the fields were whittled from 48 student-athletes to 12 from both the East and West Regions this weekend. Anna Jelmini qualified in both the discus and shot put competitions while Ryan Milus advanced as an individual at 100 meters in addition to his anchor role on the 4x100-meter relay. The qualifications from the weekend with join Keia Pinnick, who already earned a spot in the heptathlon field as the NCAA Championships.

LOOKING FURTHER BACK - 2012 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

The ASU men Team finished 16th at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships with 18 points.(Jordan Clarke won his third consecutive NCAA Shot Put title and defended his 2011 outdoor crown with a new personal best throw of 20.40m (66-111.25) and defeated his competition by over three feet. The mark gave Arizona State its fourth consecutive NCAA Shot Put title (Ryan Whiting won in 2009 and 2010) and between Whiting and Clarke, had won eight of the last 10 NCAA shot put competition between the indoor and outdoor campaigns. Sophomore transfer Derick Hinch proved to be the `diamond in the rough' of the season after posting an impressive third-place finish at the NCAA meet. as he became the first ASU All-American in the event since Olympic gold medalist Nick Hysong on ASU's all-time list. Anna Jelmini led the way at Nationals for the ASU women with a second place finish in the discus, earning eight points for the Sun Devils. Keia Pinnick finished fifth in the pentathlon and Christabel Nettey eighth in long jump to also earn points at Nationals. The Sun Devils' 4x100-meter relay of Asiah Gooden, Keia Pinnick, Alycia Herring and Kayla Sanchez took 16th-place overall in the semifinals in 44.84 to earn second-team All-America accolades. The women finished 24th overall. 

THROWING THEIR WEIGHT

Over the past 11 years, David Dumble has continued to bring in top talent and build the throws program at Arizona State, which has collected 15 total national titles. ASU continues to build on that legacy as(Jordan Clarke successfully defending his indoor title in the shot put and has now won four straight NCAA Championships in the event.  During the 2013 indoor season, Arizona State was the only program at the Division I level to have four athletes ranked in the top-26 nationally in all four different throwing events. The outdoor season has been strong for ASU as well with Chelsea Cassulo the current NCAA leader in the hammer throw while Anna Jelmini leads the country in the discus while four-time defending NCAA Champion(Jordan Clarke sits fifth in the shot put.  All three won their respective events at the Pac-12 Championships.  All three will be among the favorites to win NCAA titles this weekend.

THROWING MORE WEIGHT

Jordan Clarke is primed to make history this season and could do some that not even ASU legend(Ryan Whiting could do. Clarke has a chance to win five consecutive NCAA shot put titles by the conclusion of his senior year.  The reigning NCAA Champion indoors and outdoors, Clarke won his fourth-straight NCAA title at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a mark of 20.50m (67-03.25) and now sets his sights on a third-straight outdoor title. Should Clarke win out this year, he would become just the second individual in NCAA history to win five consecutive NCAA titles in the shot put. Only Kansas' Karl Salb, who won every shot put title from 1969 to 1971, would have a better a record after winning six titles during his tenure as a Jayhawk. Clarke won his third conference shot put title at the Pac-12 Championships, a feat that put him in an elite class in the conference record books as there had only been three three-time shot put champions in Pac-10/12 history and none have achieved the feat since Olympian John Godina did it for UCLA from 1993-95. He enters the weekend ranked fifth in the country with his Pac-12 winning mark of 19.35m (63-06.00).

JEL-ING AT THE RIGHT TIME

Junior Anna Jelmini became a three-time All-American in the shot put indoors with her fifth-place finish in the event at the NCAA Indoor Championships . With the effort, Jelmini opened the door to match Sarah Stevens as the lone Sun Devil in school history with four straight first-team All-America honors. She is the two-time defending NCAA runner-up and now three-time defending Pac-12 Champion in the discus throw.  Jelmini set a new career-best in a Sun Devil uniform at the Mesa Classic this past weekend with a mark of 60.61m (198-10).  The throw was the 10th-best in NCAA history and garnered Jelmini recognition on the Watch List for the Bowerman Award, given annually to the top male and female track and field athletes at the NCAA level. Jelmini won her third-consecutive Pac-12 title in the event earlier, a feat had only been accomplished once before in conference history. Former UCLA standout Dawn Dumble won four titles as a Bruin (1991-93, `95) - the only athlete in conference history to accomplish the feat in the event.  Dawn is the  sister of David Dumble, Jelmini's coach and the coach of the throws team at Arizona State. She also happened to be Jelmini's first throws coach.  She will also compete in the shot put competition this week. 

CHELSEA LATELY

Chelsea Cassulo is fast-becoming one of the best transfer pick-ups in recent history for the Sun Devils.  The former UNLV standout finished fourth in the weight throw at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a mark of 21.23m (69-08.00) - the third-best mark in ASU history.  Oddly enough, that's not even her best event.  Cassulo was named the USTFCCCA Field Athlete of the Week following the ASU Invite after set ting a new school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 69.80m (229-00). The throw was the eighth-best individual throw in NCAA history and the 15th-best throw ever at the NCAA Division I level.  Cassulo followed the performance with three throws over 68 meters at the Sun Angel Classic, finishing second only to Olympian Jessica Cosby. Cassulo went on to set the NCAA Dual Meet record in the hammer throw at the Double Dual with her winning mark of 69.52m (228-01) and then set the Pac-12 Championship meet record with her winning throw of 68.00m (223-01), knocking off former USC standout Eva Orban's previous best from 2006. Cassulo continued her tear with a throw of 70.07m (229-11) on her first attempt at the NCAA West Prelims, re-setting her school record while becoming the sixth-best collegiate performer of all-time and just the seventh woman to ever go over 70 meters in her career.

CHRISTABELS AND WHISTLES

One of the key pieces to the Arizona State women's effort this season has been senior Christabel Nettey. Nettey was an absolute monster at the MPSF Championships, winning all three events she was entered in and scoring 30 points toward the team cause and earning herself MPSF Athlete of the Meet honors. She set the school indoor long jump record with a mark of 6.55m (21-06.00) and a runner-up effort at the indoor championships.  The mark was actually equivalent to the winning jump but Nettey had to settle for second in the tiebreaking process. Nettey came out guns blazing in her 2013 outdoor long jump opener at the Sun Angel Classic, which featured a rematch against Geubelle, as she set the nation's leading mark in a winning performance with two leaps of 6.75m (22-01.75).  The performance knocked off Jacinta Bartholomew's 24-year-old school record in the event, matched a Sun Angel Stadium venue record and was the third-best jump in the history of the Pac-12 Conference.  Nettey was named the Pac-12 Women's Field Athlete of the Week for the Performance and currently remains first in the nation in the event and is undefeated outdoors this season. Nettey won her second career Pac-12 long jump title and gave ASU three straight and did so by knocking off one of the longest-standing records in the conference as she downed Gail Devers' 1987 long jump record with her winning leap of 6.68m (21-11.00).

SHELBY GT 1500

Shelby Houlihan introduced herself to the world last season as she became the first student-athlete in Pac-12 history to sweep the cross country and track and field Newcomer of the Year awards.  Houlihan locked up the school record in the indoor 800-meter run this season, earning second-team All-America honor as well while also taking the MPSF title in the mile (where she also owns the school record).  Houlihan absolutely obliterated the previous school record in the 1,500-meter run at the Sun Angel Classic, clocking a time of 4:13.64 that was three-and-a-half seconds better than Priscilla Hein's former 1999 school record. The time ranks ninth in the nation. She would go one to lead from wire-to-wire at the Pac-12 Championships with a time of 4:14.84 to take down a field that included no fewer than five former All-American seniors - including the two-time defending Pac-12 Champion, Jordan Hasay of Oregon. In doing so, she became the first Sun Devil to win a Pac-10/12 title in the event since Kim Toney did it in back-to-back years in 1993 and 1994. She could provide the extra points necessary this weekend to propel to Sun Devils into a trophy-earning position.

KEIA TO THE CITY 

Senior Keia Pinnick nearly gave ASU two NCAA Champions following the NCAA Indoor Championships, staging a huge comeback over the final two events of the pentathlon to challenge for the title.  Pinnick came up just shy, but set a new career best of 4,327 points in the process while breaking school pentathlon records in the 60-meter hurdles, long jump and 800 meters - all marks previous held by Olympian and former NCAA record-holder Jacquelyn Johnson.  Pinnick set a new career best at the Pac-12 Multis last weekend in the heptathlon with a score of 5,801 to win the competition and with that, her first career Pac-12 title. The score ranks fourth nationally and gave ASU its fifth conference champion in the last decade in the event.  Pinnick would come back to take third in a career best 13.17 in the 100-meter hurdles and fourth in the 400-meter hurdles at the Pac-12 Championships. She then helped the women's 4x400-meter relay to the ninth-fastest time in school history in 3:32.53 in a runner-up finish for a complete effort that garnered her the Pac-12 Female Athlete of the Meet honor. 

RUNNING RELAY FAST

In winning the men's 4x100-meter relay for the second consecutive season at the Pac-12 Championships, the Sun Devils became the first team to do so since UCLA in 2009 and 2010 and just the seventh team in Pac-12 history to repeat as champions. With the win, the Sun Devils - whose team this year consists of Devan Spann, Will Henry, Chris Burrows and Ryan Milus - continued to exact their dominance in the men's relays since 2000.  The victory was ASU's 12th relay victory since the turn of the millennium, more than any school in the conference. USC is second on that list with nine. The women's runner-up finish of 3:32.53 at the Pac-12 Championships was the fastest relay time since 2009 and that squad of Alycia Herring, Keia Pinnick, Sarah Geren and Brianna Tate will also be in action this week.

RUNNING FOR MILUS AND MILES

The Arizona State men's sprints program has been a force through the past decade and junior Ryan Milus has played a big part in that. The junior was a monster at the annual Double Dual meet, sweeping the 100 and 200-meter sprints and winning the 100 in a career-best time of 10.19 that ranks third in ASU history. Milus also anchored the 4x100-meter relay to a season's best time of 39.40 that currently ranks ninth in the country. Milus took third at 100 meters and fourth at 200 meters at the Pac-12 Champions while anchoring the men's quarter-mile relay to a dominating victory in 39.41. Milus was clutch for the Sun Devils at the NCAA West Prelims, automatically advancing to this week of competition in the 100-meter dash for the first time in his career while also running a fantastic anchor for the men's 4x100-meter relay to help that team automatically qualify as well. 

CANDID CAMERON

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the NCAA Prelim weekend came in the form of sophomore high-hurdler Cameron Taylor.  The local product entered the weekend as the 34th-seed in the West in the event.  As such, even advancing to the quarterfinals would have been deemed a success. But Taylor wasn't done there as he set a new career best in all conditions with a slightly wind-aided time of 13.87 to take fifth in his heat. That time would end up holding up and be good enough to earn the third and final time qualification of the quarterfinals and punch a ticket to his first-ever NCAA Championship meet of his career. Taylor ended a long drought for the Sun Devils in the event, earning the first NCAA Championships qualification for ASU since Tony Galaviz did it in 2002.

IN THE TOP 10 ALL-TIME

During the indoor campaign, 20 student-athletes set 26 marks that improved upon or moved into the top-10 in ASU history.  ASU is right back on track with that during the 2013 outdoor season as 20 athletes have set 26 marks that moved into or improved upon marks held on ASU's top-10 list in their respective events.  The list includes Amber Pasternak (pole vault), Nick Happe (1,500m), Ryan Herson (5,000m/10,000m), Garrett Baker-Slama (3,000m Steeple), Darius Terry (1,500m), Shelby Houlihan (1,500m/5,000m), Ke'Nya Hardge (400mH) and Brianna Tate (400m) all making their debuts on the top-10 list while Alex Hartig (javelin), Keia Pinnick (heptathlon/100mH/400mH), Christabel Nettey (long jump/100mH), Anna Jelmini (discus),(Jordan Clarke (discus/hammer) and Ryan Milus (100m) all improved upon marks already held on the list.

RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS

ASU's roster currently fields a total of 15 student-athletes who have earned an All-America honor in their careers.  Individuals include Keia Pinnick, Christabel Nettey, Anna Jelmini, Chelsea Cassulo, Shelby Houlihan,(Jordan Clarke, Derick Hinch, Bryan McBride, Nick Happe and Ryan Mlus while Chris Burrows, Will Henry, Alycia Herring, Brianna Tate and Sarah Geren have all earned the honor as part of a relay team. 

LAST HURRAH

The 2013 season represents the beginning of the end for 15 Sun Devils entering the season.  On the men's side Chris Benard, Chris Burrows,(Jordan ClarkeNick Happe, Daryl Morales, Cory Kraft, Joe Riccio, Darius Terry and Josh Walker enter their final campaign in the Maroon and Gold while Chelsea Cassulo, Hailey Hanna, Christabel Nettey, Keia Pinnick, Constance Ezugha and Natasa Vulic will compete in their last competitions as Sun Devils this year.

BACK ON SCHEDULE

In 1996, Pal Arne Fagernes won the men's javelin title at the NCAA Championships. It was not until 2004 that Arizona State had another national champion as Jacquelyn Johnson won the outdoor heptathlon as a true freshman. Starting in 2005, ASU had at least one returning NCAA champion on its roster for six years in a row, a streak that came to an end two seasons ago because of graduation. The 2010 and 2009 rosters featured two returning individuals each (Ryan Whiting and Jason Lewis in 2010, Whiting and Sarah Stevens in 2009) while the 2008 roster featured four returning champions in Johnson, Stevens, Jessica Pressley and April Kubishta, all who won titles in 2007.  The Sun Devils had no returning champions in 2011 but rectified that for the 2012 season with junior(Jordan Clarke returning as the 2011 NCAA outdoor shot put champion and that carried over into a sweep of the 2012 titles. With his return again this year, ASU hopes he can pass the torch on and keep the streak going. 

KRAFT LEADS THE WAY

Head Coach Greg Kraft is entering his 17th year as the leader of the Sun Devil program, a tenure that has brought Arizona State back to the top of the standings in both the NCAA and Pac-12 events. Since his hiring, the program has continued to evolve into one of the more well-rounded in the nation with strength on the track and in the field as well as in cross country. Kraft and his staff have worked diligently to reach their goals of championships and success in education and that has not been more clearly seen than in the past five years as the hardware has continued to roll in. His program has annually produced some of the top individuals in the nation with 27 of the program's 59 individual and relay national titles won since 2004 while both his teams and individual student-athletes have garnered national academic acclaim. Prior to his arrival, the program boasted one NCAA Championship (men's outdoor track & field, 1977) and one Pac-12 Championship (men's outdoor track & field, 1981). In the last seven years, his Sun Devils have captured four national crowns (2007 women's indoor and outdoor track & field, 2008 men's and women's indoor track & field) and added three Pac-12 Championships (women's outdoor track & field, 2006-08). Kraft's teams have finished in the Top 10 of the NCAA Track & Field Championships (indoors and outdoors) on 23 occasions in 17 years while the program had done so just 14 times prior to his arrival in Tempe.

LONG TENURE IN TEMPE

As he begins his 17th year at Arizona State, Kraft's tenure ranks as the second-longest in Sun Devil track & field history and the third-longest active streak among all current ASU head coaches. The only coach that has led the track & field program longer than Kraft is legendary coach Senon `Baldy' Castillo, who led the way for 26 years (1954-79). Among current Sun Devil head coaches, Kraft's 17th year ranks behind John Spini, who is in his 33rd year with gymnastics and Sheila McInerney, who is in her 29th year with women's tennis.

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