June 16, 2010
TEMPE – The Arizona State University track and field/cross country program has finished second in the 2009-10 NCAA Division I John McDonnell Men’s Program of the Year standings, the U.S. Track & Field, Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Wednesday. The award is in its second year and is presented annually to the most outstanding NCAA Division I men’s cross country/track & field program. The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year based on the institution’s finishes at the three NCAA meets.
Based on points earned at the three national championships (cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field), the Sun Devils scored 30 points to finish second with Pac-10 rival Oregon winning the award with 7.5 points. Intrastate rival Northern Arizona was third with 42.5 points and was followed in the Top 5 by Florida State (51.0) and Washington (55.0). The Top 10 was rounded out by Oklahoma (56.0), Alabama (56.5), Wisconsin (57.5), Virginia (61.5) and Stanford (68.0).
The Sun Devils opened the year with a 19th-place finish at the 2009 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., to collect 19 points for the program. At the meet, Brandon Bethke led the charge for the men as he raced to a seventh-place finish overall to earn All-America honors and record the best finish for an ASU male at the national meet. Prior to Bethke, Aaron Aguayo’s ninth-place finish in 2007 was the top finish with only Lisa Aguilera’s fourth-place run in 2000 standing as the best finish overall in program history.
Moving indoors for the first of two track & field campaigns, another senior took over the leading role as Ryan Whiting continued to dominate the shot put with his third-consecutive national title in the indoor event and his third overall in a row with the 2009 outdoor crown mixed in between. Bethke took fourth in the 5,000m run, Jason Lewis was sixth in the weight throw and seventh in the shot put and the 4x400m relay of Justin Kremer, Ray Miller, Joel Phillip and Donald Sanford raced to an eighth-place finish to help the team place seventh overall, giving the men their fifth Top 10 finish in a row in the track & field meets (indoor and outdoor).
In the final championship of the season, Whiting again took center stage as he became the 11th man to sweep the shot put and discus in the same meet since 1921 and the first since 2002 to score 20 points for the team and lead the way to a fourth-place finish. With the finish, the Sun Devils earned a trophy from the NCAA for the first time in an outdoor meet since 1981. Lewis contributed with a trio of All-America honors and rookie Jordan Clarke took fifth in the shot put to five ASU a 1-5-7 showing in the event. Sanford was the runner-up in the 400m dash and joined with Allante Battle, Kremer and Phillip to finish eighth in the 4x400m relay to close out the meet.
Only 17 schools made the final standings list by scoring points at all three championships. Of those 17 teams, two of the Top 3 hailed from the state of Arizona while four of the Top 10 came from the Pac-10.
John McDonnell Men’s Program of the Year Award for 2009-10
Top 10 Standings (final)
1. Oregon - 7.5 points
2. Arizona State - 30.0
3. Northern Arizona - 42.5
4. Florida State - 51.0
5. Washington - 55.0
6. Oklahoma - 56.0
7. Alabama - 56.5
8. Wisconsin - 57.5
9. Virginia - 61.5
10. Stanford - 68