Feb. 3, 2012
TEMPE - The Arizona State University track and field program inked six future student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to compete for the Sun Devils in 2012-13, as announced by Director of Track & Field Greg Kraft.
The Sun Devils signed three throwers, two distance runners and a sprinter and all will come to Arizona State with four years of eligibility as they all will come straight out of college.
The throwing class is among the best that ASU has ever signed in one year, according to throws coach David Dumble, who is incredibly excited about the squads potential.
Leading the way is Thomas Anderson (Andover HS/Andover, Minn.), the nation's top returning high school shot putter in 2012 and son of Olympians Colin and Lynne Anderson. With personal bests of 65-4.50 in the shot and 177-3 in the discus, Anderson is arguably the top recruit in the nation as far as the throws are concerned and will follow in the great line of ASU throwers to come through the ranks in the past decade.
Anderson will be joined by Kyle Long (Hempfield HS/Landisville, Pa.), the nation's No. 3 returning discus thrower (202-3) and pupil of Glenn Thompson - the same coach that coached ASU legend Ryan Whiting in the throws during Whiting's prep career.
On the women's side, Arizona prep star Ashley Weber (Buena HS/Sierra Vista, Ariz.) will join the ranks as the third-best returning hammer thrower in the nation and the 2011 National Champion in the event after taking first in the 45th USATF Junior Track and Field Championships.
Dumble believes all three have the tools to inevitable contribute to the Sun Devils in a big way but they will all redshirt a year in an effort to work on their development and make them even more of a force when they first don the Maroon & Gold for the first time.
In the distance side of things, ASU signed one of the top runners out of California on the men's side in CJ Albertson (Buchanan HS/Fresno, Calif.). Buchanan has been kind to the Sun Devils in the past, as Kraft notes, and has provided the team with the likes of Kyle Alcorn and Casey Burchill in the past and current freshman Macy Bricks as well as the team's graduate assistant, Lauren Saylor. Albertson was fourth at the 2010 California State Cross Country Championships and holds the state junior course record at Woodward Park, which had been held for around 20 years by current men's cross country head coach Louie Quintana.
The women will add Adriana Olivas (Centennial HS/Corona, Calif.), a tough runner that ASU women's cross country head coach has not only the talent to be successful, but the toughness to be able to compete immediate at the NCAA Division I level. Olivas a second-team All-Foot Locker West Region athlete as a junior and is the two-time Big-8 League cross country champion.
Finally, in the men's sprints, Rashard Clark (Dorsey HS/Los Angeles, Calif.) will join the Sun Devils in 2012. Clark bares an eerie similarity to 2010 NCAA 400-meter runner-up Donald Sanford. A multi-star athlete, Clark also competes for football and basketball at Dorsey High and recently put up 16 points with 10 boards in a recent basketball game there.
"Everyone we signed definitely looks the part," Kraft said of the signing class. "A lot of times, the kids come in and have the marks but there are still some questions. I believe these kids deifnitely pass that look test coming in here."
A complete review of the 2012-13 signing class is below:
Andover High School
The Arizona State University track and field team will welcome Thomas Anderson (Andover HS) for the 2012-13 season in throws. Anderson was the 2011 Minnesota State Champion in the shot put and, with a personal best of 65-4.50, is the top returning shot putter in the nation in 2012. That mark ranks second all-time in Minnesota State prep history. Andover also has a career-best mark of 177-3 in the discus throw.
Anderson comes with great pedigree in that his parents – Colin and Lynne Anderson - are both Olympians. Lynne, a former American discus record holder and an Olympian in the event in 1976 and 1980, is a throws coach at the University of Minnesota and works with Thomas on the discus in the summer. Colin, a 1980 Olympian in the shot put, is an assistant at Andover High School and works with Thomas year round.
Arizona State throws coach David Dumble on Thomas Anderson:
“He shows a lot of talent but I think he has a lot more. He’s a big guy at 6-4 or 6-5, 260 pounds and size helps. He has a good background in training and his parents were both Olympians so he has a great base of knowledge. That going to be a great stepping stone for him over the next 4-5 years. We’re really excited about Thomas joining the team and look forward to seeing what he can do as a Sun Devil.
Arizona State Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Greg Kraft on Anderson:
“Thomas Anderson is really exciting. Coach Dumble is able to bring in the top-rated shot putter in the country and continue a great tradition here at Arizona State. Thomas has all the attributes than Ryan (Whiting) and Jordan (Clarke) had. The fact that his parents are both Olympians speaks well for the work that he’s put in in his career.”
Thomas Anderson on his commitment to ASU:
"ASU is the best choice for me both academically and athletically, I am excited to become a Sun Devil and continuing the long tradition of Arizona State throwers."
Hempfield High School
Kyle Long (Hempfield High School) signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Arizona State University track and field team, adding to an already deep recruiting class for the Sun Devils for the 2012-13 season. Long is entering his senior season as the nation’s third-best returning discus thrower in the nation with a career best of 202-10. Long was the 2011 Pennsylvania State Champion in both the shot put and the discus event. He holds a career best throw of 59-2.00 in the shot put.
Long is coached by Glenn Thompson, the same coach that oversaw the growth of one of ASU’s all-time great throwers Ryan Whiting during Whiting’s prep career in Pennsylvania. Long competed at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals this past summer, where he was the runner-up in the discus with a mark of 190-0.
Arizona State throws coach David Dumble on Kyle Long:
“Kyle Long made big improvements during his junior season. He is a hard worker and very focused on learning and getting better. He has the same high school coach as Ryan Whiting and has a great base of knowledge. Now that he’s coming to the sunshine, he’ll be able to train in some warmer weather and I think that will help his growth.”
Arizona State Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Greg Kraft on Long:
“We were looking to sign some throwers early and we got Thomas Anderson but we also knew that Kyle Long was just someone we had to have in our program. He beat Ryan Whiting’s state record in the discus and is a guy who we think will be able to come right in and compete for a title in the discus right away.”
Buena High School
Sierra Vista, Ariz.
The Sun Devils continued to add depth to its throwing squad as Ashley Weber (Buena High School/Sierra Vista, Ariz.) signed her National Letter of Intent to compete for the Arizona State track and field team next season. Weber is the nations fourth-best returning student-athlete in the hammer throw with a career best of 160-3. Weber was the 2011 National Champion at the 45th USATF National Junior Track and Field Championships with a mark of 159-4. Weber has also posted a career best of 45-7.00 in the shot put and was the 2011 Great Southwest Hammer Champion.
Arizona State throws coach David Dumble on Ashley Weber:
“Ashley is the number one shot putter in the state of Arizona and the number four returning hammer thrower in the country. She’s had good coaching and is really putting the pieces together. She has good size and is explosive. The best thing about her though is her determination. She’s all in. Once we can refine her skills, I think we’ll see some big marks from her in the future.”
Arizona State Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Greg Kraft on Weber:
“Ashley is the top thrower in Arizona and was a must-get for us. Anna Jelmini and Cj Navarro are Pac-10 champions and we needed to be able to stay strong and keep the depth in our women’s throws and we did that in signing Ashley.”
Ashley Weber on her commitment to ASU
"I chose Arizona State University because I found everything I could want or need there. The thing that most impressed me about Arizona State University was its incredible energy and atmosphere. The athletic department, academic advisors, and coaching staff are all enthusiastic, dynamic, and dedicated to presenting me with the best opportunities for success. I am thrilled that at ASU, I will receive a quality education and have the chance to join an awesome tradition of Track and Field excellence.
At the beginning of my recruiting process, I was not incredibly interested in ASU. It was Coach Dumble's enthusiasm and dynamic personality that convinced me to come on an official visit, and once I was there, I was astounded by everything I saw. The athletic department, coaching staff, and the academic support advisors were all charismatic, passionate, and dedicated to providing the best opportunities and support they could offer me. Also, after seeing the driven, focused, yet fun atmosphere of practices, I knew I could be happy as part of this program. When I left campus after my visit, I talked about it with my parents, called Coach Dumble, and verbally committed while we were still on the drive home. I found the place I wanted to go to school and throw, so I had no reservations about committing, or signing with Arizona State University."
Buena High School throws coach Ron Carey on Weber's committment:
"In my fifteen years coaching throws at Buena High School, I have been fortunate enough to coach many talented and dedicated athletes. Some have won state championships, and more have gone on to throw at the Junior College and Division 1 level. Ashley Weber has taken hard work and dedication to a whole new level. In all aspects of her life, Ashley strives to be the best she can, not only for herself, but for her parents and teammates and coaches. Ashley is a tireless leader whether it is making new teammates feel comfortable, to helping exiting teammates feel accomplished. Ashley's talent and dedication has helped me become a much better throws coach. I realized that I had to expand my knowledge and do whatever I could to help her realize her amazing potential. Ashley will work hard and I am confident that all at Arizona State University will soon realize that they are truly fortunate that Ashley Weber chose to become a Sun Devil."
Dorsey High School
Los Angeles, Calif.
The Arizona State track and field team added to its depth in the men’s sprints with Rashard Clark signing his National Letter of Intent to compete for the Sun Devils next season. Clark will be a senior at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles and is a multi-sport athlete that currently competes in football and basketball in addition to track.
Clark clocked the fastest time in the preliminary rounds of the California state track and field meet last year at 400 meters with a time of 47.58 seconds. He would go on to finish second in the final with a time of 47.66. Clark was second at the 2010 USATF Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships with a then-personal best time of 48.70.
Arizona State Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Greg Kraft on Rashard Clark:
“When I and Coach (Louie) Quintana went to the California state meet, Rashard Clarke was the name on the top of our list. He has a lot of eerie similarities to Donald Sanford and we are definitely looking forward to seeing what he can do here. He passes the look test.”
Buchanan High School
The past couple years have seen a several talented student-athletes comes to Arizona State by way of Buchanan High School (Clovis, Calif.) and the 2012 signing class will follow that pattern with the addition of CJ Albertson. Regarded as one of the top distance runners in the state of California, Albertson joins the Sun Devils as the next Bears to come down the pipeline to Tempe on the heels of Kyle Alcorn (2x NCAA Champion), Casey Burchill (#2 all-time on ASU 10k list), Macy Bricks (current freshman that was a valuable contributor during the 2011 cross country season) and current ASU track and field graduate assistant Lauren Saylor.
Albertson has recorded personal bests on the track of 4:11.92 in the mile (No. 4 all-time in California State junior class history) and 9:08.82 in the two-mile. He was a 2011 Foot Locker national qualifier and finished eighth at the Foot Locker West Regional. As a junior in 2010, Albertson was fourth at the California State Cross Country Championships, clocking a time of 14:51 to set the new junior course record which had been held for over 20 years by – of all people – ASU head men’s cross country coach Louie Quintana. He was named the 2010 boy’s cross country Runner of the Year by the Fresno Bee.
Men’s Cross Country Head Coach Louie Quintana on Albertson:
“CJ is the kind of athlete we covet at Arizona State. He is gritty, competitive, talented and absolutely has the right mindset to be an impact player in our competitive conference. We are tremendously excited to add his distance skills to a growing and talented distance corps.”
Arizona State Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Greg Kraft on Albertson:
“Coach (Louie) Quintana is one of the all-time greats out of California and he has a lot of eyes and ears out thee. CJ comes out of a program that has been good to us and he comes in with credentials that are as strong as any of the student-athletes we are bringing in.”
Centennial High School
Ashley Olvas will join the growing depth of the Arizona State University women's cross country and distance program after signing her National Letter of Intent to compete for the Sun Devils next season. Olivas is in her senior year at Centennial High School in Corona, Calif. She has finished in the top-10 in the past two years at the Division I California State Cross Country Championships and was a second-team All-Foot Locker West Region competition in 2010 when she was 14th overall. She was 29th at the 2011 Foot Locker West Regional Championships and is a two-time Big-8 League Champion in cross country. She was named the 2010 Riverside County Athlete of the Year and holds a person best of 10:51 in the two-mile on the track.
Arizona State Women's Cross Country Head Coach Ryan Cole on Olivas:“Adriana is a fearless competitor. There are a lot of girls with ability that come out of California and talent is definitely required at our level. But talent only takes you so far. To really succeed, you also need to be tough. I don’t know if there is a tougher runner in California than Adriana Olivas. That’s why she’ll be a great fit in our Sun Devil program.”