Feb. 8, 2012
TEMPE - For the first time this season, the Arizona State University No. 24 men’s and No. 21 women’s track and field squads will see the entire team in competition, albeit it at separate competitions as the Sun Devils split way to three different meets this weekend. The distance teams will see their first performance as a whole team this weekend as the team heads north to the Husky Invitational on Saturday in Seattle, Wash., while a couple throwers will head to Boise, Idaho, - site of the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships - to take part in the Boise Team Challenge. The remainder of the team will head east to Albuquerque, N.M. for the Don Kirby Invite. With the big weekend for distance teams across the country opening up and with the sheer number of meets going on this weekend, head coach Greg Kraft feels this weekend will allow the Sun Devils to really see how they stack up against the rest of the country. The team’s events will be spread across Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 11. Check back at TheSunDevils.com at the conclusion of each day for a complete recap of the action.
OUT OF THE BLOCKS
•The ASU women are #21 in this week’s USTFCCCA Top 25 rankings while the ASU men moved into the top 25 for the first time this season at #24.
• Senior Chris Benard set the school triple jump record in the season opener with a leap of 16.14m (52-11.50) in Flagstaff - which is also the the fourth-best jump in the nation this season.
• The ASU men currently have eleven student-athletes ranked in the top-25 in the country: Ryan Milus (60m), Daniel Auberry (60m), Mason McHenry (800m), Jordan Clarke (shot put), Rashad Ross (200m), Chris Burrows (200m), William Henry (400m), John Kline (800m), Nick Happe (3,000m), Bryan McBride (High Jump) and Chris Benard (triple jump) along with the team’s DMR and 4x400m relays.
•Jordan Clarke returns to the Sun Devils as the defending outdoor NCAA shot put champion.
• Ryan Milus clocked the eighth-fastest 60-meter time in the country at the Lumberjack Invite at 6.63 seconds.
•Rashad Ross moved to sixth on ASU’s all-time indoor 200m with a time of 21.15 that also placed him in the top-215 nationally at the NAU Open.
•Shelby Houlihan went toe-to-toe with two All-Americans at the Texas A&M Challenge en route to clocking the third fastest 800m time in ASU indoor history.
IN THE RANKINGS: USTFCCCA TOP 25
The USTFCCCA released its Week Three computer rankings on Feb. 7 and the ASU women remain in the Top 25 at No. 21. The ASU men climbed into this week’s poll for the first time this season at No. 24. Early in the season, the computer formulae uses results from the 2011 season in addition to marks from 2012 in an effort to predict which teams have the best opportunity to score well at the NCAA Championships.
IN THE RANKINGS: USTFCCCA WEST REGION
The ASU men found themselves in the first spot in the West Regional rankings and increased their lead to 198 points over No. 2 Oregon. The Arizona State women find themselves in fourth in regional rankings behind Stanford, Oregon and Arizona.
TRIPLE THE EXCITEMENT
Senior Chris Benard had an impressive season for the Sun Devils last year, advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the triple jump after transferring from Riverside College. Benard got 2012 started with a bang though with a 16.14m (52-11.50) leap at the Lumberjack Invitational to take down Dwight Phillips’ 12-year-old indoor school record in the event and give Benard the top jump in the country in the early part of the season. It was just the third time in school history that a student-athlete had cleared the 16-meter barrier indoors. Benard would go on to win the triple jump event at the Texas A&M Challenge and is two-for-two on the season.
SHELBY GT 800
Shelby Houlihan introduced herself to the world in the cross country season in earning Pac-12 Newcomer of the year honors. Now, she has wasted no time letting everyone know there will be no dropback during the track season. Houlihan clocked the third-fastest indoor 800-meter time in school history at the Texas A&M Challenge in a time of 2:07.58 as she went toe-to-toe with two National Champions in the event. Houlihan is expected to open up with the first mile run of her collegiate career this weekend.
RUNNING FOR MILUS AND MILES
Sophomore Ryan Milus wasted no time establishing himself as one of the top young runners in the country in the season opener at the Lumberjack Invite, clocking an altitude-adjusted 6.63 in the 60-meter dash for the third-best time in the country thus far this year. Milus’ original time of 6.59 would have been good for the NCAA auto qualifying mark, but the altitude adjustment knocked his time just above the 6.60 time required to achieve that. Nevertheless, it was the third-fastest time in ASU history in the event. and sets Milus up well as the season continues to move on.
I’ll BE YOUR AUBERRY
Senior Daniel Auberry joined the elite Top-25 in the 200m at the NAU Open, clocking an altitude-adjusted 6.67 in the 60-meter dash for the fourth-fastest indoor time in school history. Auberry’s original time of 6.63 was just above the 6.60 NCAA auto qualifying time.
NEWCOMER MAKING IMPRESSIONS
Sophomore Rashad Ross, a member of the ASU football team who joined the track team at the conclusion of the football season, grabbed attention at the NAU Open in the 200-meter race with a time of 21.25 (altitude adjusted) that placed him sixth on ASU’s all-time 200m list. Ross’ accomplishment is even more impressive with the fact that it was his second race he has ran for ASU and his second indoor race ever.
LIFE OF BRYAN
Sophomore Bryan McBride continues to improve as he won his second consecutive competition with new career best, both indoors or outdoors, with a clearance of 2.21m (7-3.00) at the NAU Open. The leap puts McBride fourth on ASU’s all-time indoor list and currently ranks him in the top-10 nationally.
IN THE TOP 10 ALL-TIME
With just three competitions in the books, 23 ASU student-athletes moved into or improved upon their prior top-10 marks in school history. The newcomers include Cameron Taylor (60mH, second), Derick Hinch (Pole Vault, fifth), Shelby Houlihan (800m, third), Asiah Gooden (T60m, seventh), Alycia Herring (60m, eighth), Rashad Ross (200m, sixth), Nick Happe (Mile, eighth), Chris Burrows (200m, sixth) and Daniel Auberry (60m, ninth). Ryan Milus (60m), Chris Benard (triple jump/long jump), Bryan McBride (high jump), Ashley Lampley (weight throw), Jordan Clarke (shot put), Keia Pinnick (60m hurdles), John Kline (800m), Nick Happe (3000m), Darius Terry (mile), Jamie Sandys (heptathlon), Austin Prince (heptathlon), Jeremy Marcinko (heptathlon), Keia Pinnick (pentathlon) and Asiah Gooden (60m) all improved upon marks they already held in the top-10 in their respective events.
ASU returns five All-Americans from last year’s indoor season. Sophomore Anna Jelmini represents the lone first-team All-American after her fifth place finish in last year’s shot put competition. ASU also returns three of the four members of the women’s 4x400-meter relay that set the third fastest time in school history last year in Sarah Geren, Keia Pinnick and Kayla Sanchez. The team finished 12th last season, earning second-team All-America honors. On the men’s side, defending outdoor shot put champion Jordan Clarke returns to the field after earning second-team honors with a ninth place finish at last year’s indoor championships.
The start of the 2012 represents the beginning of the end for 19 Sun Devils entering the season. On the men’s side, Daniel Auberry, Allante Battle, Chris Benard, Kelsey Caesar, John Kline, Cameron Liston, Daniel Lovell, Mason McHenry, Marc Peck, Brian Pierre, Austin Prince, Joe Riccio and Jamie Sandys enter their final campaign in the Maroon and Gold while Chelsea Cassulo, Ashley Lampley, Cj Navarro, Camille Olson, Kayla Sanchez and Kauren Tarver will compete in their last competitions as Sun Devils this year.