And it all comes down to this.
The final regular season meet for the ASU track and field team takes place on Saturday at Sun Angel Stadium with the Double Dual. The Sun Devils will host their in-state rivals, the NAU Lumberjacks and the UA Wildcats, for state bragging rights.
The Double Dual is different from the rest of the meets that the Sun Devils have competed in this season in that only three teams will compete. There will not be any unattached or professional athletes in the event.
The scoring for the Double Dual will also be different from the other meets. Each school will only score points based on its top two finishers in each event. The top two finishers from each school will be placed three ways against the top two from each of the other schools. The three ways the scores will be placed are ASU versus UA, ASU versus NAU and NAU versus UA.
When the four finishers in each of the three match-ups are slotted, first place will earn five points, second will earn three, third will earn two and fourth will earn one point.
At the end of the meet, there will be six total team scores, three men’s scores and three women’s scores, and winners will be decided in each school match-up.
For the Sun Devils, the Double Dual is not only different in format, but also in feeling. The meet is the final regular season event for ASU before the championship season starts with the Pac-10 Multis in Tucson next weekend and the Pac-10 Championships at the same venue in two weeks.
Besides some athletes’ final shots at making the Pac-10 roster, this is also the last shot for the seniors to showcase themselves in front of the home crowd at Sun Angel Stadium.
“I’ve been so blessed,” redshirt senior Jasmine Chaney said. “I’ve been blessed to have the teammates, the coaching staff and the academic staff here over my career. It’s special.”
To make this Double Dual extremely special, the Sun Devils will have to overcome stiff competition from their southern rivals, UA.
The biggest competition will be on the women’s side as No. 10 ASU tries to take down the No. 7 Wildcats. ASU holds the edge on the track with Chaney and the sprinters, while UA holds the field advantage with the top shot put and high jump marks in the nation.
NAU showed at last weekend’s Sun Devil Open that its women’s side would have scoring opportunities with a win and meet record in the high jump and impressive showings in the discus and 800-meter run.
The No. 25 ASU men’s team will have a much tougher time against the No. 9 UA men’s team. While the Sun Devils have seen a consistent showing from redshirt sophomore thrower Jordan Clarke and a late surge from redshirt freshman sprinter Ryan Milus, the Wildcats are deeper and more balanced overall.
UA is on a hot streak, jumping 17 spots in the national rankings over the past two weeks due to a large surge of top-10 national performances. UA also boasts the top two 5,000-meter times as well as the top high jump mark.
NAU will again have to get the most out of their chances, but it posted wins in the shot put, steeplechase and a meet-record discus throw at the Sun Devil Open.
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