Montoya tops track and field’s recruiting class

While football was the main focus of National Signing Day, there was another ASU sport bringing in major recruiting talent.

The Sun Devil track and field team had eight athletes sign their letters of intent on Feb. 6. Of those signees, five are distance runners, two are sprinters and one is a thrower.

The distance runner Bernie Montoya headlines the recruiting class. The Sun Devil program felt it was important keeping Arizona talent in the state.

Montoya recorded the fastest mile time for a high school junior in U.S. history.

As amazing of a feat as that is, the new Sun Devil is identified more for his YouTube video from the 2012 Arizona State Championships.

During the final mile competition, Montoya stopped just after his first lap to tie his shoe, dropping approximately 50 meters behind the group.

Miraculously, Montoya caught the rest of the group by the first part of the third lap and didn’t stop, winning the state championship.

Distance coach Louie Quintana is excited to have the Cibola High School graduate a part of the Sun Devil squad next season and can’t wait to see what he can bring to the table.

“Bernie is a magnificent young man,” Quintana said. “His commitment to ASU is a tremendous boost to our young and very talented distance squad.

“He has a tremendous skill set as an athlete and is equally a high-character individual. He was a must get for us, and we are extremely excited to watch him and Bernie develop together.”

Along with Montoya, ASU signed Buchanan High School distance runner Cody Brazeal, who is the No. 7 mile runner in the U.S. Montoya is also among the top seven, thus giving the Sun Devils two of the top performers in the count.

Brazeal is one of four recruits from California, which include distance runners Chelsey Totten and Miranda Kewley and sprinter La Troya Franklin.

Franklin is another top signee for ASU and competes in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints. To demonstrate how big of an impact Franklin could have right away, her best times in those events would put her just outside the Sun Devil top-ten of all-time.

Women’s sprinting coach Ronnie Williams is looking forward to the addition of Franklin to keep the Sun Devil women on the rise.

“She is one of the best I have ever seen at the prep ranks in the short sprints,” Williams said. “We expect her to be a big-timer for us.”

The additions to both men and women’s teams provide even more depth for the Sun Devils.

The loss of redshirt seniors Nick Happe and Brian Pierre on the boys’ distance side will require shoes to be filled by Montoya and Brazeal.

For the women, top runners Keia Pinnick and Christabel Nettey will be crucial for the ASU women to replace if possible.

The additions of Franklin, Totten and Kewley look to provide that extra help.

 

Reach the reporter at msterrel@asu.edu