The ASU track and field team is coming off a first-place finish for the men and a second-place finish for the women at MPSF Championship on Feb. 22 and 23.
A majority of the Sun Devils, like redshirt junior Chelsea Cassulo, redshirt senior Jordan Clarke and senior Keia Pinnick, qualified for the NCAA National Indoor Championship meet on March 8 and 9. But there are still others attempting a late push into the biggest weekend of the indoor season.
Junior pole-vaulter Shaylah Simpson is traveling to Seattle for the Last Chance meet. She is ranked No. 15 in her respective event and is looking to rebound this season after suffering an injury late in the 2012 season. Simpson was at one point ranked No. 9 and hopes to get ranked there or higher after this weekend’s performance.
Fellow teammate junior Bryan McBride will also make the trip to Seattle with Simpson, but will compete in a different event.
The junior will attempt for a qualifying leap in the high jump. McBride is coming off a second-place finish at the MPSF Championships, but wasn’t enough to put him into the NCAA meet.
He’s currently ranked No. 14 nationally and will need to break the tie amongst his other six competitors across the nation at that same ranking to qualify.
“Bryan is inside the bubble right now for the NCAA championship and Shaylah is just outside the bubble,” coach Greg Kraft said. “This meet will be important for Bryan to protect his spot, while a big performance is needed from Shaylah.”
Sophomore sprinter Brianna Tate will head east to compete in the Alex Wilson Invite at Notre Dame on Friday and Saturday.
Tate currently ranks No. 30 in the 400m event. While also competing in the women’s 4x400m relay, Tate is attempting to be able to compete as an individual at the NCAA championship. Tate may also try and qualify in the 200m event as well after taking a fifth place finish at the MPSF Championship.
“This meet is all about having a faster track,” Kraft said. “We expect Brianna to go out there and capitalize.”
But it’ll be redshirt junior Derick Hinch that will be representing ASU on a much higher level.
The pole-vaulter will travel to Albuquerque for the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Hinch is currently ranked No. 10 in the nation and is hoping to translate his recent success into a much bigger championship.
“I am super excited about going,” Hinch said. “I’m more using USA indoors as a high energy practice to prepare for NCAA’s the following Friday. While I am going to do my best in Albuquerque, the goal is to jump my highest in Arkansas and help our team win an indoor title.”
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