ASU track and field readies for Mt. SAC Relays

Sophomore pole-vaulter Andrea Kremmerrer gets a running start before jumping over the bar during the Sun Angel Track Classic at Sun Angel Stadium on Saturday, April 12. (Photo by Becca Smouse)

Sophomore pole-vaulter Andrea Kremmerrer gets a running start before jumping over the bar during the Sun Angel Track Classic at Sun Angel Stadium on Saturday, April 12. (Photo by Becca Smouse)

With the Pac-12 track and field championships just under a month away, the ASU track and field team has officially completed its home schedule of meets for the season and now looks forward to the Mt. SAC Relays starting Thursday in Walnut, Calif.

Despite setting yet another ASU record in the 1500-meter run at the Sun Angel Classic, junior Shelby Houlihan did fly somewhat under the radar with her win. Unsurprisingly, Houlihan was not happy with her performance but is still looking forward to Mt. SAC this weekend.

“When I got done I just felt like I had more in there,” Houlihan said. “I wish I would’ve been more assertive during the race and not letting that gap from letting (bronze medalist Nicole Sifuentes) get away from me.”

Houlihan said the training schedule this week for her is mostly recovering from the race at the Sun Angel Classic before traveling to Walnut.

“I’m running the 800, so not quite as long but it’s going to be fast,” Houlihan said. “So I’m just trying to get a little but of speed work under my belt and be ready for that.”

Houlihan also said she is excited to see how some of her teammates are going to perform this weekend at Mt. SAC.

“We have a lot of 5K runners that are going up there,” Houlihan said. “Like Adriana (Olivas), she ran an awesome 10K the other week so I’m really excited about what she’s going to do in the 5K.”

The biggest surprise at the Sun Angel Classic was the inclusion of redshirt sophomore Cody Moore in the final 4×400 relay. Moore said that came together very quickly during the meet after the injury to redshirt junior Devan Spann.

“I was under the impression the whole hour before that I was going to run the B team relay,” Moore said. “I just had the idea why don’t you just stick me on the end? It doesn’t really matter what happens afterwards.”

While Moore was quick to step up, it didn’t ease any of the anxiety leading up to his leg of the relay.

“I was about the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life the second (assistant coach Ronnie Williams) said yeah,” Moore said. “Because I didn’t think he’d say yeah.”

After the race, Williams and coach Greg Kraft were quick to praise Moore for his performance, but Moore was quicker to pass the praise on the other members of the relay team.

“They ran their butts off, man. They ran a really great time, and I was lucky enough to be able to step up and run fast and run a good leg and we ran a great time in the end,” Moore said. “Really it was all for the team.”

Moore attributed his performance to getting out of his own head after running poorly in the 400-meter hurdles earlier in the day, something he hopes will make him a better runner in the future.

“For me it’s just turning my brain off, honestly,” Moore said. “It’s the first time I just relaxed and I wasn’t thinking about my race, I wasn’t thinking about anything other than just ‘get the stick, catch the guy in front of me.’ ”

Moore said it was the first time in a long time he had that kind of mindset and hopes that having that experience will help him focus more on what’s in front of him, and that it’s been something he’s been working on for a while.

“I think just the added bit of pressure put on me at the end, to run like that, is what put me over the edge, which is really nice,” Moore said.

Moore said this week is focused primarily on recovering after running faster than he is used to. Moore said that he is preparing to run in the relay Saturday night.

The Mt. SAC Relays begin Thursday with the running events starting at 6 p.m. Saturday will include high school competition with collegiate competition continuing on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.

Reach the reporter at wslane@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @bill_slane