ASU track and field relay teams sweep 2014 Double Dual
For the second straight year, the ASU men’s track and field team beat both NAU and the UA at the Double Dual meet. The women’s team beat NAU but fell short of beating UA.
The ASU men beat UA 104.5-95.5 and beat NAU 126-63. The women topped the Lumberjacks 116-66 but fell to UA 106.5-91.5
It was another big meet for the men’s and women’s track teams as ASU swept both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. The women’s 4x100 relay team of senior Asiah Gooden, junior Brianna Tate, senior Alycia Herring and freshman LaTroya Franklin set a new personal best with a winning time of 44.17 seconds. That time is now fifth-best all-time at ASU.
The men’s 4x100 team of redshirt junior Devan Spann, senior Will Henry, senior Keith Cleveland and redshirt senior Ryan Milus had a winning time of 39.65 seconds in the first time that particular group has run the 4x100 this season.
Coach Ronnie Williams may still be trying to find the best group of four runners for the relays heading into the Pac-12 championships.
Spann has been dealing with bunion issues on his feet that have held him out of some races this season. Redshirt sophomore Cody Moore has filled in for Spann in the 4x400 but has not run the 4x100 this season. Spann was able to run both relays on Saturday, however, which is a good sign for the junior heading into the most important meets of the season.
In the women’s 4x400 meter relay, the team of junior Sara McDonald, senior Sarah Geren, Tate and Franklin ran a season ran a winning time of three minutes and 34.29 seconds for first place.
The men’s 4x400 team of Spann, Cleveland, Henry and senior Daveon Collins beat the UA team head-to-head after the NAU team was scratched. The ASU easily won the race by four seconds with a time of 3 minutes, 9.44 seconds.
One of the other focuses other than the relays has been the cross-country events this season. In the women’s 1500-meter event, juniors Shelby Houlihan and Payton Schutee went one and two in the race with times of 4:25.86 and 4:28.56, respectively.
Injuries to some of the team’s throwers still seemed to take a small step in the right direction at the Double Dual on Saturday. Senior Anna Jelmini and freshman Thomas Anderson, who both have been dealing with significant hand injuries, competed in both the discus and the shot put.
Jelmini placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 54.07 meters and second in the shot put with a throw of 15.85 meters. While it is certainly a positive to see Jelmini continue to compete in the shot put after opening in the event last week at the Triton Invite, it is not as positive to see her regress from her 15.98 meter throw at that event. Jelmini also had her best discus throw of the season at the Triton meet but again showed signs of regression at the Double Dual.
Anderson showed some more positive signs on Saturday. After not competing in the shot put event at all at the Triton Invite, Anderson set a new career best at ASU in the event with a throw of 16.86 meters, placing fourth in the event. His discus was not as impressive as he placed ninth with a throw of 44.77 meters.
While Anderson is only a freshman and will likely have three more indoor and outdoor track seasons to reach his potential, it is important for Jelmini, a redshirt senior, to be at her best for her last Pac-12 outdoor championships.
The 2014 Pac-12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships is the next date on the schedule for the track and field team. They are scheduled to begin next Saturday, May 10, in Pullman, Washington.
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @bill_slane