Alethia Marrero brings versatility to ASU track and field

After transferring from Indiana State last year, Marrero has been a bright spot for ASU Track and Field

This season, graduate transfer Alethia Marrero has made a large impact on the ASU Track and Field team in just three meets thus far.

Marrero transferred to ASU from Indiana State, where she was an All-American

“I picked Arizona State just because of their academic program, I started applying at the beginning of my senior year, at a point when I thought I’d be done with track by now,” Marrero said. 

She suffered stress fractures in both of her shins prior to her senior season at ISU and was held back, forcing her to leave the track for a while. 

She came to ASU to pursue a graduate degree in justice studies and decided to try and get back to competing in track. 

Over the summer, Marrero walked into the coaches’ office and spoke with former assistant coach Louie Quintana and asked him for a spot on the team. 

“I just like popped up in the coaches’ office during the summer and I was just like, ‘Hey, I don’t know if you guys know me, but I’m Alethia, and I want to run track for you guys,'” Marrero said. 

After that, Quintana called head coach Greg Kraft and told him the news of Marrero’s arrival. 

“Recruiting is a funny business," Kraft said. "You can recruit kids forever and think you have a great relationship and they're coming, and they go to school X. And you can have an Alethia walk through your door unsolicited and just be a star for you.” 

And what a star she has been for the Sun Devils this season. In her second meet at ASU, she crept into fifth all-time in ASU history in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:05.33. But Marrero does not want to stop there. 

Marrero competes in the 4x100m relay and the 4x400 as the third leg for ASU. She also races in the 200m, 400m, and the 400m hurdles. Not many 800 runners are able to compete in those events and succeed. 

In her third meet, she put herself in seventh in her conference this year in the 400m with a time of 53.88.   

She credits her ability to compete in multiple events back to her high school competition days, when she was a runner at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.

“In high school, I did everything, it kind of set me up for how I am now, and how I can do different events,” Marrero said. 

Her coaches appreciate that Marrero is willing to compete in multiple events.

“She has the ability to change gears and accelerate … because some athletes don’t have the ability to change rhythm,” Kraft said. 

With her help, both relay teams have improved their times this season. 

“She’s a very versatile young lady (who) has a lot of different events that she’s good at,” Sprints coach Devin West said. 

Her coaches love her, not only because of her athletic ability, but also because of her great attitude.

“The thing about Alethia is she’s more than just a wonderful athlete, she’s really is a wonderful person and has really had a significant impact on our team in a very, very limited amount of time,” Kraft said.

“She has a passion for the sport a passion for what she does … she’s a very passionate person,” West said.

Marrero said she loves the history behind ASU Track and Field and she wants to be a part of it.

“There’s really a sense of pride to say that I’ve ran here and have started to make my mark here as well,” Marrero said. 

When she leaves ASU Track and Field, she wants to be remembered as a leader.

“It’s really important for me because I came in as a new face and I haven’t been here for all the years that everyone else has,” Marrero said. “But to be able to say I was a leader, and to be remembered as a leader, in such a short time that I’ve been here, would be really important.”


Reach the reporter at cncarte1@asu.edu or follow @CCydeni on Twitter.

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