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Sun Devils return to home track to face stiff competition

Last week, ASU coach Greg Kraft gave some of his athletes a week off after they competed in the indoor national championships.

But the Sun Devil track and field team will be at full strength for this weekend’s ASU Invitational.

And they are going to need every one of their All-Americans for this one.

The second home meet of the year boasts quite a collection of talent, including the women’s 4x400 meter relay team from Texas A&M, which won the national crown over the Sun Devils by 2 seconds.

The Aggies are sending their women’s national-champion 4x100-meter

relay team as well.

Opportunities for revenge don’t present themselves very often, and the ASU women appear ready for the rematch.

“I always feel that we’re the best [4x100 meter] team,” senior Charonda Williams said. “There’s going to be some good schools [at the meet] … but like I said, I’m going to be pretty confident about my team.”

Another national champions attending the meet come in the form of Georgia’s Chris Hill, who is the defending men’s outdoor javelin champion.

Some former Sun Devil stars will also return to the track where they once honed their craft.

Former Olympians and collegiate national champions Jacquelyn Johnson and Nick Hysong will be competing in the meet.

As for the current ASU athletes, one in particular will be wrapping up a massive workload this week.

Freshman Jamie Sandys competed in the Big Green in the Desert Multis on Wednesday and Thursday.

As of Thursday afternoon, Sandys was in fifth place in his first collegiate decathlon and sat only 68 points out of the third slot.

Sandys will have competed in 13 events in five days at the conclusion of this weekend’s meet.

The Sun Devil Invitational will have the same format as last week’s meet, but coach Kraft noted that the spike in the talent level of the teams competing will benefit his team’s progression toward a Pac-10 championship.

“I think [the meet] is going to be a fair assessment for all of our kids across the board,” Kraft said. “And that’s what we need to see so we can go to [the Pac-10 championships in] Eugene, Oregon, and contend.”

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