After the conclusion of the Baldy Castillo Invitational, ASU track and field coach Greg Kraft delivered a fiery speech to his team.
A week after nationals, Kraft questioned why a few of his quarter-milers were not able to put up the marks they did on Saturday during the
Seniors Donald Sanford and Joel Phillip ran 46.41 and 46.46, respectively.
Both times would have been good for top-six finishes at last week’s NCAA Indoor Championships and would have elevated the Sun Devil’s final point total.
“[We have] a certain expectation level, but we can’t allow ourselves to be complacent,” Kraft said. “We had two fifth[-place finishes] at the [NCAA Indoor Championships] and that’s an outstanding accomplishment, but we had an opportunity to be better. … It has nothing to do with outdoor track or indoor track. It really has to do with attitude and how [our athletes] approach competition.”
Although Sanford and Phillip have put up some stellar numbers for ASU this year, Kraft made the decision to redshirt them for the outdoor season.
“I really thought by adding Joel [Phillip] to the mix next year, indoors and out, because he [has another year of] indoor eligibility, [we’re] adding a 45.20 guy that [would] legitimately make us contenders for the national title indoors and out next year,” Kraft said. “So, I don’t think we’re sacrificing, necessarily, our Pac-10 championship this year, but trying to put us in the best position to win a national championship.”
However, the two are still competing as unattached members of the team.
The star on the track for the Sun Devils was senior Marcus Duncan.
Duncan won the 100 meters in 10.41 seconds and met the qualifying standards for the event as well as for the 200 meters, where he finished second with a time of 20.80.
It looked as if Duncan would win the 200 as the sprinters rounded the turn, but Jose Acevedo from Kentucky edged him out.
“We were going back and forth on the straight,” Duncan said. “I honestly kind of relaxed a little too much coming down to the end. So, when he actually ran up on me, it took me a little while to get back into the race.”
Duncan was followed by freshman Allante Battle, who came in at 21.44.
Also competing in that race was senior Calvin Abram, who came up lame on the turn with a reported strained hamstring and could miss up to a week.
Initially, the injury looked fairly severe. As he was about to head into the straightaway, Abram dropped to the ground, writhing in pain before being carted off the track.
Abram also qualified for regionals in the 100-meter alongside Duncan with a time of 10.53.
The women also got a win in the 100 meters from freshman Kayla Sanchez with her time of 12.22.
Other regional qualifiers on the day included freshman Cj Navarro and juniors Joe Fazio, Corey Phallen and Ryan Whiting.
On Wednesday, the Sun Devils will head to the Big Green in the Desert Multis in Scottsdale.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com.