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Track has strong showing at ASU Invitational

Freshman Cara Carpenter pole vaults at the ASU Invitational at Sun Angel Stadium Saturday. (Damien Maloney | The State Press)

Members of the ASU track and field team proved over the weekend that they could turn it on whenever they want.

Last week, Sun Devil coach Greg Kraft said the competition at the ASU Invitational would be tough and that the meet would be a good assessment of his athletes.

Six event wins and 17 regional qualifiers later, the coach beamed with pride.

“I was really pleased today,” Kraft said. “I think the kids [understood what they needed to do after] last week. Get in the race. Not everybody’s going to win, but everybody has to try to win. So, it was a good day for us.”

It seemed like it was a good day for every team that competed, as 120 regional qualifying marks were met.

Of ASU’s 17 qualifying marks at the meet, sophomore Jasmine Chaney notched three.

Kraft called her performance “huge” and added that “it was something that our program really [needed].”

First, Chaney won the 100-meter hurdles over one of the many talented Texas A&M women at the meet.

Chaney edged out the Aggies’ Vashti Thomas by 0.16 seconds.

She followed that effort with a win in the 400-meter hurdles as well, beating Uchechi Egeonuigwe of UC Riverside by 0.23 seconds.

“My coach told me I need to qualify for regionals [in the 400 hurdles],” Chaney said. “Especially for the 400 hurdles, I felt really good about the win because it was a personal best and I qualified for regionals by more than a second.”

Chaney put a capstone on the meet after she helped the women’s 4x100-

meter relay team to a second place finish and her final regional qualifying mark of the evening.

Two of the Aggies’ teams finished in the top three and the winning one crossed the finish line just 0.10 seconds ahead of the ASU women.

The other win for the women was produced by senior Stephanie Garnett in the long jump with a leap of 6.10 meters in the finals.

On the men’s side, junior Ryan Whiting took down first in the discus after he hurled it 60.73 meters.

Freshman Mason McHenry continued a spectacular first season with another win in the 800 meters, which he won convincingly.

“We know we have certain stars,” Kraft said. “I don’t want to call them second tier, but [it’s] that other group that has to come through for us to win the Pac-10.”

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