Sun Devils punch NCAA ticket on final day in Austin


May 29, 2012

The Arizona State University track and field team wrapped up competition at the 2012 NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin, Texas, on Saturday as three more student-athletes and three relays punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa in two weeks.

With the final day, the ASU men and women brought their combined total to 15 entries to the NCAA Championships, the majority of which coming from the team’s exceptional field events. Download Full Image

Derick Hinch was one of those but made sure to keep everyone on the edge of their seats in the men’s pole vault competition to open the day at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Saturday.  The sophomore found himself tied with Ethan Ostrom of UC Davis for the 12th and final qualifying spot after the preliminary round, forcing a decisive jump-off.

The two vaulters exchanged misses as each came up short on their first attempts at 5.40m (17-08.50), 5.35m (17-06.50) and 5.30m (17-04.5), forcing the bar down to 5.25m (17-02.75).  There, each athlete cleared for the first time in the jump-off to move the bar back to 5.30m.  With each vaulter starting down the runway almost simultaneously, Hinch cleared his attempt at the height seconds before Ostrom missed his to give Hinch a ticket to his first-ever NCAA Championship.

Continuing in the vertical jumps, Bryan McBride was solid though the first couple jumps in the men’s high jump and finished the day in third overall to advance to his first NCAA Championship final.   McBride had a couple misses over the course of the day but was one of just five student-athletes to clear the bar at 2.20m (7-02.50) to easily advance in the event. McBride is one of ASU’s top local products, coming out of Peoria, Ariz., and competing during his prep career at Sandra Day O’Connor HS.

The women’s 4x100-meter relay was the first running event of the weekend to punch a ticket to Des Moines as the squad of Asiah Gooden, Keia Pinnick, Alycia Herring and Kayla Sanchez took fourth in their heat of the quarterfinals in 44.84 – the 10th fastest time of the preliminary round – to advance to the semifinals in Iowa.

Pinnick, Herring and Sanchez would all come back to team with Brianna Tate in the 4x400-meter relay to wrap up the night and qualify the second relay of the evening.  The team finished fourth in their heat and was 10th overall in 3:35.30 to advance to fight another weekend.

Pinnick also will earn a qualification in the women’s heptathlon - even though that event was not contested this weekend - as she has one of the top-10 scores nationally in the event this season.

ASU’s lone individual qualifier to advance out of the running events in Austin was junior Chris Burrows.  Burrows clocked a time of 20.54 – slightly wind-aided – in the 200-meter dash to take second in his heat and fourth overall in the quarterfinals and move on his first NCAA berth.

Burrows recovered to leadoff the men’s 4x400-meter relay less than two hours later and helped guide the team to a berth of their own as they took second in their heat in 3:05.17 – the fifth-fastest overall time - to automatically advance to the semifinals in Iowa.

The Sun Devils will now turn their sights to Des Moines, Iowa, and the NCAA Championships with events slated to begin on June 6 and continue through June 9.  Be sure to follow along at www.TheSunDevils.com for continued coverage of the ASU track and field team in the weeks leading to the big event.

NCAA Championship Qualifiers for Arizona State

MEN

Jordan Clarke (shot put)

Jordan Clarke (hammer)

Chris Benard (long jump)

Chris Benard (triple jump)

Derick Hinch (pole vault)

Bryan McBride (high jump)

Chris Burrows (200m)

4x400m Relay (C. Burrows, J. Kline. K. Caesar, W. Henry)

WOMEN
Christabel Nettey (long jump)

Constance Ezugha (long jump)

Anna Jelmini (shot put)

Anna Jelmini (discus)

4x100m Relay (A. Gooden, K. Pinnick, A. Herring, K. Sanchez)

4x400m Relay (K. Sanchez, A. Herring, B. Tate, K. Pinnick)

Keia Pinnick (heptathlon)

Former Sun Devil Amy LePeilbet named to 2012 U.S. Olympic Soccer Team


May 29, 2012

Former Arizona State University soccer player Amy LePeilbet was one of 18 players named to the U.S. Women's National Team's roster for the 2012 Olympic Games, according to an announcement made by U.S. Soccer on Sunday.

A member of the national team since 2004, LePeilbet is one of six defenders on the squad. LePeilbet started all six games at the 2011 FIFA World Cup, where the USA made it to the final before falling to Japan in a penalty shootout following a 2-2 tie after extra time. The 2011 World Cup represented the first world championship tournament of LePeilbet's career. Download Full Image

A four-year letterwinner at ASU from 2000-2003, LePeilbet led the Sun Devils to the second round of the NCAA tournament in three of her four seasons (2000, 2002, 2003) and is considered one of the most decorated players in ASU history, earning first-team All-American honors her senior year.

The U.S. will open Group G play at the London Olympics on July 25 - two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremonies - when it faces France (5 p.m. local / 12 p.m. ET). The U.S. will then take on Colombia on July 28 (5 p.m. local / 12 p.m. ET). The USA will finish group play against Korea DPR on July 31 (5:15 p.m. local / 12:15 p.m. ET).

Prior to the Olympic Games, U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will take the team and four alternates to Sweden for a two-week training camp that features matches against Sweden on June 16 and against Japan on June 18.

The U.S. team will play its Olympic send-off match on June 30 (12 p.m. MT/live on NBC) against Canada at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.