Former ASU, NAU track athletes win national titles

Runners enjoying success at the 2010 USA Track & Field Championships that just wrapped up at historic Drake Stadium in Iowa included many either attending one of Arizona’s major universities, or with recent ties to the schools.

Arizona State had 19 athletes with ties to the school, while University of Arizona sent a handful from the current program and had a couple of prominent alumni participating.  Northern Arizona had one of its most awarded former runners picking up yet another title.

Those from ASU included 10 that were on the 2010 roster.  Two former Sun Devils won national titles and six other current or former participants finished among the Top 6 in their respective events.

Lisa Aguilera, who won the women’s 3,000m steeplechase title in 2006, picked up her second this year with a time of 9:53.59.  And Dwight Phillips captured his fifth men’s long jump crown with a winning mark of 27’05.5″.  Teammate Trevell Quinley, the 2008 champion in that event, finished behind Phillips with a second-place mark of 26’11”.  Phillips is also the 2004 Olympic long jump champion.

The other Sun Devils who finished in the Top 6 in their events:  Ryan Whiting, 5th in the shot put (67’07.5″); Anna Jelmini, 5th in women’s discus (191’10”); Kyle Alcorn, 6th in men’s 3,000m steeplechase (8:36.96); Keia Pinnick, 3rd in the junior women’s 400m hurdles (58.75); and Sarah Stevens, 3rd in women’s shot put (59’09.75″).

Jelmini was a redshirt freshman this year who is ranked among the best in the nation in both the shot put and the discuss events.  She is sixth in the shot and fifth in the discus.

A familiar name from NAU was back again this year.  Lopez Lamong competed for the cross-country team from 2005-07 and ran track during the 2006-7 seasons.  During that time, he was a two-time national champion (1,500m and 3,000m), a 12-time Big Sky Conference individual champion, and set five school records.

This year he picked up his second consecutive USA Outdoor Track & Field championship in the 1,50o meters, finishing in a time of 3:50.83.

University of Arizona sent four from the 2010 squad, including senior Liz Patterson, junior Christina Rodgers, and a couple of freshmen, Brigetta Barrett and Nick Ross.  Former Wildcats competing included two-time NCAA decathlete national champion Jake Arnold and four-time throwing All-American Adam Kuehl.

Patterson finished in second place in the high jump with a leap of 6’03.25″ and teammate Barrett was right behind, finishing in third place at the same height but with more tries.

(Photo: NAU Athletics)