Wisconsin men, Arizona State women win titlesMarch 10, 2007

Solinsky's second place good enough for Wisconsin

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Chris Solinsky failed in his bid for a third straight NCAA indoor 3,000-meter title.

Instead, Solinsky had to settle for being part of Wisconsin's first national championship team.

``I'm really disappointed in the 3K, but I'm ecstatic about us winning,'' Solinsky said. ``So I can't complain at all.''

Solinsky finished second to Northern Arizona's Lopez Lomong on Saturday, giving Wisconsin a comfortable lead over Texas and Florida State. The Badgers ended the meet with 40 points, and Florida State was second with 35. Arizona State won its first women's indoor title with 38 points, five more than LSU.

The men's competition turned in Wisconsin's favor when Florida State's Walter Dix stumbled at the start of the 60 final. Dix, who won his second straight 200 indoor title Friday, finished second in the 60 last year. This time, he ended up last and earned only one point for the Seminoles.

``I came out too low,'' Dix said. ``I almost fell. I had to stop _ lost the race. ... Nothing you can do in the 60 about that. I probably would have kept running if it was the 100.''

Clemson's Travis Padgett won in 6.56.

That meant Solinsky didn't have to win to give the Badgers a great chance at the national title. Toward the end, though, Solinsky, wasn't thinking about the team competition as he ran up front with Lomong. The Northern Arizona runner finished in 7:49.74, almost two seconds ahead of Solinsky.

``My hat's off to him,'' Solinsky said. ``He ran a great race. I came just short of my goal, but the biggest picture is we won the team title.''

Wisconsin is the first Big Ten team to win the team indoor title _ a Southeastern Conference team had won every year since 1996.

Southern Illinois' Brittany Riley had the best mark in women's weight throw history Saturday, breaking her own record with a toss of 83 feet, 10 1/4 inches. However, the performance will not count as a world record because weight throw records are not recognized by the IAAF.

Riley, a junior from Flossmoor, Ill., broke her mark of 80-7 1/2, set this season, and won by almost 10 feet. In fact, her second-longest toss Saturday was 82-2.

``I peaked at the right time,'' Riley said. ``I was nervous, but after my first throw, I was good to go.''

Later, South Carolina's Natasha Hastings set a collegiate record in the women's 400, finishing in 50.80. Iowa's Kineke Alexander, the defending champion, was second in 51.48.

Alexander's qualifying time Friday was 51.62, and Hastings' was 51.64. But in the final, everything came together for the South Carolina runner.

``I couldn't focus on just one person. I had to focus on my race,'' Hastings said. ``I definitely had the collegiate record written down, but my high school coach always told me go for the win before you go for the record. I was going for the win, came out with the record too. What more can I ask for?''

Ricardo Chambers of Florida State won the men's 400 in 45.65.

Two women won their second titles of the meet Saturday. Kerron Stewart of Auburn won the women's 60 in 7.15 after taking the 200 the previous night. Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech won the 3,000 in 9:02.05 _ she won the 5,000 Friday.

Donovan Kilmartin of Texas won his third national championship in the heptathlon. He also won in 2004 and 2006. This year's event included a world record by Wisconsin's Joe Detmer, who ran the 1,000 meters in 2:29.42, the fastest mark by anyone in a heptathlon. Detmer, though, finished fifth.

``It's fun to be able to say it,'' Detmer said of his world record. ``But I don't know if I'll think that highly of it.''

Kilmartin finished with 5,998 points to outlast Jake Arnold of Arizona.

``Four in four years is perfect. I didn't do too bad,'' Kilmartin said. ``I'll definitely take it.''

Baylor won the men's 1,600 relay in 3:04.24, the world's fastest time this year. South Carolina won the women's race in 3:29.57.

The pentathlon went to Jacquelyn Johnson of Arizona State for the second straight year. She finished with 4,393 points as her team moved toward the national championship.

``We have a nice balanced program,'' Arizona State coach Greg Kraft said. ``That's what we take a lot of pride on. It's a great team effort.''

Arkansas, which has won 42 national titles in track and field and cross country, tied for seventh in the men's competition, its lowest finish at the NCAA indoor meet since 1981.

Auburn's Donald Thomas won the high jump with a leap of 7-7 3/4, more than three inches higher than anyone else's top jump.

Elouise Rudy of Montana State took the women's pole vault with a height of 14-1 1/4. She won a jump off with Natalie Moser of Florida.

Andre Black of Louisville won the triple jump at 53-5 1/2, and Erica McLain was the women's winner at 45-7 3/4.

California's Alysia Johnson took the 800 in 2:03.47. The men's winner was Ryan Brown of Washington in 1:48.40.

Leonel Manzano of Texas won the men's mile in 3:59.90, and Shannon Rowbury of Duke was the women's champion in 4:42.17.

Noah Bryant of Southern California won the shot put at 67-5 1/4.

-- Courtesy Associated Press

Arizona State wins women's team title

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Jacquelyn Johnson successfully defended her national crown and Amy Hastings turned in another clutch performance to pace the Arizona State University women's track and field team to its first NCAA Championship Saturday inside the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Coming down to the final race of the evening, the Sun Devils held off a late charge from Tennessee and LSU to win its first team title and the second in program history after the men took the outdoor title in 1977.

ASU scored 38 points to claim the crown with LSU second (33), Tennessee third (30) and Georgia fourth (28). The Sun Devil men tied for 25th overall with nine points while Wisconsin won the crown with 40 points.

The Sun Devils 4x400m relay needed to defeat Tennessee to win the team title and did just that as the quartet of Bridgette Williams, Johnson, Shauntel Elcock and Latosha Wallace finished second in their heat in 3:36.17 with UT third in 3:37.75, assuring the maroon and gold of the title. The championship is the first for the school since the women's golf team won the 1998 championship and is the 130th in school history.

Before the relay could do their part, Hastings came back to run another solid race after running a grueling 5,000m run the night before in which she place fourth. Hastings fought off several challenges during the 3,000m event, running the race in 9:19.31 and placing sixth to earn the all-important four team points that solidified the scoring.

Johnson opened things up with a personal best and third-best time in school history with a time of 8.30 in the 60m hurdles, scoring 1,061 points. Leading by 11 points heading into the second event, Johnson cleared 1.75m (5-8.75) in the high jump to place third in the event and earn 916 points, but Diana Pickler of Washington State surpassed her overall point total as Johnson's 1,977 points was 64 behind the Cougar. Johnson reclaimed the lead in the next event, however, as she tossed a personal-best mark of 12.83m (45-01.25) in the shot put to score 716 points. Her overall total of 2,693 points was just four ahead of Pickler.

In the long jump, Johnson recorded a mark of 5.79m (19-00.00) to score 786 points, but Pickler posted a longer mark to take a 38 point lead into the final event, meaning Johnson would have to beat her closest competitor by 3.5 seconds or better to erase the deficit and claim her second indoor national crown and fourth overall. That is just what Johnson did in the 800m run. With a personal best of 2:17 heading into the meet, Johnson exploded from the starting gun and ran 2:13.52 to score 914 points and defeat Pickler, 4,393-4,339. Johnson's four-second personal best beat out Pickler by seven seconds, giving the team another 10 points in the standings.

Whiting made a solid debut in the NCAA Championships as the redshirt freshman placed third in the men's shot put event and earned All-America honors. Whiting, the 2005 Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year, recorded a toss of 20.01m (65-07.75) on his second attempt to take the lead that he held until eventual winner Noah Bryant of USC recorded what would be the winning mark of 20.55m (67-05.25) on his fifth attempt. Overall, Whiting's mark stands as a school record and makes him the lone Sun Devil to ever throw past 20 meters in competition.

Kinnaman opened his day in second place overall after several heptathletes withdrew from the competition and ended up in fifth place following the first event of the second day, the 60m hurdles. Kinnaman ran 8.32 to finish eighth overall and score 903 points. From there, he cleared 4.30m (14-01.25) in the pole vault to add another 702 points to his total, placing 11th in the event. In the final event of the competition, the 1,000m run, Kinnaman clocked in at 2:50.22 to finish 10th in the race and earn 763 points to push his final total to 5,511 points and placing him eight overall for the second year in a row. Kinnaman's placement earned one point for the team's score while also securing his second indoor All-America honor.

A duo of other Devils competed on the day with Aaron Aguayo placing 10th in the 3,000m run in 8:08.15 while April Kubishta finished 11th after clearing 4.00m in the women's pole vault. In all, Johnson, Hastings, Pressley, Stevens (twice), Kinnaman, Aguayo and Whiting all earned All-America honors in the event.

The Sun Devils now jump to the outdoor season as they are set to play host to the Baldy Castillo Invitational on March 16-17 on Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe.

-- Courtesy Arizona State