March 7, 2007 at 1:15 am #6083
Arizona State has everything it takes to win the women's team title at this weekend's NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
At least that was the message delivered Tuesday, when the Sun Devils again received the top ranking in the Division I women's indoor poll released by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Sun Devils were ranked first in the initial 2007 indoor poll and have kept their top position all season. Now they'll try to justify the hype with their first women's NCAA track and field title in the program's history.
The NCAA Championships will be held Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus.
The top 10 in this week's USTFCCCA poll consists of Arizona State, Michigan, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Auburn, Minnesota, Texas and Texas Tech.
The second 10 consists of Stanford, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Penn State, Southern Illinois, Miami, Georgia Tech, UCLA, Washington State and Oregon.
Thirty-five coaches, including one representative from each Division I conference, vote in the weekly USTFCCCA Division I indoor poll.
Arizona State's hopes rest primarily on the shoulders of four athletes – Jacquelyn Johnson, Amy Hastings, April Kubishta and Sarah Stevens. Johnson is the defending champion in the pentathlon. Hastings is one of the favorites in the 5,000 meters after setting a U.S. collegiate best earlier this season.
Stevens (shot put) and Kubishta (pole vault) are the top-seeded entrants in their events. Stevens is also expected to pick up points in the 20-pound weight throw.
Michigan's best individual hopes are Tiffany Ofili (60-meter hurdles), Nicole Edwards (mile) and Geena Gall (800). The Wolverines are favored to win the distance medley.
Texas is the defending NCAA women's indoor champion. The Longhorns' best bet this weekend is Destinee Hooker, the favorite in the high jump.
USTFCCCA Division I Women's Indoor Rankings
March 6, 2007
1. Arizona State
5. South Carolina
10. Texas Tech
13. Texas A&M
14. Penn State
15. Southern Illinois
17. Georgia Tech
19. Washington State
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