DES MOINES, Iowa - Jacquelyn Johnson made history by winning her fourth NCAA heptathlon title and Jessica Pressley successfully defended her shot put crown, but the Arizona State women fell just shy of their fourth national title in a row at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.
The women scored 63 points with LSU taking the title with 67. Texas A&M was third with 48.
The Sun Devil men also earned a top-10 finish, placing sixth with 28 points while Florida State repeated as the champion with 52. LSU and Auburn tied for second with 44.
In the women’s team race, the Sun Devils and Tigers were tied with 59 points with only the 1,600-meter relay remaining, so that the team that crossed the finish line first would take the team title.
In the race, LSU, which didn’t win an event Saturday but won the team crown with exceptional depth, placed second in 3 minutes, 28.33 seconds, while the Sun Devil team of Dominique’ Maloy, Jordan Durham, Shauntel Elcock and Jeavon Benjamin came in fifth at 3:33.45 to garner All-America honors.
Johnson scored 6,053 points and led from start to finish in the heptathlon to become the first woman in NCAA history to capture the event four times in a career while also becoming only the fourth woman to win the same event four times in an NCAA career.
Johnson wrapped up her outstanding collegiate career with a 2:23.75 in the 800, the final of the seven events of the heptathlon. She finished with 6,053 points to 5,811 for runner-up Liz Roehrig of Minnesota.
The only other women to win four NCAA titles in one event were Suzy Favor of Wisconsin in the 1,500 (1987-90), Seilala Sua of UCLA in the discus (1997-2000) and Angela Williams of USC in the 100 (1999-2002).
Johnson won her four titles over five years. She took off the 2005 season to play basketball.
Pressley, who already had place fourth in the hammer and seventh in the discus in the meet, exited her final collegiate competition as the two-time outdoor champion in the shot put as her mark of 18.13 meters brought home the gold. Undefeated in the event all outdoor season, Pressley took the lead on her first throw and improved during the competition as the only thrower over 18 meters.
Teammate Sarah Stevens, the discus champion and third in the hammer, took sixth in the shot with a toss of 17.21.
In the men’s shot put, ASU’s Ryan Whiting, the indoor national champion and indoor collegiate record-holder, led the entire competition with his mark of 20.24, but was passed in the final round by Auburn’s Cory Martin (20.32) to fall to second place in the event.
Joel Phillip was the final man to compete for the Sun Devils, running 45.76 in the 400 to finish seventh overall.
Walter Dix won his third consecutive 200-meter title to lead Florida State to their third straight men’s team crown.