Dual meets are a rarity these days in the collegiate track and field circles, with the Arizona State University team only typically competing in one per year in the annual Dual In The Desert against Arizona and Northern Arizona prior to the championship season. The Sun Devils will change it up a bit this weekend as the eighth-ranked women and 17th-ranked men head to Baton Rouge, La., to take on perennial powerhouse LSU and several other top-notch programs in a dual format competition on Saturday, April 13 at the Battle on the Bayou. Saturday's action will begin at 1:45 p.m. CT following a brief opening ceremony, while the morning session is set to begin at 10 a.m. with the first field events of the meet. The competition will mark ASU's first true "road" competition as a team after spending three of the first four weeks of the outdoor season competing at home.
OUT OF THE BLOCKS
• Jordan Clarke remains on the Bowerman Watch List (track and field's version of the Heisman) and has won four consecutive NCAA Championships in the shot put, including the 2013 indoor title
• The ASU women finished in the top 10 at the indoor championships for the first time since 2009 while the men posted a top-25 finish for the eighth time in the last 10 years
• The Arizona State women currently have four student-athletes ranked No. 1 in the country in their respective events: Shelby Houlihan (1,500m), Christabel Nettey (long jump), Anna Jelmini (discus) and Chelsea Cassulo (hammer)
• Clarke and Nettey swept the MPSF Athlete of the Meet awards on the men's and women's sides while Greg Kraft was named the MPSF Men's Coach of the year for the second consecutive season
• Two of ASU's longest-standing school records were dropped this past weekend at the Sun Angel Classic, withChristabel Nettey knocking off Jacinta Bartholomew's 24-year old school record in the long jump and Shelby Houlihantaking the reins in the 1,500-meter run in unseeding Priscilla Hein's 14-year old record as well.
• Chelsea Cassulo was named the USTFCCCA National Field Athlete of the Week following her school-record setting performance in the hammer throw at the ASU Invite two weekend's ago
• Cassulo, Nettey and Ryan Herson (5k) have all been named Pac-12 Athletes of the Week with their performances this season
• The Sun Devil men and women currently have 19 student-athletes and three relays ranked in the top-25 nationally this season
PREVIEWING THE FIELD
The Battle in the Bayou will be comprised of squads for ASU, LSU, Mississippi State, Connecticut and Penn State. Four teams will compete in the women's competition, led by the No. 5 Lady Tigers and the No. 8 Sun Devils while Penn State and Mississippi State remain unranked. The men's competition will feature No. 10 LSU, No. 13 Mississippi State, No. 17 Arizona State and No. 19 Penn State. Teams in both genders will be competing with an alternate scoring format of 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 with the top two athletes for each team earning points in each individual event. The scoring format for relays is 9-7-6-5 with just one relay per team allowed to score in both the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays.
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