Arizona State track and field’s senior Shelby Houlihan broke the 1500m run meet record on Saturday, the second and final day of ASU’s Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Invite at Sun Angel Stadium.
“When you look at our team, you see that we continue to make growth,” Director of Track and Field Greg Kraft. “We have to be patient, it’s March 28 and we have a lot more season to come. We’re making progress and people are improving. It’s almost a broken record when you say Shelby Houlihan was special, Bryan McBride was special. We need other people to be special, and we’re starting to see it. When you have some people that haven’t been there before that you’re counting on, that you know have star quality, like Magdalyn Ewen, you just have to be patient and keep the faith that she’s going to be able to do that. Brianna Tate has experience with that, Sara McDonald had a nice race for us, and Shaina Corbin’s steeplechase was a big deal for us tonight. McDonald and LaTroya Franklin in the relays were big for us, and Melese Crozier in the 4x400m relay gives us a team that I really believe can make it to the NCAA finals.”
At the meet, ASU teamed up with UCLA and Arizona to take on Michigan, Indiana, and Nebraska of the Big Ten. The Pac-12 women defeated the Big Ten women, 372-353, while the Big Ten men defeated the Pac-12 men, 363.5-356.7.
Houlihan opened the 2015 outdoor season in the 1500m run, leading from wire to wire and finishing at 4:14.35 and breaking the previous best time, set in 2007 by Oregon Track Club’s Jemma Simpson at 4:19.53.
The senior out of Sioux City, Iowa, also ran the third leg of the 4x400m relay, teaming up with freshman Melese Crozier, sophomore LaTroya Franklin, and senior Sara McDonald. ASU won the race with a season best time of 3:38.61, which currently is marked at one of the top-10 times in the NCAA West region.
Up next, the Sun Devils will have a week to prepare for the third home meet of the season, the 36th Sun Angel Track Classic, April 9-11, at Sun Angel Stadium.
Head Coach’s Views on Shelby Houlihan
“We know she can do well in whatever race we enter her into, we’re extremely confident in her, but we also know that at the Pac-12 meet, she’ll be doubling like she did at the NCAA Indoor Championships. It’s a hard double to do, whether it’s the 1500m and the 5k, or the 800m and 1500m. We have to look at what sets her up most importantly for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June. We have to be able to put together points other than Shelby’s in order to meet our perennial goal of being a top-10 team. I’ve always said you have to be in the 20s, and Shelby can get us 10 points, but other people have to come up and score.”
Head Coach’s views onAssistant Coach Louie Quintana
“It was a great day. We started well in the 1500m with Shelby (Houlihan) running 4:14. We keep talking about the same thing, it seems, but she really brings a great energy to the meets. Being able to follow the race plan we put together was a great effort.”
Shelby Talkin’ Shelby
“I was really excited to come and open today. The 1500m went as planned, Louie (Quintana) wanted me to go out in 69-70s, go through 2:18 to 2:20, and that’s exactly what I did. I kicked the last lap and I kicked really well, going out in 63 seconds, with the last 200m in about 30, so that was awesome to be able to do. The leg of the 4×4 was awesome, I never get to run it, but I love running the 4×4, so it was fun to get out there. Louie asked me what I wanted to do this weekend, and we’d already talked about running the 1500m, and I asked if I could get into the relay and he said yes, and it would also help with my speed work.
“For this season I want to run the 1500m in around 4:07, which is the A Standard for Worlds, so that’s what I’m aiming at. I think I’m definitely in that shape right now. In the mile in indoor we went through 1500m in 4:09, 4:10, so I know I can do it, it’s just a matter of getting in the right race.”
- Pac-12 (Arizona State, Arizona, UCLA) – 372
- Big Ten (Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska) – 353
Women’s 1500m Run
- 1. Shelby Houlihan – 4:14.35 (Meet Record/Previous: Jemma Simpson (Oregon TC: 4:19.53/2007)