Asu Track Star Has Payson Roots

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The Arizona State University media guide lists her hometown as Eagar, but it's common knowledge Sun Devil track and field standout Brooke Bennett's roots are in Payson.

Bennett attended Rim Country Middle School and Payson High School from 1999-2001, before her parents, Thomas and Stephaney Bennett, moved the family to Eagar-Springerville.

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Brooke Bennett

There, she attended Round Valley High School, where she rounded into one of the Lady Elks most accomplished athletes.

While at RCMS and PHS, Bennett was a three-sport standout excelling in track and field, basketball and volleyball.

Veteran PHS track coach Chuck Hardt remembers Bennett as an athlete whose interest was in the high and long jumps, but her greatest talent might have been running distances.

"She became a very good runner on our 4x800 relay team," he said.

That team eventually set a school relay mark of 9:38.11.

After graduating from Round Valley in 2003, Bennett enrolled at Arizona State University in Tempe, where she became a member of the Sun Devils' indoor, outdoor and cross country teams.

Her accomplishments at ASU peaked at midweek when she was named one of 13 Lady Sun Devils on the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic team.

Student-athletes are eligible for the national academic honor if they carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 or higher and obtained either an NCAA automatic or provisional qualifying mark for the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships or a regional qualifying mark during the 2007 outdoor season.

In addition to the coaches' association honors, Bennett also was named to the First Team Academic All-Pac-10 team.

At ASU, Bennett is majoring in nursing.

As a member of the sports teams, Bennett helped ASU win the NCAA 2007 Women's Outdoor Track and Field championship, as well as the indoor crown.

During the 2005 cross country season, Bennett won the women's championships at the Dave Murray Invitational and the ASU Invitational. By doing so, she became the third Sun Devil to win multiple races in a season.

During the 2005 outdoor season, she placed third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Baldy Castillo Invitational and fifth in the 3,000-meter run at the Bill Sawyer Invitational. Her steeplechase time ranks her ninth on the ASU all-time lists.

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