Feb. 1, 2013
NEW YORK - Victories by Katie Nelms, Kristyn Williams, and the men’s distance medley relay highlighted the first day for Stanford athletes at the Armory Collegiate Invitational indoor track and field meet Friday at the venerable Fort Washington Avenue Armory in uptown Manhattan.
Nelms, a junior out of San Jose’s Leland High, captured the 60 meters in a personal best 7.61 seconds, the ninth-fastest time in school history.
Williams, a freshman from Grand Prairie, Texas, won the 500 in her first meet at that distance. Her time of 1:13.39 came out of the “college” section, but still was faster than anyone from the “championship” section, earning Williams the overall victory.
In the DMR, Michael Atchoo ran a 3:58.7 split over 1,600 meters to anchor Stanford to the title in a riveting duel. Stanford’s team of Tyler Stutzman (1,200, 2:54.7), Spencer Chase (400, 48.1), Luke Lefebure (800, 1:52.3), and Atchoo clocked 9:34.20 to win. But Atchoo had to run down Oregon and Arkansas, and then hold them off, to carry out the victory.
“That was a great last lap,” said Chris Miltenberg, Stanford’s Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field. “The team ran with a lot of maturity, composure, and toughness. We needed to get in a good race and compete really well.”
Stanford, which has competed three times on University of Washington’s 307-meter flat track this season, had to adjust to the tight 200-meter banked track at the Armory.
“It was old-school indoor track … rock and roll,” Miltenberg said. “It was crowded and you had to be physical.”
That was the case in the women’s DMR. Stanford’s team of Amy Weissenbach (3:20.0 for 1,200), Kori Carter (53.6), Joy O’Hare (2:10.6), and Jessica Tonn (4:42.5) waded through a bunched field to finish fourth in 11:06.46 – the seventh-fastest time in Stanford history.
Carter was seventh in the 60 hurdles in 8.29 against a stacked field that featured Clemson’s Briana Rollins, running her first hurdles race since setting her collegiate-record 7.78 three weeks ago, and 10 of the top 25 performers in the nation. Of those 11 top-25 hurdlers, seven were within the top 10, making for a potential indoor championships preview.
Rollins won in a meet record 7.93, but Carter, Stanford’s school recordholder, maintained her consistently high level, and Nelms’ time of 8.37 in the prelims was fast. In fact, no Stanford hurdler besides Carter or Nelms has run faster.
Stanford middle-distance runners will be in the spotlight on Saturday, on the final day of the two-day competition. The “championship” mile events will include seven Cardinal men and six women.