June 1, 2002
Baton Rouge, La - A pair of Stanford sophomores took center stage at the 2002 NCAA Division One Track & Field Championships on Saturday night at LSU's Bernie Moore Stadium.
Donald Sage, a sophomore from Elmhurst, Il captured the 1,500 meter national title, the second such championship for a Stanford runner in the last three years. Sage was timed in 3:42.65 on another hot and humid night in the South.
"I really didn't know what to expect, so I told myself to just relax and stay in a good position," said Sage, who finished fifth at the NCAA's last year. "I didn't really get as great a position as I wanted during the first half of the race. I felt really good with about 50 meters to go and I could feel the other runners coming on the last 25 meters, so I was just telling myself to hang on. My high school experiences were great and I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of great experiences in track, but this definitely has to rank up there."
Sage has now been a part of two NCAA titles. In 2001, Sage was a member of the winning 2001 indoor distance medley relay team.
Another Stanford sophomore, Jillian Camarena, continued her steady rise as one of the nation's top collegiate shot putters with a third place finish.
Camarena threw a career-best 55-1 (16.79m) and maintained her hold as the school's second all-time leading shot putter. Camarena made her personal record-breaking throw on her first attempt. UCLA's Jessica Cosby won the NCAA title with a throw of 57-0 1/4 (17.38m). Austra Skujyte of Kansas State finished second although she had the same distance as Camarena, 55-1 (16.79m). However, Skujyte gained runnerup status on her second-to-last throw of 54-8 3/4 (16.68m). Camarena's second-best throw was 54-6 (16.61m). Camarena's previous best throw of the year was 54-10 1/4 (16.72m) at the 2002 Pacific-10 Championships.
"I felt I could have thrown farther, but I can't complain," said Camarena, who hails from Woodland, Ca. "I was expecting a big throw and I got it. Now I can focus on my finals at Stanford."
Michael Ponikvar, the 2002 Pac-10 champion, finished third in the high jump at 7-4 1/2 (2.25m). Tora Harris of Princeton also jumped 7-4 1/2 (2.25m), but was awarded the victory on fewer misses.
Stanford's women's team finished seventh with 25 points. This was Stanford's best finish since the 1986 season when the Cardinal finished sixth. South Carolina won the NCAA team title with 82 points. Stanford's men's team finished eighth with 26 points, the fifth straight year that the Cardinal has finished in the Top-8.
Cardinal Chatter: During the four-day NCAA Division One Track & Field Championships, Stanford produced two NCAA champions and 12 All-Americans ... Lauren Fleshman won the NCAA title in the 5,000 meters in addition to gaining All-America honors ... Donald Sage won the 1,500 meter crown while gaining All-America honors ... Jillian Camarena (shot put), Maurica Carlucci (1,500 meters), Kathleen Donoghue (pole vault), Seth Hejny (5,000 meters), Omer Inan (discus), Louis Luchini (10,000 meters), Michael Ponikvar (high jump), Jonathon Riley (5,000 meters), Adam Tenforde (10,000 meters), and Jesse Thomas (3,000 meter steeplechase) gained All-America honors ... A school record 24 Stanford athletes competed at this year's meet ... Carlucci recorded another career-best in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:16.51 on Saturday night.
5,000 Meters: 1. David Kimani (Alabama) 13:59.30; 2. Jorge Torres (Colorado) 13:59.88; 3. Daniel Lincoln (Arkansas) 14:00.01; 7. Jonathan Riley (Stanford) 14:05.18; 9. Seth Hejny (Stanford) 14:13.12; 10. Louie Luchini (Stanford) 14.14.22; 12. Grant Robison (Stanford) 14:16.21
High Jump: 1. Tora Harris (Princeton) 7-4 1/2 (2.25m); 2. David Jaworski (USC) 7-4 1/2 (2.25m); 3. Michael Ponikvar (Stanford) 7-4 1/2 (2.25m)
Saturday's Results - Stanford Women
1,500 Meters: 1. Lena Nilsson (UCLA) 4:12.60; 2. Heather Sagan (Liberty) 4:14.71; 3. Shalane Flangan (North Carolina) 4:15.52; 5. Maurica Carlucci (Stanford) 4:16.51
3,000 Meter Steeplechase: 1. Michaela Manova (BYU) 9:45.94; 2. Ida Nilsson (Northern Arizona) 9:>49.94; 3. Carol Henry (North Carolina) 9:51.16; 12. Laura Turner (Stanford) 10:40.47
Shot Put: 1. Jessica Cosby (UCLA) 57-0 1/4 (17.38m); 2. Austra Skujyte (Kansas State) 55-1 (16.79m); 3. Jilllian Camarena (Stanford) 55-1 (16.79m)