Jan. 10, 2013
SEATTLE, Wash. - At approximately 11:55 a.m. on Saturday, the Stanford track and field season begins.
The gun will signal the start of the third and final heat of the women's mile at the UW Indoor Preview at the University of Washington's Dempsey Indoor track, the first race or event for Stanford athletes this season.
But, perhaps more significantly, the gun also will launch the collegiate career of Stanford freshman Amy Weissenbach.
The Los Angeles native set the National Federation record (high school-only competition) of 2:02.04 in the 800 meters while at Studio City's Harvard-Westlake School and captured three California state high school 800 titles. Her last high-profile race was at the Olympic trials in a rainy Eugene, when she missed a shot at advancing out of the first round when she was forced to stop to avoid a pileup at the top of the homestretch.
Weissenbach is one of three big-time distance recruits for the Stanford women, along with Cami Chapus and Cayla Hatton. But unlike the others, Weissenbach did not compete in cross country and therefore dons a Stanford singlet for the first time.
Weissebach is among 20 women and 19 men competing for Stanford on Saturday on the 307-meter flat Mondo track that will be the site for five Stanford meets during the indoor season, including the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships on Feb. 22-23.
She also is among 11 freshmen scheduled to make their first Stanford appearance, along with Hannah Brown (800 meters, 4x800), Claudia Saunders (600, 800, 4x400), and twins Kaitlyn and Kristyn Williams(both 600, 4x400).
For the men, Justin Brinkley (800, 4x800), Will Drinkwater (mile, 4x400), Levi Jennings (mile, 4x400, 4x800), Loren Pilorin (200, 4x400), Garrett Sweatt (mile, 3,000, 4x800), and Chris Waschura(800, 4x800), a local product out of Woodside (Calif.) High School, each will make their Stanford debut as well.
Stanford will field six of the 12 positions in the final heat of the women's mile, with Weissenbach joined by teammates Emilie Amaro, Mary Kate Anselmini, Julia Foster, Jessica Tonn, and Hannah Varnell.
Chapus, a Harvard-Westlake alum with a scorching 4:17 in the 1,500 to her credit, joins Saunders, an Ohio state champion in both the 100 hurdles and in cross country, in the fourth and final heat of the 800.
The men's mile includes 10 Stanford runners, eight of whom are running in the third of the four heats. However, the fourth heat may be the meet highlight, with the intriguing matchup of Matt Centrowitz, fourth in the 1,500 at the London Olympics, against Galen Rupp, the Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000.