May 13, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. -- The Stanford track and field teams wrapped up the Pac-12 Championships on Sunday with a pair of solid team finishes and a total of five individual champions.
The Cardinal women finished as the conference runner-up with 124.5 points, while Oregon won the meet with 200.5 points. Kori Carter and Katerina Stefanidi won individual titles for the women, joining Brianna Bain who won her title on Saturday. Stanford was particularly strong in the sprints, showing the continued improvement throughout all event groups.
The men tied for fifth with 78 points as Oregon took the team title with 140 points, while Arizona State and Arizona rounded out the top three. Chris Derrick and Amaechi Morton earned individual titles for the Cardinal men.
Carter won her Pac-12 title in the 100-meter hurdles, demolishing her own school record and breaking 13 seconds in the process. She finished with a time of 12.99 to lower her previous record of 13.13. Katie Nelms also had an outstanding race and was also well under the previous record, running 13.01 to place second. The duo continues to push each other to new heights, including a 1-2 finish at the conference meet.
Perhaps the best indication of the talent in the sprints right now for the Cardinal was the team performance in the 4x100-meter relay. Stanford ran 44.25 to place third in the event, but it was the second-fastest time in school history. Shataya Hendricks, Carissa Levingston, Nelms and Carter combined for the fastest sprint relay in almost a decade for the Cardinal.
Hendricks also came up big in the open events, running a wind-aided 11.45 in the 100 meters to take third and a personal best of 23.48 in the 200 meters to take sixth.
The Cardinal scored big in the 200 meters as Nelms and Levingston placed fifth and seventh to give Stanford three scorers in the event. Nelms ran a personal best of 23.36 that ranks third in Stanford history, while Levingston ran 23.80.
In the distances, Kathy Kroeger led the Cardinal finishing as the Pac-12 runner-up in the 5,000 meters with a time of 16:13.18. Aisling Cuffe just missed scoring in the event, placing ninth with a time of 16:42.00
In the middle distances, Stanford had a pair of scoreres in the 800 meters as Justine Fedronic was fifth 2:05.52, but less than four tenths off the lead. Joy O'Hare also ran well, placing sixth with a time of 2:08.26.
Alli Billmeyer ran the final of 1,500 meters, but just missed scoring in her first Pac-12 meet, placing ninth with a time of 4:24.24.
In the field, Stanford was led by Katerina Stefanidi who won her second-straight conference title in the pole vault. The senior vaulted 14-8 ¼ to improve her own school record. The mark (4.48m) just missed the Olympic `A' Standard of 4.50m, but ranks 14th in the world so far this year. Stefanidi will have several more chances this spring to achieve that standard and guarantee her spot for Greece at the London Olympic Games.
Stanford also scored big points in the triple jump, led by Arantxa King who placed third. King leaped 42-5 ½ to add a third place to her runner-up finish in the long jump on Saturday. Other scorers for Stanford were Jordan Merback who placed fifth with a personal-best mark of 42-4 ¼ and Karynn Dunn who was eighth in 41-2 ½.
On the men's side, Amaechi Morton earned his first Pac-12 title in winning the 400-meter hurdles in 48.95. Morton's time was just a hundredth of a second off his own school record and the sixth fastest time in the World this year. He is one of just eight runners in the World under 49 seconds so far this season and already has the Olympic `A' Standard.
Morton also doubled to a runner-up finish in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 14.09. He scored 18 points fort the Cardinal between the two individual events.
Derrick earned the third Pac-12 title of his career and second in the 5,000 meters, winning in 13:37.55. Derrick battled with Kenyans Lawi Lelang and Stephen Sambu of Arizona as the event became a three-man race. However, Derrick had the most over the final few laps to add yet another honor to his storied career. Derrick was also the runner-up in the 1,500 meters earlier in the day as this time Lalang edged the Cardinal senior at the line.
Stanford scored big points in both the 5,000 and 1,500 as Brendan Gregg and Miles Unterreiner each came up big in the 5,000 meters, while Tyler Stutzman and Michael Atchoo scored in the 1,500. Gregg was sixth in 14:03.10, while Unterreiner was eighth in 14:16.27 as the duo came back less than 24 hours after both scoring in the 10,000 as well. Stutzman and Atchoo finished fifth and sixth in the 1,500 meters, running nearly identical times of 3:48.63 and 3:48.74.
On the field, Darian Brooks was the loan Stanford scorer as he placed eighth in the triple jump with a mark of 50-2. The mark was a personal best and ranks ninth in Stanford history. The disappointment of the day came from Geoffrey Tabor as he was unable to defend his conference title in the discus after being eliminated with three-straight fouls.
Stanford will now prepare for the NCAA Regional Championships on May 24-26 from Austin, Texas. Full entries have not yet been released, but dozens of Cardinal athletes will be participating with a chance to make it to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.