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Stanford Off to Strong Start in MPSF Finals
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 02/22/2013

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Feb. 22, 2013

SEATTLE - Kori Carter and Carissa Levingston ran 1-2 in the 200 meters as Stanford opened defense of its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor women's track and field title on Friday.

Running in her first 200 of the season, Carter won in 23.64 seconds, the third-fastest indoor time in Stanford history and the fastest time the junior has ever run at that distance - indoors or outdoors.

After the first day of the two-day meet, the Stanford women have 34 points and are second only to UCLA (45.5) in the team standings after seven events.

The Stanford men stand fourth with 26.5 points and trail Arizona State (55.5), California (32), and Washington State (28) after six events.

Carter, who will defend her title in the 60-meter hurdles on Saturday, had to beat the 24.24 of Levingston to win. Levingston, the 2010 runner-up, came out of an earlier heat to post the fastest time going into Carter's race, in the 11th and final section.

Carter, last year's 200 runner-up, accelerated off the turn of the 307-meter flat Dempsey Indoor track and extended her lead to the finish line.

"The plan for both was to get out hard and maintain for 150. Stay strong, and pump your arms all the way through," Stanford sprints and hurdles coach Jody Stewart said. "I was confident Kori would do well. She's very talented, she works hard, is consistent, and she executes.

For the senior Levingston, an NCAA outdoor qualifier in the 100 as a freshman, the past two seasons have been marred by injuries. But she is regaining her form and her performance showed it.

"This was a big moment for her," Stewart said. "I'm really proud of her."

The Cardinal was boosted by second-place finishes by Kathy Kroeger in the women's 5,000, Erik Olson in the men's 5,000, and the women's distance medley relay team.

Kroeger, a seven-time All-American and the reigning Pac-12 cross country champion, was running her first race of the indoor season. In a dogfight with Washington's Megan Goethals and Arizona's Jen Bergman, Kroeger burst into the lead at the one-mile mark and reeled off a series of 76-second laps before Goethals took the lead with 600 to go.

Bergman swung wide on the penultimate lap, but Goethals wouldn't surrender. And at the gun, Kroeger was next to attempt a decisive move, but also was stymied. Goethals won going away in 15:58.62 and Kroeger was second in 16:00.29.

In the men's 5,000, Stanford had the advantage of five runners in the field, allowing the Cardinal to control most of the race. Stanford's Tyler Valdes acted as a rabbit for the first few laps before giving way to Olson, who was followed closely by twins Joe and Jim Rosa.

Those positions largely held until Washington State's Drew Jordan passed Olson on the field lap to win in 13:54.35 to 13:55.66. Joe Rosa was fifth in 13:58.74 and Jim Rosa was sixth in 13:59.76 - both personal records for the Cardinal sophomores.

In the women's DMR, Cami Chapus (1,200), Kala Stepter (400) and Claudia Saunders (800) had Stanford in third place at the final handoff to Emilie Amaro. On the final leg - of 1,600 meters - Amaro pushed into second, but Washington's Christine Babcock opened a huge gap on the rest of the field, allowing the Huskies to win in 11:08.09 to Stanford's 11:22.17.

In the men's DMR, Marco Bertolotti, Loren Pilorin, and Justin Brinkley put Stanford into the lead going into Kenny Krotzer's anchor leg, but four teams jockeyed for position throughout the final laps before UCLA won in 9:40.18, with Stanford finishing fourth in 9:43.98.

Among other top individual performances, Spencer Chase was fourth in the men's 200 (21.64), and Garrett Starkey was seventh and Dalton Duvio 10th in the men's pole vault, both at 16-4.

Stanford's women hope to score big in the 60 hurdles with Carter and Katie Nelms on Saturday. They also are looking for scoring from freshman Amy Weissenbach in the 800, Jessica Tonn in the 3,000, and Kristyn Williams in the 400 among others as the Cardinal seeks its seventh MPSF indoor team title.

The men will look to high jumper Jules Sharpe, shot putter Geoffrey Tabor, and milers Michael Atchoo and Tyler Stutzman for its biggest scoring opportunities.




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