June 4, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - The Stanford track and field teams compete in the NCAA Championships on Wednesday through Saturday at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon and bring 12 athletes -- nine women and three men. The women's team is ranked No. 11 by the USTFCCCA and the men are unranked.
An experienced Cardinal women's team has eight All-Americans among its nine, totaling 18 All-America honors (including cross country, and indoor and outdoor track). Senior long jumper Karynn Dunn and sophomore javelin thrower Brianna Bain are returning first-team outdoor All-Americans and junior hurdler Kori Carter is a seven-time All-America poised to earn her first first-team honor. The Cardinal ranks ninth among women's teams with 10 entries.
Two-time first-team indoor All-America Tyler Stutzman (1,500 meters) leads the Stanford men, but freshman Steven Solomon, a 2012 Olympic finalist in the 400, may be the most intriguing in his first NCAA championship meet. He hopes to add to the Stanford men's proud history, with four NCAA outdoor titles and 35 individual champions among 44 titles.
Wednesday: Field events, 1:30 p.m.; Running events, 4 p.m.
Thursday: Field events, 1:30 p.m.; Running events, 4 p.m.
Friday: Field events, 3:15 p.m.; Running events, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: Field events, 12:30 p.m.; Running events, 2:05 p.m.
Follow the Action
• Links to live results and Webcasts can be found at gostanford.com.
• Action from Thursday through Saturday will air on ESPN3.com.
• ESPNU will air the final three days, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, and 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
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Stanford's NCAA Championship History
Stanford has a rich history in the NCAA Championships. The men have won four team titles and rank seventh in team victories. Stanford also has eight runner-up finishes and 24 finishes among the top five. Stanford's team titles came in 1925, 1928, and 1934 under Dink Templeton, and 2000 under Vin Lananna.
Also, 35 Stanford men have combined to win 44 individual titles. The discus has been Stanford's most successful event, with 12 titles. Seven have come in the shot put and five in the javelin, giving Stanford 24 victories in the throws. Nine championships have come in the distance events, all since 1998. Combined with six women's titles in that span, distance runners have won 15 of Stanford's past 21 NCAA individual crowns.
The Stanford women have never won a team title and have a top finish of third, in 1984 under Brooks Johnson. However, the Cardinal has scored in all 31 NCAA women's championship meets, tying with Nebraska and UCLA for the most of any school.
Thirteen Stanford women have combined for 17 NCAA outdoor championships. The most have come in the 5,000 meters (four), helped by Lauren Fleshman's three victories from 2001-03.
Last year, Stanford's women placed sixth with 25 points and the men were tied for 18th with 16. Cardinal championships were won by Amaechi Morton in the men's 400 hurdles and Katerina Stefanidi in the women's pole vault. In all, 48 Stanford athletes have combined to win 61 NCAA titles.
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Stanford's Event by Event Breakdown
800: If Justine Fedronic or Amy Weissenbach reach the final, Fedronic's Stanford school record of 2:03.54 could fall. LSU's Natoya Goule, the NCAA indoor champion, has dominated this season and likes to push the pace early, which should create a fast race. Fedronic was one spot from advancing to the 2012 final and enters with the seventh-fastest time in the field to Weissenbach's 10th, with only eight advancing. Fedronic and Weissenbach are in the same semifinal heat, along with Oregon's Laura Roesler, who beat runner-up Fedronic for the Pac-12 title. With only two advancing automatically from each race, it's likely at least one Stanford runner must advance on time, and only two spots are available out of the three heats. With the senior Fedronic and the freshman Weissenbach situated as Nos. 1 and 2 on Stanford's all-time 800 list, this will be a rare treat to see them compete against each other at this distance. It's only happened twice, at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson on April 6 and the Big Meet at Stanford on April 20. In both races, Fedronic won with Weissenbach second.
5,000: Stanford junior Jessica Tonn and sophomore Aisling Cuffe will earn their first outdoor All-America honors. A victory seems unlikely given the strength of the field, including defending champion Abbey D'Agostino of Dartmouth, but they could place high if they work together. Tonn's 15:54.90 is the 13th-best time in the field and Cuffe, a two-time American junior record-breaker in the indoor 3,000, is 24th at 16:15.53.
100 hurdles: The plan after the Pac-12 Championships was for Kori Carter to drop the 100 hurdles and focus on the 400 hurdles. But after she ran a personal record 12.76 in winning her second consecutive conference title, Carter insisted on continuing in both races through the NCAA's. The favorite is collegiate leader Brianna Rollins of Clemson, who has a legal best of 12.68 and a wind-aided 12.54. Carter is No. 2 in the field and among only four competitors have broken 13 seconds. But Carter has done so only once this year and twice in her life. She will need to be at top form to have a chance in an event that Stanford has never won at nationals.
400 hurdles: This event has been Kori Carter's domain this season. She has twice run the world's leading time and her best of 54.21 is now No. 3 in the world and No. 1 in the U.S. The race likely will come down to three Pac-12 rivals - Carter, Arizona's Olympic finalist Georganne Moline and UCLA's Turquoise Thompson, the NCAA runner-up to Moline last year. They finished in that order during a dramatic Pac-12 final, with Carter and Moline facing each other for the second time in another chapter of a competitive rivalry. They have raced three times this year - at the Jim Click Shootout, Pac-12's, and the NCAA West Prelims - with Carter winning a close race each time. Carter is competing in three events at NCAA's, including the 4x400, but the schedule favors her efforts in the 400 hurdles. It is her first race, with the semifinals on Wednesday. It also will be her first final, on Friday, when she has no other competitions.
4x400 relay: The challenge will be fresh legs for a Stanford foursome that should include three - Kori Carter, Justine Fedronic, and Amy Weissenbach -- who are doing other events. Carter's 50.9 anchor split electrified Stanford's performance at the NCAA West Prelims, when it ran 3:32.65 for the No. 3 time in school history and the fastest since 2005. The school record of 3:29.39 is not far off, but would be difficult under any circumstances, and especially on tired legs. Senior Carissa Levingston completes a strong Stanford career in this race and senior Kala Stepter will be available if needed.
Long jump: Karynn Dunn carries the credentials of being a two-time first-team All-America into her final collegiate competition. Dunn leaped a personal record 21-6 on her only fair jump of the 2012 NCAA meet to place fifth. This followed a fourth-place at 2012 NCAA indoors. Dunn was hampered during the indoor season and began the outdoor season slowly, but now is back in form, as evidenced by her 20-7 1/4 leap at the NCAA West Prelims. Dunn comes in with the 11th-best mark in the field, but has made a habit of performing at her best at the national championships.
Shot put: The storyline of Stanford senior Alyssa Wisdom may be as good as the competition. Wisdom arrived at Stanford as a sprinter but a lethargic subpar season forced her to seek answers and discovered that she had a heart condition and other medical issues. Rather than drop athletics, she switched to the shot put, an event she had dabbled in during high school, and swiftly improved. She now sits at No. 3 on Stanford's all-time list and is on the verge of her first All-America honor and a chance for redemption. After all, she qualified for the NCAA indoor championships in March, but fouled out. Just one legal throw would have ensured All-America status. Rest assured, Wisdom won't make the same mistake in her final collegiate meet.
Javelin: Brianna Bain is a pressure performer. That was evident at the 2012 NCAA's when she unleashed a personal-record toss of 180-2 on her sixth and final throw to place second as a freshman. This year, Bain, the two-time Pac-12 champion, comes in as the top seed and collegiate leader, with the best mark in the field by two feet. However, among the 11 freshmen in the field is Florida's Marija Vucenovic, who has a best of 181-10. Stanford never has won an NCAA women's javelin title and hasn't had a champion, among men or women, since Leo Long in 1954. However, Bain is undefeated this year and hasn't lost against collegiate competition since the NCAA meet a year ago.
400: The 400 is a loaded event with four of last year's eight finalists returning. And that list doesn't include Olympian, Pac-12 champion, and collegiate leader Bryshon Nellum of USC, the only collegian under 45 this year (44.76). But the sleeper choice is Stanford freshman Steven Solomon, the only freshman in NCAA track and field who was a 2012 Olympic finalist. Solomon ran 44.97 in the semifinals in London to become the first Australian in 24 years to advance to an Olympic 400 final. Solomon finished eighth there and was given a late start to his first collegiate outdoor season with an eye toward peaking for the World Championships in Moscow, Russia, in August. Solomon didn't run his first collegiate race until April 20 and has competed in only three meets this year while running a season best and school freshman record of 46.12 that seems very vulnerable. The Stanford record is 45.85 by Rene Rodriguez in 1994.
1,500: As it always seems in this competition, expect a strategic and plodding pace followed by a fast finish. The field, which includes defending champion Andrew Bayer of Indiana, seems tightly grouped, which means Stanford's Tyler Stutzman has a shot. Stutzman was fourth in the NCAA indoor mile in March and carries a best of 3:40.43. Stanford has tradition in this event, with Gabe Jennings (2000), Donald Sage (2002), and Grant Robison (2003) winning NCAA titles in recent years and others such as Michael Stember (second), Garrett Heath (second), and Russell Brown (third) contending as well.
5,000: Arizona's Lawi Lalang is one of the most consistent and exceptional collegiate distance runners this side of Galen Rupp. And Northern Arizona's Diego Estrada, a native of Salinas, Calif., ran a scorching 13:15.33 at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford on April 28 and has the top collegiate time this year. However, for Stanford, eyes will be on junior Erik Olson, who squeezed into the last qualifying spot at the NCAA West Prelims and is on the verge of his first All-America honor. Olson, a former U.S. junior national cross-country champion, continues to round into the best shape of his collegiate career after being limited by a series of injuries. Olson, a Marin County product, will seek to improve upon his best of 13:46.12.
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Bain, Carter, are No. 1 Seeds
Sophomore javelin thrower Brianna Bain and junior 400 hurdler Kori Carter enter the meet with the top collegiate marks this year and are the top seeds. Bain threw 183-10 at the Big Meet to break her own school record of 180-2 set in finishing second at the 2012 NCAA Championships. She ranks No. 2 among all throwers in the country. Carter's time of 54.21, run at the Pac-12 Championships, is No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 3 in the world. Both enter the meet with the top qualifying marks, which they achieved at the NCAA West Prelims in Austin, Texas, May 25-27. Bain threw 175-10 and Carter ran 54.50.
Carter on Bowerman Watch List
Stanford junior Kori Carter has established herself as the nation's breakout star. The Women's West Region Track Athlete of the Year is among 10 women on the watch list for the Bowerman award, collegiate track and field's highest honor. Carter twice has run world-leading times in the 400 hurdles, first on April 6 with a 54.71 in beating 2012 Olympic fifth-place finisher Georganne Moline of Arizona at the Jim Click Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., -- a personal record by 2.39 seconds.
Carter regained the world lead on May 12 with a stunning 54.21 - the second-fastest in-season time in collegiate history - to win the Pac-12 title over Moline while breaking meet, stadium, and school records at USC. On the same day, she repeated as the Pac-12 100-meter hurdles champ with a time of 12.76, another school record.
Carter's 54.21 stands at No. 1 among Americans and collegians and No. 3 in the world. She 12.76 is No. 8 in the world and No. 2 in NCAA Division I.
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This Stanford athlete has reached standards in efforts to compete at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, from Aug. 10-18:
World `A' Standards:
Kori Carter, 100 hurdles, 12.76; 400 hurdles, 54.21
These Stanford athletes have reached standards in efforts to compete at the USATF Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 19-23:
U.S. `A' Standards:
Michael Atchoo, 1,500, 3:39.57
Tyler Stutzman, 1,500, 3:40.43
Brianna Bain, javelin, 183-10
Kori Carter, 100 hurdles, 12.76; 400 hurdles, 54.21
Justine Fedronic, 800, 2:03.93
Kathy Kroeger, 5,000, 15:40.55
Amy Weissenbach, 800, 2:04.24
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Track Nut Stat of the Day
Top All-Time Women's Collegiate In-Season 400-Meter Hurdles Times:
1, Sheena Tosta (UCLA), 53.54, 2004; 2, Kori Carter (Stanford), 54.21, 2013; 3, Lashinda Demus (South Carolina), 54.22, 2004.
-- David Kiefer, Stanford Athletics