SEATTLE – The most fascinating part of track and field’s indoor season opener often are the collegiate debuts of the year’s freshman class.
As Stanford begins the 2014 season at the UW Indoor Preview at University of Washington’s Dempsey Indoor on Saturday (8 a.m.), there certainly is excitement surrounding the new talent, with both freshman classes ranked among the nation’s top five by Track & Field News. However, the most noteworthy Stanford athlete may be a veteran rather than the rookies.
Kathy Kroeger, a nine-time All-America and the 2012 Pac-12 cross country champion, is healthy once again after injuries curtailed her 2013 indoor and outdoor seasons. Now, the fifth-year senior embarks on the coda to her Stanford career by completing her eligibility this indoor season.
Kroeger, a four-time first-team track All-America who ranks No. 3 on Stanford’s all-time indoor list in the 5,000 meters, will run the mile at noon, joining teammates Megan Lacy and freshman Emma Fisher in the event. This will be her first Stanford performance since winning the 3,000 in last year’s Big Meet.
Stanford’s first performer of the season -- Boston native Carla Forbes takes her first long jump at 9 a.m. – also is one of the program’s most anticipated, when
Forbes is among three recruits that made Stanford incoming women’s class the No. 4-rated group in the country. However, because javelin thrower Megan Glasmann and discus thrower Valarie Allman are outdoor competitors, Forbes is the only of the big three to compete indoors.
Forbes won nine national indoor and outdoor high school championships in the long and triple jumps before being sidelined in 2013 because of injury. The six-time Massachusetts All-State champion out of Newton North High has legal bests of 20-1 in the long jump and 42-5 ¼ in the triple. She competes in both Saturday, with the triple scheduled for 2 p.m.
Among the top recruits for the men’s team is Dylan Duvio, the No. 2-ranked high school pole vaulter in the country last year. Duvio, the brother of Stanford junior vaulter Dalton Duvio, has a best of 17-3 ½ and most recently captured the silver medal at the Pan Am Junior Championships in Colombia in August at a meet bringing together the top young athletes from the Western Hemisphere.
Forbes and Duvio, whose debut is set for 1 p.m., are among eight true freshmen to compete for Stanford for the first time. The five freshmen men to compete are Canadian junior international Scott Buttinger (1,000, 4x800), Tom Coyle (1,000, 4x800), Duvio, Patrick Gibson (mile, 3,000, 4x800), and two-time age-group world mile record holder Ryan Silva (mile, 4x800).
Along with Forbes, Fisher (mile, 3,000) and Malika Waschmann (600, 4x400) are the three Stanford women scheduled to make their collegiate debuts.
Among those making their first collegiate indoor track appearances are Australian 2012 Olympic 400 finalist Steven Solomon (4x400) and 2013 U.S. junior national cross country team runner Thomas Graham (mile, 3,000), both sophomores.
In addition, NCAA outdoor 800 finalists Justine Fedronic, a fifth-year senior with no outdoor eligibility left, and sophomore Amy Weissenbach – the two fastest half-milers in school history – are scheduled to run the 1,000 and 4x400.
This is the first of four meets Stanford is scheduled for on the 307-meter flat Mondo surface at Dempsey Indoor and it will be a scoring meet. It will be streamed live via Flotrack.org's subscription service.
The following is Stanford’s schedule for the UW Indoor Preview:
10:30 a.m., 60-meter prelims: Darian Brooks
11:22 a.m., 60 final: Darian Brooks
11:50 a.m., 1,000: Michael Atchoo, Marco Bertolotti, Scott Buttinger, Tom Coyle, Will Drinkwater
12:20 p.m., mile: Patrick Gibson, Thomas Graham, Erik Olson, Joe Rosa, Ryan Silva, Garrett Sweatt
1 p.m., pole vault: Dylan Duvio
1:40 p.m., 600: Will Drinkwater, Luke Lefebure, Jackson Shumway
2 p.m., triple jump: Darian Brooks
3 p.m., shot put: Nick Budincich
4:15 p.m., 4x800: Michael Atchoo, Marco Bertolotti, Tom Coyle, Will Drinkwater, Patrick Gibson, Ryan Silva, Garrett Sweatt
5 p.m., 3,000: Kevin Bishop, Patrick Gibson, Thomas Graham, Erik Olson, Joe Rosa, Garrett Sweatt
9 a.m., long jump: Carla Forbes
11:40 a.m., 1,000: Jaye Buchbinder, Cami Chapus, Justine Fedronic, Molly McNamara, Rebecca Mehra, Amy Weissenbach
Noon, mile: Emma Fisher, Kathy Kroeger, Megan Lacy
12:35 p.m., 400: Kristyn Williams
1 p.m., pole vault: Ellie McCardwell
2 p.m., triple jump: Carla Forbes
4 p.m., 4x800: Jaye Buchbinder, Cami Chapus, Molly McNamara, Rebecca Mehra, Tate Murray
4:30 p.m., 3,000: Emma Fisher, Megan Lacy