Stanford is going all in on its distance medley relay teams for the March 14-15 meet at the Albuquerque (N.M.) Convention Center. That much is clear by removing those who qualified in individual races to keep them fresh for the relays.
Justine Fedronic, Amy Weissenbach, and Claudia Saunders – all individual qualifiers in the 800 – have dropped that event to concentrate on the women’s DMR. Steven Solomon and Luke Lefebure declined berths in the 400 and 800, respectively, to be fresh for the men’s DMR.
Preliminary heats in the 400 and 800, and the DMR final all are on the opening day of competition.
Stanford’s is ranked No. 1 in the country in the women’s DMR, which consists of legs of 1,200, 400, 800, and 1,600 meters. The Cardinal quartet of Weissenbach, Kristyn Williams, Saunders, and Fedronic ran 10:54.04 to set a school record at the Penn State National on Jan. 31. The time remains the best in the world and is the fourth-fastest in collegiate history.
The Stanford men’s DMR of Marco Bertolotti, Solomon, Lefebure, and Michael Atchoo are ranked No. 4 in the field at 9:28.95, the No. 3 time in school history. They achieved that while finishing second at the Penn State meet.
The distance medley relay holds a strong tradition at Stanford. The men have won the event three times, most recently in 2007 with a team that included Garrett Heath and Russell Brown. The women have one NCAA DMR victory, achieved in 2000 with a team anchored by Lauren Fleshman. In all, the men have nine top-five DMR finishes at the NCAA’s and the women have seven.
Stanford will bring 16 athletes to Albuquerque, eight men and eight women, including relay alternates. Erik Olson, who has the No. 4 mark in the men’s 3,000 and is No. 8 in the 5,000, will double in those events. Aisling Cuffe and Kathy Kroeger will double in both women’s races of the same distance. Joe Rosa also earned a spot in the men’s 5,000.
Here will be Stanford’s lineup, with their NCAA seeds:
3,000: Erik Olson (7:50.81), No. 4
5,000: Erik Olson (13:42.52), No. 8; Joe Rosa (13:44.85), No. 15.
DMR: Marco Bertolotti, Steven Solomon, Luke Lefebure, Michael Atchoo; alternates, Scott Buttinger, Jackson Shumway (9:28.95), No. 4.
3,000: Aisling Cuffe (9:04.57), No. 7; Kathy Kroeger (9:07.23), No. 12.
5,000: Kathy Kroeger (15:53.35), No. 10; Aisling Cuffe (15:53.95), No. 11.
DMR: Amy Weissenbach, Kristyn Williams, Claudia Saunders, Justine Fedronic; alternates, Rebecca Mehra, Kaitlyn Williams (10:54.04), No. 1.