Stanford senior Erik Olson made a strong bid to qualify for the NCAA indoor track and field championships by crushing his personal record in the 5,000 meters at the Husky Classic at University of Washington on Friday.
Olson finished fourth in an invitational field to run 13:42.52, placing him at No. 6 on Stanford’s all-time indoor performance list. Both Olson, who had a previous best of 13:46.12 outdoors, and teammate Joe Rosa cracked 14 minutes, with Rosa running a best of 13:56.76.
Oregon's NCAA cross country champion, Edward Cheserek, won the race in 13:40.51. Before this weekend, only three runners in the country had broken 14 minutes.
Those with the best 16 marks in each event by March 2 earn inclusion to the NCAAs, March 14-15 in Albuquerque.
"Erik's race was a big step forward," said Chris Miltenberg, Stanford's Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field. "The time is great and should get him into the NCAA meet, but, most of all, I'm fired up with the composure and toughness with which he executed the race plan. He is learning to race at a big-time level."
Stanford’s Kathy Kroeger and Aisling Cuffe – the past two Pac-12 women’s cross country champions -- made bids in the 5,000 as well on the 307-meter flat Mondo surface. Kroeger was second (15:53.35) and Cuffe third (15:53.95) in the invitational. Those times would have placed them sixth and eighth in the country before this weekend. Kroeger has run faster and is already No. 3 at Stanford all-time indoors, but Cuffe moved onto the list at No. 5.
At the Don Kirby Elite meet in Albuquerque, Stanford freshman Dylan Duvio broke a personal record in the pole vault at 17-5½. The fifth-place jump was the second-best by a Stanford freshman indoors or out and is No. 3 on the all-time Stanford indoor list. Only 2004 Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson has jumped higher among Stanford freshman.
No other freshman in the country has jumped higher than Duvio, who cleared a then-personal best of 17-4½ in his previous two meets.
“Dylan had another awesome night tonight against some terrific competition,” said Stanford’s Michael Eskind, who coaches pole vault, jumps, and multis. “He competed with poise and composure. To be jumping this consistently bodes extremely well for his next few meets and well beyond.”
Duvio cleared his opening height of 16-6¾ on his first try and had only one miss through 17-5½. He had good tries at 17-7¾, and was unsuccessful, but provided optimism that he could reach higher heights soon.
Duvio still is outside of the NCAA top 16, but not by much. The only collegians who finished ahead of him were defending NCAA outdoor champ Sam Kendricks of Mississippi, defending Pac-12 champ Michael Woepse of UCLA, and Canadian record-holder Shawn Barber of Akron. Duvio matched Barber, but the Canadian edged him on fewer misses.
Both meets continue Saturday and Stanford has only the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships, to be held Feb. 28-March 1 in Seattle, before the NCAA's.
Winners and Stanford competitors
5,000 invitational – 1, Edward Cheserek (Oregon) 13:40.51. Stanford: 4, Erik Olson 13:42.52 (personal record; No. 6 Stanford indoors); 11, Joe Rosa 13:56.76 (personal record).
5,000 Invitational – 1, Elinor Kirk (Alabama-Birmingham) 15:44.38; 2, Kathy Kroeger (Stanford) 15:53.35; 3, Aisling Cuffe 15:53.95 (personal record; No. 5 Stanford indoors).
5,000 – Rebekah Winterton (Utah) 16:18.85. Stanford: 7, Megan Lacy 16:38.86 (personal record); 24, Emma Fisher 17:02.99 (personal record).
DON KIRBY ELITE
Winners and Stanford competitors:
Pole vault – 1, Sam Kendricks (Mississippi), 18-8¼. Stanford: 5, Dylan Duvio 17-5½ (personal record; No. 2 Stanford freshman indoors; No. 3 Stanford indoors).
Weight throw – 1, Ida Storm (UCLA) 70-1½. Stanford: 15, Rebecca Hammar 53-3½ (personal record).