ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Stanford sends 12 athletes, plus four alternates, to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. In all, eight men and eight women will make the trip and compete in a total of six events, all on the track.
The Cardinal seems to have its best shots at the distance medley relays. The women are seeded No. 1 and the men No. 4. Stanford’s individual events are both the men’s and women’s 3,000 and 5,000 meters. Erik Olson, the No. 4 seed in the 3,000, will double, as will the past two Pac-12 women’s cross-country champions, Aisling Cuffe and Kathy Kroeger.
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What: NCAA Championships
Where: Albuquerque, N.M.
Site: Albuquerque Convention Center
Elevation: 5,312 feet
Track size: 200-meter, 60-degree banked
Straightaways: 60 meters
Friday - 9 a.m. PT (10 a.m. MT)
Saturday - 10 a.m. PT (11 a.m. MT)
Follow the Action:
Live results: Click here
Event schedule: Click here
Friday - ESPN3.com (4:55 p.m. PT)
Saturday - ESPN3.com (4:50 p.m. PT)
Tape-delayed - March 22, ESPNU (3:30 p.m. PT)
Stanford in USTFCCCA rankings:
Women - No. 14
Men - No. 16
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7:25 p.m. PT (8:25 p.m. MT):
Men’s 5,000 - Erik Olson, Joe Rosa.
7:45 p.m. PT (8:45 p.m. MT):
Women’s 5000 - Kathy Kroeger, Aisling Cuffe.
8:15 p.m. PT (9:15 p.m. MT):
Men’s distance medley relay - Marco Bertolotti, Steven Solomon, Luke Lefebure, Michael Atchoo; Alternates: Scott Buttinger, Jackson Shumway.
8:30 p.m. PT (9:30 p.m. MT):
Women’s distance medley relay - Amy Weissenbach, Kristyn Williams, Claudia Saunders, Justine Fedronic; Alternates: Rebecca Mehra, Kaitlyn Williams.
6:40 p.m. PT (7:30 p.m. MT):
Men’s 3,000 - Erik Olson.
6:55 p.m. PT (7:55 p.m. MT):
Women’s 3,000 - Aisling Cuffe, Kathy Kroeger.
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STANFORD’S DMR TRADITION: Stanford’s men and women have combined for four NCAA titles -- three for the men and one for the women -- and 16 top-five finishes. In no other event has Stanford won more NCAA titles.
THE WOMEN’S DMR: Stanford’s women’s team can be described as selfless because it includes three NCAA qualifiers in the 800 meters. All three chose to focus solely on the relay and gave up their spots in the individual race. Justine Fedronic, who was third in the 2013 NCAA outdoor 800, will be competing in her final collegiate race. She is a fifth-year senior with no remaining outdoor eligibility. Fedronic has the No. 4 collegiate time this year (2:03.25), sophomore Amy Weissenbach is No. 11 (2:04.99), and sophomore Claudia Saunders is No. 13 (2:05.07). The team’s order will be: Weissenbach (1,200), sophomore Kristyn Williams (400), Saunders (800), and Fedronic (1,600).
NATIONAL LEADERS: Stanford’s women’s distance medley relay is fastest among the field, collegians, the nation, and the world. Stanford ran a school record 10:54.04 while running mostly alone at the front at the Penn State National invitational on Jan. 31. The time is No. 4 on the all-time collegiate list. Weissenbach opened with a 3:20.7 for 1,200, Williams ran 52.7 for 400, Saunders clocked 2:06.9 for 800, and Fedronic anchored with a 4:33.3 for 1,600. On the makeup of the team: Fedronic, Weissenbach, and Saunders are Nos. 1-3 on Stanford’s all-time indoor 800 list, and Williams is the school record holder in the 400 (53.36).
THE MEN’S DMR: Two of Stanford’s men also chose the relay over competing individually. Steven Solomon (400) and Luke Lefebure (800). Solomon won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation 400 title in 46.24, the No. 16 time in NCAA Division I. Lefebure’s 1:48.80 was No. 14. The Stanford DMR team of Marco Bertolotti (1,200), Solomon (400), Lefebure (800), and Michael Atchoo (1,600) ran 9:28.95 to finish second to Penn State at the Penn State National. The time seeds Stanford at No. 4. Atchoo doubled in the DMR and mile last year. He boasts a personal best of 3:57.14 in the mile, a school record set while winning the 2013 MPSF title.
OLYMPIAN: Steven Solomon, who will run the 400 leg of Stanford’s DMR, was a 2012 Olympic finalist in the 400 while competing for Australia. At age 19, Solomon ran a personal best 44.97 in the semifinals to advance. He was eighth in 45.14 in London. Solomon became the first Australian man in 24 years to reach an Olympic 400 final.
PAC-12 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPS: The past two Pac-12 women’s individual cross-country champions, Aisling Cuffe and Kathy Kroeger, will double in the 3,000 and 5,000. Both are from Stanford. Cuffe (first name pronounced “Ash-ling,” last name pronounced “Cuff”) won the Pac-12 title in 2013 and placed fourth at the NCAA championships. She is a former two-time U.S. junior record holder in the 3,000. Kroeger, a fifth-year senior completing her eligibility this weekend, won the 2012 Pac-12 cross-country title. She is a nine-time All-America who reached the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials final in the 5,000. Cuffe and Kroeger placed 1-2 at the MPSF Championships in the 3,000 on March 1.
OLSON AND ROSA’S BIG YEAR: Erik Olson and Joe Rosa each shattered their personal bests in the 5,000 to make the NCAA field. Olson, a senior, came in with an outdoor 13:46.12 and brought it down to 13:42.52. He also dropped his 3,000 best to 7:50.81 from 8:07.03. Rosa’s PB was 13:56.76, but dropped it to 13:44.85 in finishing second to Lawi Lalang in the MPSF 5K. Olson also has overcome personal adversity, at 20 suffering from melanoma, a type of skin cancer that required an operation to remove a mass from his back and two lymph nodes. Olson has been active with Sunsport, an on-campus advocacy group that promotes awareness of the sun’s dangers to student-athletes.