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Olivia Baker. Photo by Icon Sports Media.
On Top of the World
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 07/28/2014

EUGENE, Ore. – Olivia Baker won a gold medal Sunday as part of the United States’ winning women’s 4x400-meter relay at the IAAF World Junior Championships, capping a strong meet for current and future Stanford track and field athletes at Hayward Field.

Baker, an incoming freshman, ran the second leg to help the U.S. to a time of 3:30.42.

Earlier Sunday, Elise Cranny of the U.S. captured fourth in the women’s 1,500 in 4:12.82, with fellow future Cardinal teammate Anna Laman of Australia 12th (4:18.70). Cranny closed with a rush, passing two down the homestretch, to finish as the top non-African in the race.

Their performances capped a memorable meet for Stanford, which had one current athlete (women's discus silver medalist Valarie Allman) and five incoming freshmen in the 19-and-under competition. They combined to win one gold, one silver, one bronze, and earn five top-six finishes.

Baker followed her 400 bronze from Friday by taking the baton for the second leg of the 4x400 final. At the exchange, the U.S. had a small lead over Nigeria and Germany, but Baker finished strongly over the final 150 to extend the Americans’ lead to 10 meters.

The following is a summary of Stanford performances at the meet:

Decathlon – 6, Harrison Williams (U.S.) 7,760 points.
4x400 relay – 15, Canada (Daniel Brady) 3:11.93.

400 – 3, Olivia Baker (U.S.) 53.00.
1,500 – 4, Elise Cranny (U.S.) 4:12.82; 12, Anna Laman (Australia) 4:18.70.
4x400 relay – 1, United States (Olivia Baker) 3:30.42.
Discus – 2, Valarie Allman (U.S.) 186-2.

* * *

GLASGOW, Scotland – Stanford and Australia’s Steven Solomon advanced out of his first-round heat in the 400 at the Commonwealth Games on Monday.

Solomon, a rising junior and the school-record holder, ran 46.26 to advance to Tuesday’s semifinals, which begin at 12:05 p.m. PDT.

Racing in one of the deepest events in Glasgow, Solomon eased down to finish to secure one of three automatic qualifying spots in his heat.

“I did exactly what I needed to,” said Solomon to Athletics Australia. “I set my race up well and it was my first hit out in a fair while so it was good to get rid of the rust and come back tomorrow firing.”

It was Solomon’s first race since finishing second at the Pac-12 Championships on May 18.

“I think I will have a whole new tank by tomorrow. When you haven’t raced for a while that first one back can be a bit dusty, but I got through the round and that’s what I had to do today.”



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