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Steven Solomon anchors Card to victory. Photo by Richard C. Ersted/ISIphotos.com.
Relays Relieve Big Meet Blues
Courtesy: David Kiefer  
Release: 04/12/2014
BERKELEY, Calif. – Stanford ended the 120th Big Meet on a high, winning the men’s and women’s 4x400-meter relays in dominating fashion on Saturday at Edwards Stadium.

However, it was Cal that collected the team victories, winning both the men’s and women’s competitions for the first time since 2000 at the annual track and field dual meet.

The Cardinal women had their three-year winning streak snapped, falling 97-66. The Stanford men lost, 113-48, with the largest men’s scoring margin since a 115-47 Cal victory in 1992.

Cal leads 68-50-2 in a men’s series that began in 1893, and Stanford leads the women’s, which began in 1980, 23-12.

Stanford women won every non-barrier running event from 200 to 3,000, as well as the discus (Rebecca Hammar, 162-6), javelin (Brianna Bain, 178-1), and pole vault (Ellie McCardwell, 13-0 1/4).

Kristyn Williams won two individual events and ran the third leg on the winning 4x400 relay to lead the Cardinal effort. Williams on the 200 (24.16) and 400 (54.21), and gave the Stanford the lead on the relay, extending it throughout.

Her men’s counterpart, Steven Solomon, cruised to victory in the 400, running 46.89. He followed by closing out the racing portion of the meet with a blazing 45.3 anchor through a human tunnel of Stanford and Cal athletes lining the inside lanes of the track.

Other individual Stanford highlights included Luke Lefebure’s personal record 1:48.79 to win the men’s 800, and Amy Weissenbach’s dominating women’s 800 victory in 2:08.15.

Aisling Cuffe won the 1,500 (4:19.79), edging teammate Jessica Tonn, who followed with a strong winning effort in the 3,000 (9:22.32). Stanford’s 4x400 began with freshmen Malika Waschmann and Amabel Stokes, and was followed by Williams and Weissenbach. Together, they ran 3:42.46.

Stanford captured the top three spots in the men’s 3,000, with Jim Rosa and twin brother Joe, conceding the race to Erik Olson in the final steps to recognize Olson’s willingness to set the pace for most of the race. Olson ran 8:04.38.

Andrew Rondema’s winning javelin throw of 205-2 was a personal record and placed him No. 6 all-time at Stanford in that event. The Cardinal also earned a victory in the pole vault from freshman Dylan Duvio (16-4 ¾), who is undefeated during his first collegiate outdoor season, in three meets.

The 4x400 lineup of Jackson Shumway, Lefebure, Scott Buttinger, and Solomon ran 3:12.07, despite losing perhaps a second on a botched handoff on the second exchange that nearly was disastrous. The initially missed the handoff, but Buttinger made a second turn and snagged the baton, somehow staying in his lane and in the exchange zone.

“I really don’t know what happened there,” Lefebure said. “I held the stick up. I guess he thought he grabbed it. He started to turn, but he didn’t have it and I ran on top of him. But we still won, that’s what it’s all about.

“Hopefully, we’ll clean that up. We want to run a sub-3:10. That’s what we’re hoping for, to get a 4x4 to regionals.”

The Big Meet afforded Lefebure a chance to put himself in the spotlight. The junior math and computational science major has quietly become one of Stanford’s rising stars, helping the Cardinal to an NCAA indoor title in the distance medley relay last month. His performance Saturday only made it more evident, breaking his personal record for the third time this year.

Lefebure planned to go out in a swift 52 seconds for 400. He hit that time, but found himself second to Cal freshman Eugene Hamilton. But while Hamilton faded, Lefebure grew stronger, bolting into the lead with 250 to go and maintaining his momentum to the finish.

Last year, illnesses forced him to be quarantined from the team for two weeks and the interruptions in training caused him to disconnect mentally from achieving the goals he had set. He credits his improvement this year to his health, months of consistent training, and all those 800 repeats – “just training your mind to stay focused in those longer and tougher workouts,” he said.

The women’s 3,000 featured All-Americans Tonn and Kelsey Santisteban of Cal. Tonn’s immediate goal was to reel off a mile in laps of 75 and 76 seconds. While pushing the pace, Tonn felt good, and maintained a 5-10 meter lead over Santisteban.

With two laps left, Cal’s Sydney Gray moved past her teammate into second and considered making a move down the stretch, but Tonn had too much left.

“With a couple of laps to go, I was thinking, I can do this,” Tonn said. “Under coach (Chris) Miltenberg, we focus a lot on the last 150-200 meters. We always know we have something left. We always know that we have that third or fourth gear that we can hit. It’s very comforting.”

The final lap in the men’s 3,000 featured some different drama – a conversation among the Rosas and Olson as they surveyed their lead.

“I was saying, ‘We need to go faster because I thought there was a guy next to us,’ “ Olson said. “And then Jim and Joe were saying, ‘We’re fine.’ We weren’t arguing. Bickering is more like it. I think we all looked back about 20 times over the last 100.”

“Erik led most of the way,” Joe Rosa said. “ I figured that with me and Jim just keying off him, and making him do all the work, it was only right for him to get the win at the end. He probably would have beaten us if we were all kicking.”

The race also marked the first time the Rosa brothers raced together since last year’s Big Meet. An injury kept Joe out of cross country while Jim placed fifth in the nation. During the indoor season, the roles were reversed, with Jim earning All-America honors by placing fifth in the NCAA 3,000.

The season shifts into a series of invitationals and qualifying meets in advance of the NCAA West Prelims and championship meets. Over the next two weeks, the Cardinal travels to the Mt. SAC and Penn relays, followed by Stanford’s own Payton Jordan Invitational on May 4.

* * *

Stanford results

Men
Team scores – California 113, Stanford 48.
100 – 6, Miguel Shaw 11.39.
200 – 7, Miguel Shaw 22.87.
400 – 1, Steven Solomon 46.89.
800 – 1, Luke Lefebure 1:48.79; 3, Justin Brinkley 1:50.29; 4, Scott Buttinger 1:51.08; 5, Marco Bertolotti 1:51.58; 7, Tyler Stutzman 1:52.33; 10, Michael Atchoo 1:53.07.
1,500 – 2, Michael Atchoo 3:46.85; 3, Marco Bertolotti 3:47.37; 4, Tyler Stutzman 3:47.40; 9, Will Drinkwater 3:56.13.
3,000 – 1, Erik Olson 8:04.38; 2, Joe Rosa 8:04.56; 3, Jim Rosa 8:04.98; 9, Kenny Krotzer 8:35.39; 10, Garrett Sweatt 8:37.82; 11, Kevin Bishop 8:44.56.
400 hurdles – 3, Jackson Shumway 53.70.
3,000 steeplechase – 2, Adam Thorne 9:14.46; 4, Jack Bordoni 9:31.90.
4x400 relay – 1, Stanford (Jackson Shumway, Luke Lefebure, Scott Buttinger, Steven Solomon) 3:12.07.
Pole vault – 1, Dylan Duvio 16-4 ¾ (5.00m).
Long jump – 3, Darian Brooks 16-11 ¼ (5.16m).
Discus – 2, Lucas Rowley 173-4 (52.84m); 4, Nicholas Budincich 169-5 (51.63m).
Javelin – 1, Andrew Rondema 205-2 (62.53m); 4, Lucas Rowley 139-10 (42.62m); 5, Miguel Shaw 98-5 (30.00m).
Hammer – 3, Lucas Rowley 198-11 (60.62m).

Women
Team scores – California 97, Stanford 66.
200 – 1, Kristyn Williams 24.16.
400 – 1, Kristyn Williams 54.21; 4, Amabel Stokes 58.26; 5, Hannah Brown 59.83.
800 – 1, Amy Weissenbach 2:08.15; 2, Cami Chapus 2:12.47; 5, Molly McNamara 2:15.07; 8, Sophia Ginez 2:17.65.
1,500 – 1, Aisling Cuffe 4:19.79; 2, Jessica Tonn 4:19.82; 3, Rebecca Mehra 4:20.35; 5, Cami Chapus 4:29.12; 6, Molly McNamara 4:33.24; 9, Aimee Trujillo 4:42.42; 10, Sophia Ginez 4:44.89; 11, Jackie Choucair 4:51.65.
3,000 – 1, Jessica Tonn 9:22.32; 4, Vanessa Fraser 9:32.42; 5, Megan Lacy 9:46.67.
400 hurdles – 3, Malika Waschmann 1:03.51.
3,000 steeplechase – 2, Danielle Katz 10:58.28; 3, Tate Murray 11:06.48.
4x400 relay – 1, Stanford (Malika Waschmann, Amabel Stokes, Kristyn Williams, Amy Weissenbach) 3:42.46.
Pole vault – 1, Ellie McCardwell 13-0 ¾ (3.97m).
Shot put – 2, Rebecca Hammar 46-5 ¼ (14.15m); 3, Alyssa Wisdom 46-2 (14.07m).
Discus – 1, Rebecca Hammar 162-6 (49.52m); 3, Megan Glasmann 122-3 (37.26m).
Javelin – 1, Brianna Bain 178-1 (54.28m); 2, Megan Glasmann 152-0 (46.32m).
Hammer – 3, Rebecca Hammar 167-5 (51.03m).
    



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