Feb. 26, 2010
Seattle, Wash. - The Stanford track and field teams are off to a tremendous start at the MPSF Championships with the women leading and the men in second place after one day of competition. The women are once again showing off their depth as the look to repeat as conference champions, while the men used a pair of individual titles to climb up the scoreboard.
The Stanford women totaled 56 points on day one, 20 ahead of second-place Arizona State with 36. No. 1 Oregon sits in third with 31 points. Last season, Stanford finished with 115 points in two days, while second-place Oregon had 91.5.
Griffin Matthew led the way for Stanford, winning the conference title in the 200 meters. Her time of 23.86 edged her teammate Carissa Levingston who placed second. Levingston finished with a time of 24.03. Both also doubled in the 60 meters, with Levingston taking the second qualifying time into tomorrow's finals. Her time of 7.43 was a collegiate best and an NCAA provisional standard. Matthew also qualified for the final of the 60 with a time of 7.50, the sixth best of the day.
The Cardinal sprinters performed well all day with Shataya Hendricks also earning a point in the 200 meters with an eighth-place finish with a time of 24.66. Hendricks also made the final in the 60 meters, taking the eighth qualifying time of 7.63.
Matthew made it three event on the day, also competing in the long jump. She placed eighth to earn one team point (19-8 ¼). Arantxa King led the Cardinal jumpers with a fourth-place finish and a provisional leap of 20-6 ½. Brittni Dixon-Smith (19-4 ¼) and Jordan Merback (18-2 ¼) finished just out of the points.
The distance runners were equally strong for the Cardinal, led by Stephanie Marcy
. The Cardinal junior ran a career-best time of 16:18.77 to improve her provisional standard and finish as the MPSF runner-up. Georgia Griffin
placed fifth (16:34.46) and Madeleine O'Meara
placed seventh (16:41.63) to give Stanford big points in the event. Kate Niehaus
also competed, placing 12th (16:52.27).
In the distance medley relay, a young Stanford team placed third with a time of 11:31.58. Junior Madeline Duhon anchored a team made up of freshmen Hannah Farley and Justine Fedronic and sophomore Victoria Pennings.
In the throws, the Cardinal had a pair of point scorers in the weight throw. Molly Kinsella led Stanford with a toss of 55-5 ¾ to place fourth, while Jaynie Goodbody placed sixth with a toss of 54-8 ¾.
Finally, in the pentathlon, freshman Karynn Dunn made her debut in the discipline to finish fifth with a score of 3,686 points. Her top event came in the 60-meter hurdles where her time of 8.73 earned her 967 points. Tiffany Tillett also competed in the event and scored 3,383 points to finish 10th. Whitney Liehr did not finish the pentathlon after scratching in the long jump.
The men totaled 38 points to trail first-place UCLA with 53. Washington rounds out the top three with 35.5points. The Cardinal stayed in the thick of the title hunt thanks to individual conference titles from Carter Wells and Elliott Heath.
Heath led the distance crew, which piled up big points. His time of 13:47.14 for 5,000 meters barely missed the NCAA auto standard, but did grab a provisional mark. It is the first conference title for the Cardinal junior. Following Heath was Jake Riley who took fourth with a time of 14:06.37. Also scoring for the Cardinal was Miles Unterreiner who placed eighth with a time of 14:06.37. Brendan Gregg (14:11.60) and Benjamin Johnson (14:18.11) finished just out of the points.
In the DMR, the Cardinal placed third with a time of 9:31.39. JT Sullivan led off and was followed by Amaechi Morton, Dylan Ferris and Justin Marpole-Bird.
Wells took his MPSF title in the weight throw. His toss of 62-11 ½ was a personal best and gave the redshirt junior his first-ever conference title.
Also excelling in the field was Casey Roche in the pole vault. Roche cleared a career-best 17-3 to earn a provisional standard and tie for third place with two others.
Finally, the Stanford sprinters also left their mark with Tyrone McGraw and Daniel Belch both qualifying for the final in the 60 meters. McGraw equaled his own school record that he shares with Ryan Fisicaro of 6.82 to finish sixth, while Belch finished ninth with a time of 6.85. Belch also scored in the 200 meters, placing eighth with a time of 21.84.
The Cardinal will be back at Dempsey Indoor Stadium tomorrow for the completion of the MPSF Championships. The Stanford women have put themselves in good position to repeat as conference champions, while the men will look to ride a few more top performances to a high finish.