April 7, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - One of the largest annual track meets in the nation is underway as the Stanford Invitational featured thousands of tops athletes running some of the nation and the world's top times. The highlight of the day for the folks in the Stanford jerseys was Chris Derrick winning his heat of the 1,500 meters and in the process outkicking Lawi Lelang, the same athlete that he has finished as the NCAA runner-up to three times this season.
Derrick ran in the top section of the 1,500 meters that also included Lalang of Arizona who has won three NCAA titles this year. Lalang took over the lead in the second half of the race, but Derrick fought back, moving up on the inside lane. As they reached the final straightaway, Derrick moved past Lelang on the inside as the two bumped elbows. Derrick closed hard and won in 3:41.17, defeating Lelang for the first time this season. It was a personal best for Derrick and a confidence booster for someone he will likely face again at Pac-12's and NCAA's.
Also running well in that same section of the 1,500 was Michael Atchoo who finished eighth in 3:42.62. Tyler Stutzman ran in the second heat, placing seventh with a time of 3:42.20.
The Rosa twins ran in the fourth section with Jim Rosa leading the way with a time of 3:47.75 and broth Joe Rosa running 3:50.28.
In the long distances, Stanford had a pair earn personal bests in the top section of the 10,000 meters. Miles Unterreiner ran 28:49.15 to place 10th and Brendan Gregg took 14th in 28:54.41.
Stanford's top sprinters were Colin Hepburn and Spencer Chase in the 100 meters. Hepburn ran 10.90, while Chase ran 10.93.
Amaechi Morton qualified for the final in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing fourth in 14.30.
In the field, Stanford excelled in the high jump with two in the top five. Jules Sharpe placed third by matching his outdoor best with a leap of 7-1. Dartis Willis II placed fifth with a mark of 6-11.
Willis also competed in the long jump and placed ninth with a mark of 22-7. He was bettered by teammate Patton Jones in the event. Jones leaped 22-11 to place sixth. Darian Brooks competed in the second section of the long jump and finished with a mark of 22-6 ¼.
On the women's side, Stanford's top 5,000-meter runner was Jessica Tonn who was 15th in the second heat. Tonn ran 16:16.37, while teammate Emilie Amaro was not far behind in 16:23.60.
Earlier, in the third heat, Victoria Pennings ran 17:09.21 and Claire Durkin ran 17:16.74. Aimee Trujillo was the first Stanford athlete of the day to compete, running the fourth section of the 5K. She ran 17:38.70 to finish 22nd.
In the 1,500, Kathy Kroeger led the Cardinal, finishing third in the second heat with a time of 4:21.00. Alli Billmeyer ran in the same heat and finished with a time of 4:25.39.
Other Stanford runners in the 1,500 were Sarah McCurdy (4:35.77), Claire Collison (4:37.82), Sophia Ginez (4:39.34), Kristin Reese (4:41.83), Julia Foster (4:43.06) and Hannah Varnell (4:44.89)
Kori Carter led Stanford in the sprinting events, winning her heat of the 100-meter hurdles in 13.19. She just missed her own school record, but will be the top seed in the final tomorrow. Katie Nelms also competed in the event and was second in 13.40. The time for Nelms was a career best and second in school history.
Also winning her heat was Shataya Hendricks in the 100 meters with a time of 11.58. She and Carissa Levingston who ran 11.89 qualified for the final. Hendricks false started in the final, but Levingston improved to sixth in 11.73.
In the 400, Kellie Schueler led the Cardinal, running a person best of 54.46. Her time ranks 10th in Stanford history. Also running well in the 400 was Joy O'Hare, who finished with a time of 55.80 that tied her career best.
Stanford was led in the field by freshman Brianna Bain. Bain placed third in the invitational section of the javelin with a toss of 159-6.
Elaine Patten led Stanford in the high jump, matching her career best of 5-7 ¼ to place tied for fourth.
Finally, Alyssa Wisdom led Stanford in the throws, placing fourth with a toss of 50-8 ¼ in the shot put. Teammate Rebecca Hammar was not far behind with a toss of 48-9 ½.
The Stanford Invitational will continue on Saturday with its final day. Both track and field events will start 9:00 a.m.