May 12, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. -- The Pac-12 Championships kicked off Saturday from historic Hayward Field with the Cardinal women immediately showing it will be a factor for the conference title. The Cardinal scored 40 points on Saturday and sit just six points behind first-place Oregon. The men sit in eighth place with 24 points, but it is a tightly packed with nine teams within 25 points of each other.
The Stanford women have built a deep team that can compete at the highest level in almost every event. Saturday, it was javelin thrower Brianna Bain winning the Pac-12 title to get Stanford off and running.
Bain led the Cardinal women with her first Pac-12 title in her first opportunity. The Beaverton, Ore., native tossed a career-best of 175-9 on her final throw to capture the conference title. The toss was also a new Stanford record for the talented newcomer with a more than bright future.
The Cardinal also scored big points in the long jump as Arantxa King and Karynn Dunn placed second and third, respectively. The duo, who were both All-Americans indoors, jumped 21-0 ¾ and 20-10 ½, but were both just off season bests.
Also scoring big points on the field was Alyssa Wisdom who placed third in the Hammer. Wisdom tossed 51-6 ½ to score six points for Stanford. Also in the event was Rebecca Hammer who placed 10th with a toss of 44-2.
On the track, Stanford got a couple of big season-bests in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to score points it may not have expected. Freshman Mary Kate Anselmini placed fourth in her Pac-12 meet debut, while veteran Emile Amaro was right behind her in fifth. The duo ran times of 10:15.16 and 10:18.18 to score nine big points for the Cardinal women. The time for Anselmini also moved her to fifth on the Stanford all-time list. In addition, freshman Julia Foster placed 12th in 10:36.51, but moved to ninth on the Stanford list with her time.
The final scorer on Saturday was Jessica Tonn
in the 10,000 meters. The sophomore made her debut in the event, running a time of 35:11.04 to score the final point of the night for the Cardinal.
The Cardinal also had a bunch of top performances in the prelims, led by Katie Nelms and Kori Carter in the 100-meter hurdles. Nelms ran a personal-best of 13.12 and would have broken the school record, but a wind of +2.3 made the mark ineligible. Carter was not far behind, winning her heat in 13.15 also with an illegal wind.
Nelms also doubled back to place fifth in the 200 meters and will run both finals on Sunday. She finished with a time of 23.57, but was not alone as Carissa Levingston also made the final, running a time of 23.77.
Carter also doubled back in the 400-meter hurdles to qualify for the final, placing fifth in 58.57. She will look to score big points for the Cardinal on Sunday with two finals in the hurdles and being in the pools of both relays.
In the 100 meters, Shataya Hendricks fourth in 11.59 to qualify for the final. Levingston also had a nice performance, running a time of 11.73, but was 10th overall and just missed the final.
In the middles distances, the Cardinal was led by Justine Fedronic who was second overall in the 800 meters. Fedronic ran a personal-best time of 2:05.35 and will be a threat for a conference title on Sunday. Joy O'Hare also ran well, placing fifth overall in 2:08.63 and will also run the final.
Also running well was Alli Billmeyer who placed 10th in the 1,500 meters to advance to Sunday's final. Billmeyer ran a time of 4:25.11, which was off her personal best.
The Cardinal men were led by a pair of third-place finishers in Saturday's final. Geoffrey Tabor placed third in the shot put with season-best heave of 55-5 ½. He will be back on Sunday to defend his conference title in the discus as he attempts to score big team points for Stanford.
The other third-place finisher was Benjamin Johnson in the steeplechase. Johnson ran a time of 8:52.56 as he continues to regain his form after a long layoff from an injury during the cross-country season.
The Cardinal also scored in the 10,000 meters as Miles Unterreiner and Brendan Gregg represented the distance crew. Unterreiner was fourth in 29:48.50, while Gregg place seventh with a time of 29:50.71. Both were well off personal bests set back at the Stanford Invitational, but Saturday's race set up as a tactical battle that did not adhere to fast times.
Back on the field, Aaron Konigsberg came through with a big season best in the javelin. The sophomore tossed 216-1 to place sixth and score three team points. The toss was fourth best in Stanford history.
Stanford also scored two points in the high jump as Jules Sharpe placed seventh with a mark of 7-0 ¼. Freshman Dartis Willis II leaped the same height, but placed ninth on misses. The mark was a season best for Willis in his first Pac-12 meet.
Just missing scoring for Stanford were Dalton Duvio and Corey Dysick in the pole vault. The duo placed ninth and 10th after each clearing 16-4 ½. In addition, Patton Jones placed 10th in the long jump with a personal-best mark of 23-11.
In the prelims, the Cardinal was led by Amaechi Morton. The senior cruised to an easy top seed in the 400-meter hurdles, running 50.17. He also ran the 110-meter highs and placed second overall with a time of 14.18. Morton will be the heavy favorite in the intermediates, but is showing his range by winning his heat of the highs and looks to score important points for the Cardinal in both events.
Stanford will be well-represented in the final of the 1,500 meters with three making it through. In the first heat, Michael Atchoo and Chris Derrick placed second and third with times of 3:45.35 and 3:45.37 to cruise into the final. Next up was Tyler Stutzman who entered the day ranked seventh in the nation in the events. He placed third in his heat with a time of 3:47.38 and should have plenty left for Sunday's final.
Also advancing in the middle distances was Marco Bertolotti in the 800 meters. Bertolotti ran 1:51.55 to place sixth overall and advance to his first Pac-12 final. Freshman Luke Lefebure also ran well, placing seventh overall in 1:51.71, but will not advance because the top-2 of each heat earn automatic qualification regardless on time, so a slower heat cost Lefebure his spot.
Other qualifiers were Spencer Chase in the 400 meters after placing seventh in 47.51. Also advancing was the Cardinal men's 4x100-meter relay, which was eighth in 41.24. The 4x100-meter team was made up of Jones, Chase, Colin Hepburn and Jamal-Rashad Patterson.
Stanford will complete the Pac-12 Championships on Sunday back in Eugene. The Cardinal women hope to win its first conference title since 2005, while the men hope to improve on its sixth-place finish of last season.