May 24, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- Stanford got things started at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds on Thursday with six national qualifiers and several more advancing to later heats of the opening rounds. The Cardinal men were led by a trio of distance runners, while the women a trio in the field events.
The Stanford men cleaned up in the 10,000 meters with three earning their trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Chris Derrick ran with the leaders, before cruising to a fourth-place finish with a time of 30:04.61. His time was almost two and half minutes off his Collegiate Record set a month ago, that still stands as the third-fastest time in the world this year.
Derrick will be joined in Des Moines by teammates Miles Unterreiner and Brendan Gregg who also qualified for the NCAA finals. Unterreiner placed eighth in 30:15.20, while Gregg was 11th in 30:19.62.
Leading the Cardinal men that Advanced through the opening rounds to a later quarterfinal this weekend was Amaechi Morton. The senior cruised to an easy victory in his heat of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.54. Morton was fifth overall, but remain the favorite for the NCAA title in two weeks.
Also advancing were Tyler Stutzman and Michael Atchoo in the 1,500 meters. Stutzman was ninth overall with a time of 3:46.21, while Atchoo was 20th in 3:55.07. Their quarterfinal will be Saturday as the 1,500-meter runners are given a day off between heats.
Spencer Chase was the final Stanford athlete to move on as he was the last qualifier in the 400 meters. Chase ran a time of 47.41 to place 27th overall. He will run the quarterfinal on Friday with hopes of advancing to Des Moines.
Just missing out on advancing were Luke Lefebure
in the 800 meters and Aaron Konigsberg
in the javelin. Lefebure was fourth in his heat and 28th overall with a time of 1:51.29. He was the first man out as 27 advanced to Friday's quarterfinal.
Konigsberg tossed 192-3 in the javelin to finish 35th and will also not advance.
The Cardinal women earned three NCAA finals berths in the field, beginning in the long jump where Arantxa King and Karynn Dunn advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. King was second in Thursday's first round with a season-best leap of 21-6, while Dunn was sixth with a 21-2 ¾. Both will advance to Des Moines where they will look to repeat their indoor performance where both earned All-America honors.
The other Stanford qualifier was Brianna Bain in the javelin. The freshman, fresh off her Pac-12 title, placed second with a toss of 167-1 and will advance to her first NCAA meet.
On the track, Stanford excelled in the middle distances led by Justine Fedronic who won her heat and is the top qualifier in the 800 meters. Fedronic ran a time of 2:06.07 and will be joined in Friday's quarterfinal by Joy O'Hare who was the eighth qualifier after placing second in her heat with a time of 2:07.51.
Alli Billmeyer also advanced to the quarterfinal as she was seventh in her heat. The freshman ran a time of 4:28.30 and was the 22nd qualifier overall.
In the sprints, Shataya Hendricks and Katie Nelms advanced in the 100 meters and will run the quarterfinals on Friday. Hendricks placed 20th overall with a wind-aided time 11.40, while Nelms was 25th in 11.60, which was also wind aided.
The final quarterfinal qualifier was Kori Carter who was third in her heat in the 400-meter hurdles. She was 16th overall in 59.36 and will run again on Friday.
Alyssa Wisdom competed in the shot put, tossing 51-1 ¾ to place 18th and just missed advancing to her first NCAA meet.
The NCAA Preliminary Rounds continue from Austin on Friday with several more Stanford athletes looking to earn their trip to Des Moines for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.