May 10, 2012
Pac-12 Championships Central
The Stanford track and field teams will travel to the Track Town USA to compete in the Pac-12 Championships this weekend, May 12-13 in Eugene, Ore. The No. 18 men's team and the No. 14 women's team will look to bring home the conference titles. The action begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the beginning of the field events. Running events will begin at 1:25 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday, the field events begin at 10:45 a.m. and the running events at 1 p.m.
Top Ranked Cardinal
The Stanford men are led by Amaechi Morton who is the nation's top-ranked athlete in the 400-meter hurdles. Morton ran 49.43 at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. Senior Chris Derrick is ranked No. 2 in the nation in the 10,000 meters after running an American Collegiate Record time of 27:31.38 at the Payton Jordan Invitational. Also on the track, Tyler Stutzman ranks seventh in the country with a time of 3:40.53.
The Cardinal women are led by a trio in the field events. Former NCAA runners-up Katerina Stefanidi and Arantxa King are both in the top-10 nationally and are joined by freshman Brianna Bain. Stefanidi vaulted 14-3 1/4 at the Texas Relays to rank fifth, while King is eighth after leaping 21-4 in the long jump also at the Texas Relays. Bain tossed 171-2 in the javelin at the Big Meet and ranks No. 4 in the nation. On the track, Kathy Kroeger ran a career-best time of 15:33.76 at the Payton Jordan Invitational to rank sixth.
Returning Pac-12 Champions and Point Scorers
While the Cardinal women had three Pac-10 individual champions last season, Stefanidi is the lone returner as she looks to defend her title in the pole vault. Also returning is Ellie McCardwell
who was fourth in the same event. The other returner in the field is Karynn Dunn
who was eighth in the triple jump.
On the track, Justine Fedronic and Joy O'Hare each scored in the 800 meters, placing fourth and sixth, respectively. Kroeger was sixth in the 5,000 and Carissa Levingston was seventh in the 200. Finally, Kori Carter was third in the 400-meter hurdles and sixth in the 100-meter hurdles, while teammate Katie Nelms was eighth in the 400-meter barriers.
The men's returning champion is Geoffrey Tabor in the discus. Tabor also placed fifth in the shot put, while the lone other returning scorer on the field was Jules Sharpe who was seventh in the high jump.
Derrick led the Cardinal on the track, placing third in the 5,000 and second in the 10,000. Miles Unterreiner also scored in both of those events, finishing sixth in each. Benjamin Johnson was the other returning Stanford scorer in the distances, finishing as the runner-up in the steeple. In the sprints, Morton scored in multiple events, finishing third in the 400-meter hurdles and seventh in the 110-meter hurdles. Spencer Chase was the final returning scorer on the track, placing eighth in the 400 meters.
Stanford Men in 2012
The Cardinal men enter the Pac-12 Championships ranked No. 18 in the nation and fourth the West Region, behind conference opponents Arizona State, Oregon and Arizona. The Cardinal has two of the top athletes in the nation with Derrick and Morton, but also has depth through many event groups.
Stanford had some solid early performances at the Cal Outdoor Opener and the Texas Relays. Spencer Chase ran a career-best time of 10.76 at the Texas Relays showing good range from primarily a 400-meter runner. In the field, Aaron Konigsberg opned with a huge pr in the javelin, tossing 214-3 at the Cal Opener.
The bulk of the Stanford season has come from its two home meets and the annual dual meet with Cal. Stanford won the Big Meet 106-57, defeating the Golden Bears for the sixth-straight season. Stutzman highlighted the meet, winning both the 800 and 1,500 meters and taking home Pac-12 Track Athlete of the Week honors. He was not alone, however, as Morton (110- and 400-meter hurdles), Chase (200 and 400 meters) and Tabor (shot put and discus) were also double winners.
Most of Stanford's top marks on the season have come from the Stanford Invitational and even more so the Payton Jordan Invitational, the two Cardinal home meets. Derrick highlighted the Payton Jordan Invitational with his American Collegiate Record in the 10k, but it was just one of several top performances. Among those were Morton running a pr in the open 400 meters (46.12), Stutzman entering the Stanford top-10 list in the 1,500 (3:40.53) and Brendan Gregg and Miles Unterreiner both going well under 14 minutes in the 5,000.
In addition, the Cardinal got a season best from Tabor in the discus (187-1) and Patton Jones in the long jump (23-1 1/4).
Stanford Women in 2012
The Cardinal women are ranked 14th nationally, but second in the region to only Oregon. Stanford has great depth through all of the event groups and will be a threat for a team title at the Pac-12 Championships.
The Cardinal sprinters are deep in each event with Carter leading the way in both hurdling events. Carter ran 13.14 at the Mt. SAC Relays in the highs and 57.60 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in the 400-meter intermediates. She is joined by Nelms in the highs, having run 13.24 this season and defeating Carter in their most recent matchup. Nelms also ran a career-best time of 23.48 in the 200 meters at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. In addition to Carter and Nelms, Shataya Hendricks ran 11.47 in the 100 and 23.58 in the 200 at the Brutus Hamilton, while Carissa Levingston ran 23.59 for 200 meters at the same meet. In the 400, Kellie Schueler leads Stanford, having run 54.46 at the Payton Jordan Invitational.
The middle distance group is led by Justine Fedronic (2:05.42) and Joy O'Hare (2:06.03) in the 800 meters. Alli Billmeyer leads the 1,500-meter group, having run 4:19.20, which is one of the fastest times ever by a Cardinal freshman.
Kathy Kroeger leads the distance group as one of the top 5,000-meter runners in the country. She ran 15:33.76 at the Payton Jordan Invitational, which ranks sixth all-time at Stanford. Mary Kate Anselmini and Emilie Amaro have also shown ability in the steeplechase with Anselmini ranking fifth all-time among Stanford freshman, while Amaro remains No. 2 on that list from 2009.
In the field, the Cardinal are loaded in the long jump and triple jump with indoor All-Americans Arantxa King and Karynn Dunn. Dunn hit an outdoor best at the Mt. SAC Relays in the long jump (20-11 3/4), while King has yet to pr this season, but still had one of the best jumps in the country (21-4) at the Texas Relays.
The Cardinal are also deep in the pole vault, having swept that competition at the Big Meet. The Cardinal won this year's Big Meet in convincing fashion 122-41. Stefanidi leads the Cardinal pole vaulters with a season best of 14-3 1/4.
Finally, the Cardinal throwers are led by Bain who tossed 171-2 in the javelin at the Big Meet. She was named Pac-12 Field Athlete of the Week for her efforts.