Aug. 2, 2012
Track & Field Coverage
LONDON -- The Olympics are nearly halfway done, which means the big transition of the Games in nearly here. Swimming will conclude and track & field will begin with Stanford being well-represented by six athletes from four different nations.
The Cardinal contingent will be made up of Jillian Camarena-Williams and Ryan Hall from Team USA, Amaechi Morton and Idara Otu of Nigeria, along with Katerina Stefanidi of Greece and Arantxa King of Bermuda.
The Cardinal group includes three NCAA Champions, including Morton and Stefanidi who were the top collegians in their events this past spring. Ryan Hall also won an NCAA title in the 5,000 meters back in 2005, but will compete in the marathon in London. Hall and King are have Olympic experience from Bejing in 2008, while Camarena-Williams in a World Championships medalist.
Morton will kick things off for the Stanford group, competing in the 400-meter hurdles. Morton will run in lane four of heat 1 of the event set to begin at 3:15 a.m. on August 3. Morton has a career best of 48.79, which should make him a contender to advance through the rounds and give him a chance at the final. Along with his NCAA title, Morton won the Nigerian Trials and African Championship earlier this summer.
The semifinals for the 400-meter hurdles are set for 11:00 a.m. on August 4, while the final is August 6 at 12:45 p.m. Morton has the eighth-fastest time in the event.
Also competing for Nigeria will be Idara Otu
, who will run the 4x400-meter relay. Otu is a 2009 graduate for Stanford and a former All-American in the distance medley relay. The first round of the relay will be August 10 at 11:10 a.m. Should Nigeria advance, Otu will run the final on August 11 at 12:25 p.m.
Perhaps the top medal hope in track & field for Stanford will be Jillian Camarena-Williams who will compete in the shot put. Her competition begins on August 6 at 2:45 a.m. Camarena-Williams should get through to the final, which will be that same day at 11:15 a.m.
The 2004 graduate of Stanford was the 2012 U.S. Champion, winning the Olympic Trials with a toss of 62-10 ½. She was the 2011 World Championships bronze medalist and holds a personal best of 66-2 ½, which is the American Record.
A pair of 2012 graduates will also compete on the field for the women with NCAA Champion Katerina Stefanidi competing in the pole vault and Arantxa King in the long jump. Stefanidi will compete in the qualifying round on August 4 at 2:20 a.m and hopefully the final, which is two days later on August 6 at 11:00 a.m. The Greek native is ranked 25th in the World this year with a career best and Stanford Record vault of 14-9 ½.
King will be up in the qualifying of the long jump on August 7 at 11:05 a.m. The final of the event is August 8 at 12:05 p.m. King has a season best of 21-4 and will likely need a big improvement to advance.
As is tradition, the Olympic Games end with the men's marathon and Ryan Hall will look to claim a medal for Team USA. Hall is in his second Olympics, having finished 10th in the marathon in Beijing. He has spent the last four years at the top of U.S. marathoning, including his incredible performance at the 2011 Boston Marathon, where he ran 2:04:58. The time would have been an American Record, but the course is considered to have too much downhill.
Hall's official personal best is 2:06.17, run in London in 2008. The 2005 Stanford graduate will surely be a medal contender, finishing in the top five in several major marathons over the past several years. He has finished third and has two fourths at the Boston Marathon and a fifth at the London Marathon. He will be looking for his breakthrough to finish off the 2012 Olympics.
Follow all the action from Stanford Track and Field athletes on twitter: @StanfordXCTF
Schedule of Stanford Competitors
Jillian Camarena-Williams - USA (Shot Put)
Qualifying: August 6 - 2:45 a.m.
Final: August 6 - 11:15 a.m.
Ryan Hall - USA (Marathon)
August 12 - 3:00 a.m.
Arantxa King - Bermuda (Long Jump)
Qualifying: August 7 - 11:05 a.m.
Final: August 8 - 12:05 p.m.
Amaechi Morton - Nigeria (400-meter hurdles)
First Round: August 3 - 3:15 a.m.
Semifinals: August 4 - 11:00 a.m.
Final: August 6 - 12:45 a.m.
Idara Otu - Nigeria (4x400-meter relay)
First Round: August 10 - 11:00 a.m.
Final: August 11 - 12:25 p.m.
Katerina Stefanidi - Greece (Pole Vault)
Qualifying: August 4 - 2:20 a.m.
Final: August 6 - 11:00 a.m.