Track and Field: Two hit mile’s milestone

Feb. 17, 2010, 12:48 a.m.

Marpole-Bird and Ferris run sub-four minute miles

The Stanford men’s and women’s track and field team had a spectacular weekend in Seattle, Wash. at the Husky Classic, posting multiple provisional and automatic standards. As the NCAA National Championship draws closer and closer, the pressure is on for these times, especially the automatic marks, as they guarantee the athlete a spot at nationals.

Track and Field: Two hit mile’s milestone
Dylan Ferris (far right) ran a mile in a time of 3:58.90, earning an NCAA automatic mark in the process. His teammate, Justin Marpole-Bird, also ran a sub-four minute mile this weekend. (Stanford Daily File Photo)

Leading the way for the Cardinal was an incredible performance by the distance running duo of senior Justin Marpole-Bird and sophomore Dylan Ferris. Marpole-Bird and Ferris both achieved the remarkable feat of running the mile under four minutes for the first time, posting times of 3:58.76 and 3:58.90, respectively. These times moved the pair into fifth and sixth on the all-time Stanford list. Both of these blazing times were NCAA automatic qualifying times for the two Stanford men, giving them a chance to compete at nationals for the first time.

“It was great to come off of a slight injury that had hampered some training and still break four minutes for the mile,” Marpole-Bird said.

“This weekend was really big for a lot of us on the team,” Ferris added. “With two automatics and two provisionals, the mile was a great race.”

Also faring well in the mile was junior JT Sullivan, who barely missed breaking the four minute mark, finishing with a time of 4:00.02, a provisional standard. Sophomore Miles Unterreiner also achieved a provisional time in the mile, finishing with a time of 4:03.21.

Also earning provisional standards for the men were juniors Elliott Heath and Jake Riley in the 3,000 meters, and sophomore Geoffrey Tabor in the shot put. Heath and Riley finished with times of 8:01.74 and 8:02.73 respectively, while Tabor finished second in his event with a mark of 58-5.25. Tabor’s mark was also third on the all-time Stanford list.

“Our team will definitely try to continue to build on these great performances as we now enter the championship part of the season,” Heath said. “It was really special to watch Dylan, Justin and JT all compete so well this weekend and to see some of the results from all the hard work they have been putting in.”

Leading the way for the women was junior Stephanie Marcy, who ran a provisional standard time of 16:19.72 in the 5,000 meters. The other provisional standard for the women came from junior Whitney Liehr in the triple jump. Liehr leapt a personal best indoor distance of 41-8 .5, putting her fourth on the Stanford all-time list.

Also faring very well for the women were senior Griffin Matthew and freshman Carissa Levingston in the sprints. Matthew won the meet title in the 60 meters, finishing with a time of 7.46 seconds. The young Levingston quickly followed her, placing second with a time of 7.47 seconds. For Levingston, this time was a personal best. The sprinting duo finished in first and second again in the 200 meters, with times of 24.14 and 24.24 seconds.

Next up for Stanford will be the MPSF Championships in two weeks in Seattle. The MPSF is the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, the league in which the Cardinal competes for indoor track. The women will try to once again win the conference title, while the men are looking to secure a title as well.

“I look forward to the conference championships and watching our team continue to improve,” Marpole-Bird said.

“Overall, we keep taking steps forward to get ourselves ready for MPSF and NCAAs,” Ferris added.

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