This past weekend, Stanford track and field adopted the motto “divide and conquer” as it split to compete in two different meets. Twenty distance runners headed north to Seattle, Wash., in their third return to the Dempsey indoor facilities, while 18 sprinters and field event experts headed south to Albuquerque, N.M., for the Don Kirby Collegiate Elite Invitational. By the time the squads reconvened after the weekend back at Stanford, the Cardinal had picked up one school record and nine season bests.
Junior Kori Carter’s raging 8.17-second finish in the 60-meter hurdles was chief among the successes from the meet in Albuquerque. The blistering time secured a Stanford indoor record, besting out her own previous record of 8.22. Her fellow junior teammate and No. 2 record-holder Katie Nelms finished fourth with a time of 8.35. Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field Chris Miltenberg has repeatedly named Carter and Nelms as “two of the top hurdlers in the country,” and they haven’t failed to live up to his praise.
In only his third competition of the indoor season, senior Jules Sharpe once again blew away the high jump competition. Sharpe jumped seven feet, three and a quarter inches to beat his own personal record of seven feet, 3 inches.
Sharpe finished behind Kansas State jumper Erik Kynard, the silver medalist in the high jump from London. Sharpe’s consistency and composure under pressure has helped him finish among the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation top six in his past three seasons.
Men’s captain and senior shot putter Geoffrey Tabor came up just short of his personal record of 58 feet and 7.5 inches by under two inches to place fourth in the competition.
The meet in Albuquerque also contributed to the development of freshmen standout twins, Kaitlyn and Kristyn Willliams. Overall, however, the two were personally disappointed by their race. In their first open 400-meter race of the season, the two ran well, but not as fast as they would like to be running two weeks before the MPSF championships.
“I definitely didn’t feel like I was 100 percent in my 400,” Kaitlyn Williams said, “but I’m ready to take the race on again in Seattle at the [MPSF] championships.”
Although the distance team was almost 1500 miles away in Seattle, it had similar stories of success in its events at the Husky Invitational. Freshman Amy Weissenbach matched and exceeded her performances from previous weekends, running a 2:05.83 800-meter race, just .15 seconds slower than the school indoor record. As she matures as a runner and learns to fight from being boxed in, Weissenbach will pose a serious threat to the school’s all-around 800-meter record of 2:03.54.
Junior Michael Atchoo, who finished first in the mile last weekend in New York, ran his season-best time of 8:00.73 in the 3000-meter competition. Sophomore teammate Joe Rosa dropped six seconds off of his personal best in the same race, finishing at 8:08.14.
Although the focus this past weekend was on individual races, the men’s distance medley relay, made up of powerhouses like Atchoo and Rosa, is already preparing to take on Oregon in the upcoming conference championships.
Now the team is looking to take advantage of its week off, as it take a step back from competition to mentally prepare for its return to the Dempsey track in Seattle on Feb. 22-23 for the MPSF championships.
Contact Anna Blue at [email protected].