The Stanford track and field team will cap off the Cardinal athletic program’s 2012-13 season when it competes in the NCAA Championships from June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.
The No. 11 women’s squad will send nine athletes to Eugene, led by junior Kori Carter, who qualified in two individual events and also anchored the 4×400 relay. Last season, the Cardinal women finished sixth in the country as LSU took the team title.
Carter, who was named the Women’s West Region Track Athlete of the Year on Monday, is ranked No. 1 in the 400-meter hurdles with a seed time of 54.50. On May 12, the star junior ran the fastest time by an American this year in the event (54.21), shattering the Stanford school record. Just behind Carter is Arizona’s Georganna Moline (54.59) who finished fifth in the 2012 Olympics. Carter has edged Moline all three times the two have raced head-to-head this season.
The seven-time All-American is also set to compete in the 100-meter hurdles, where she is seeded tenth. She will cap off the championships by anchoring No. 9 Stanford in the 4×400 race. The team of Carter, senior Justine Fedronic, senior Carissa Levingston and freshman Amy Weissenbach ran the third-fastest time in school history (3:32.65) at the preliminaries.
In the javelin, sophomore Brianna Bain will be seeking her first national championship. The sophomore, who was the 2012 runner-up in the event, is seeded second (53.60 m) behind Penn State’s Lauren Kenney (54.02 m), last year’s fourth-place finisher.
The Cardinal has a good opportunity to earn points in the 800-meter race, where Fedronic and Weissenbach are both ranked in the top 10. The field is topped by LSU junior Nataoya Goule, who posted a blistering seed time of 2:01.04. Fedronic is ranked fourth with a time of 2:04.50 while Weissenbach’s seed time of 2:04.97 placed her in seventh.
Senior Karynn Dunn will look to cap off her outdoor career with a strong performance in the long jump. The two-time first-team All-American bounced back from an injury-ridden indoor season to earn the No. 9 seed at nationals in the event with a mark of 6.28m. Last season, Dunn set a personal record at outdoor nationals to take fifth place.
Fellow senior Alyssa Wisdom claimed the 12th and final spot in the shot put at preliminaries to qualify for the championships, where she is seeded 17th (16.19 m). Wisdom entered Stanford as a sprinter but transitioned to throwing in 2011 due to health concerns. At her first appearance in the national championships during the 2013 indoor season, Wisdom fouled on all three throws and did not record a place.
Stanford also has two entrants in the women’s 5,000 meters. Sophomore Aisling Cuffe is seeded 22nd (16:15.53) while junior teammate Jessica Tonn (16:21.21) is a spot behind.
After a strong performance at preliminaries, the Stanford women moved up a spot to No. 11 in the country, but the team is still projected to finish far behind national leaders Kansas, Texas A&M, Florida, LSU and Oregon, who are all bringing at least 12 entries to the national championships.
Just three Stanford men earned spots in nationals, leaving the Cardinal’s focus squarely on individual performances.
Junior Erik Olson is Stanford’s top-ranked racer with a No. 8 seed in the 5,000-meter run (13:53.68). Arizona junior Lawi Lalang tops the field with a seed time of 13:41.87.
In the 400-meter dash, Steven Solomon is ranked 16th. The freshman qualified for nationals with a 10th place finish at preliminaries in just his fourth meet for the Cardinal this season. Solomon competed for Australia in the 2012 Olympics but has struggled with injuries while on the Farm.
The third member of the men’s squad is junior Tyler Stutzman, who is seeded 23rd in the 1,500-meter run (3:49.80). The two-time All-American led Stanford with a fourth-place finish in the mile at the 2013 Indoor National Championships and will look to do the same in the slightly shorter outdoor event.
The 2013 NCAA Outdoor National Championships begin Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and will continue through Friday evening. Live coverage and video streaming can be found at ncaa.com and Friday’s events will be televised on ESPNU.
Contact Jana Persky at jpersky ‘at’ stanford.edu