Track blog: Track and field races into NCAAs

March 3, 2015, 10:55 p.m.

It was a wild weekend for the Stanford track and field teams at the MPSF championships in Seattle, so let’s get right to it! I’ll give a general by-event breakdown before listing our qualifiers for the NCAA indoor meet.

Distances: There were plenty of solid times thrown down by Stanford’s distance crew at the Dempsey, so I’ll go through the highlights. The men’s 5K on Friday night saw a breakthrough performance for junior Garrett Sweatt, who ran 13:59.30 to capture third — his first career sub-14 mark. Sweatt has been knocking on the sub-14 door for some time now, and he ran a gutsy last lap to finally put him over the top. From the day he arrived on campus in 2012, Sweatt has done things the right way: He’s trusted his coaches, paid attention to the little details and been a great teammate. His attitude and approach to training are amongst the best in our program, and there’s no doubt that he’ll dip far under the 14-minute barrier by the time May and June roll around. Also coming up huge in the 5K was senior Jim Rosa, who was racing for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in the fall. The fifth-place finisher at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships, Rosa was extremely patient throughout the entirety of the race, ultimately placing fourth, right behind Sweatt. It’s been awesome to see Rosa progress from surgery through all the rehab and recovery; he will be really ready to roll by outdoor NCAAs.

Junior Garrett Sweatt (above) charged through the University of Washington in a sub-14 3k on his way to the NCAAs. (DAVID ELKINSON/Stanford Photo).
Junior Garrett Sweatt (above) charged through the University of Washington in a sub-14 3k on his way to the NCAAs. (DAVID ELKINSON/Stanford Photo).

Other notable distance performances included: sophomore Tom Coyle’s 3:59.32 mile (his first sub-4 performance), sophomore Vanessa Fraser’s big PR in the women’s 3K, the women’s DMR victory, fifth-year senior Jess Tonn’s win in the women’s mile and fifth-year senior Erik Olson’s runner-up placing in the men’s 3K.

Sprints: The team of juniors Kristyn Williams and Claudia Saunders and freshmen Olivia Baker and Michaela Crunkleton-Wilson took third in the women’s 4×400-meter relay, though the 3:38-and-change time likely won’t be enough to push them through to NCAAs. Williams and freshman Gaby Gayles scored points in the 400 meters, and junior Jack Shumway just missed scoring points in the men’s quarter mile. Coach Jody Stewart is the leader of this young group, and there’s no question he’ll round them into form for the outdoor championship season.

Multis: The Cardinal’s lone heptathlete at the MPSF championships, freshman Harrison Williams, proved why he’s one of the best multi-event athletes in the entire country. Williams, a highly-touted recruit out of Tennessee, scored 5,539 points over the seven-event slate to finish second, just four points behind Oregon’s Mitch Modin. Williams finished in the top three in three of the seven events: first in the pole vault, second in the 60-meter hurdles and third in the 1,000-meter run. He’s going to be an integral part of our program for the next several years, and his performance at MPSFs just cemented that fact.

Jumps: Like in the distances, there was a bevy of solid marks put up across several events by the Cardinal jumpers. Chief among them was senior Darian Brooks, who won the men’s triple-jump, breaking the Stanford indoor record in the event with his 52’ 2 ¾” leap. Darian is as calm, cool and collected as they come (no, really, he is by far the coolest guy on the team), and his ability to persevere through adversity (one of the foundational principles of our program) is admirable. The defending Pac-12 champion in the TJ, Darian has set himself up really well for a great outdoor campaign. In the men’s long jump, senior Dartis Willis and junior Jaak Uudmae both scored points for Stanford. Uudmae has a rich family history in track and field: His father was the 1980 Olympic Champion in the triple jump, and his brother was an NCAA champion for Arkansas in 2005. For Willis, his day wasn’t over after the long jump; he went on to finish fifth in the high jump. Other Stanford scorers in the jumps included Dalton Duvio and Garrett Starkey in the pole vault and Carla Forbes and Marisa Kwiatkowski in the women’s triple jump.

Stanford’s 2015 Indoor NCAA Qualifiers:

-Erik Olson: 3K, 5K

-Men’s distance medley relay (Tom Coyle, Jack Shumway, Luke Lefebure, Sean McGorty)

-Women’s distance medley relay (Jess Tonn, Olivia Baker, Claudia Saunders, Elise Cranny)

-Jess Tonn: mile, 3K, 5K

-Elise Cranny: 3K

-Darian Brooks: triple jump

Contact Cameron Miller at cmiller6 ‘at’

Cameron Miller is a sports desk editor for The Stanford Daily's Vol. 246 and is the men's and women's golf writer. He also writes on NCAA-related matters. Cameron is also a Stanford student-athlete, competing on the cross country and track and field teams. He is originally from Bakersfield, California, but spends most of his time away from the Farm on the state's Central Coast. Contact him at [email protected].

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