The Stanford men’s and women’s track and field teams opened their season on Saturday in Seattle by securing record results in multiple events.
“When you have a group that has synergy like that, all of a sudden the results start to happen,” head coach Chris Miltenberg said. “This weekend was an awesome indication of that.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams are ranked No. 13 nationally, and Stanford contended with not only collegiate but also professional runners at the University of Washington Indoor Preview.
One of the most notable achievements was set forth by fifth-year senior Darian Brooks, who notched the longest triple jump in the history of Stanford track and field — both indoor and outdoor. Brooks’ jump, landing at 52 feet and 9 ¼ inches, bested his own prior school record and resulted in second place at the meet.
“Usually first meets are just for getting the jitters out,” Brooks said. “To have a PR in the first meet of the season tells me I have big things ahead.”
In addition to his impressive result, Brooks said another highlight of the meet was the Stanford team’s spirit.
“I was running back and forth across the field, yelling at my pole vaulters and Dartis [Willis], the high jumper,” said Brooks, who counts himself among the team’s loudest cheerers. “Everybody was looking at us like we were crazy, but we didn’t care.”
Junior Jaak Uudmae followed Brooks in third place with a jump of 51 feet and 5 ¾ inches and moved up to No. 4 on Stanford’s indoor record list ahead of former Cardinal and current Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman ’10.
Stanford went 1-2-3 in men’s pole vault, with respective finishes by junior Dylan Duvio, senior Garrett Starkey and sophomore Harrison Williams. The three vaulters had the same final result of 17 feet and 3 inches, but Duvio clinched the title by having the fewest number of missed jumps.
Fifth-year senior Dartis Willis had a breakthrough performance in the high jump, clearing 7 feet for the first time since 2012. Willis placed third but was the top collegiate athlete in his event with a final result of 7 feet and ½ inches.
Jackson Shumway placed second in the 400 meters, equaling his best outdoor time in the open 400 at 47.71.
After a disappointing cross country season cut short by injury, graduate transfer Collin Leibold ran the fastest collegiate mile yet this season in 4:02.65. Leibold set a personal record and placed fourth at the meet, just over one second behind Nike-sponsored professional runner Trevor Dunbar.
Triumphs were not only seen by the men’s team, but also the women’s team, which held nothing back during the meet. Junior Malika Waschmann scored her first collegiate victory, clinching the 800 meters in 2:08.96. In the 1,000 meters, senior Rebecca Mehra secured the lead down the back stretch and won the race in 2:45.28.
Sophomore Olivia Baker took advantage of the rare opportunity to compete in the 600 meters, which is not typically included in collegiate meets. Baker broke her own school record, clocking in at 1:29.08 and placing third.
This meet has foreshadowed what’s to come for Stanford track and field. The teams will next compete at the Penn State National Invitational in University Park, Pennsylvania on Jan. 29.
“Keep an eye on the Stanford track and field team,” Brooks said. “We’re going to do big things this year.”
Contact Alexa Corse at corsea ‘at’ stanford.edu.