Track and field dominates invitationals on each coast

Feb. 1, 2017, 12:41 p.m.

The Stanford men’s and women’s track teams both competed in two tournaments last weekend, the Penn State National and the UW Invitational, and the Cardinal were dominant on both coasts.

At the Penn State National, senior Jack Keelan placed first in the men’s mile and became just the 17th runner in Stanford history to break the four-minute barrier, running a personal record 3:59.62. On the women’s team, Stanford placed second, third and fourth in the women’s 800 meters while also placing second in the 4×400 race, hotly contesting the races before being edged at the line.

While actually a specialist in longer distance races, Keelan joins senior Sean McGorty, senior Tom Coyle and sophomore Grant Fisher as the only active Stanford students to have run a sub-four-minute mile. The senior also ran the distance medley relay (DMR) with freshman Isaac Cortes, fifth-year senior Jackson Shumway and sophomore Brian Smith. Keelan ran a sub-four 1,600 split to anchor the race. The team placed second with a time of 9:34.15.

The women also had a tight race in the 4×400 relay. Juniors Gabby Gayles, Michaela Crunkleton Wilson and Olivia Baker and sophomore Hannah Labrie-Smith placed second, missing first place by only a tenth of a second at 3:40.29 to Maryland’s 3:40.17.

However, the new team of junior Elise Cranny, Gayles, Baker and fifth-year senior Rebecca Mehra won the DMR with a time of 11:01.39, beating Penn State by more than 13 seconds. The Cardinal’s time is the No. 1 time in the nation this year and the sixth-fastest in Stanford history. This was Gayles’ first DMR, replacing Kristyn Williams, who graduated last year.

In the women’s 800 meters, Cranny placed second in 2:05.51. Mehra placed third in 2:05.81 and senior Malika Waschmann placed fourth in 2:08.22. Cranny set an indoor personal record, and she and Mehra are Nos. 6 and 7, respectively, on Stanford’s all-time indoor performers list.

At the UW Invitational, Stanford also saw much success. Junior Maddy Berkson, freshman Sarah Walker, sophomore Catherine Pagano and senior Danielle Katz won the DMR in 11:31.98. It was Walker’s debut; she was the nation’s fastest high school runner in the women’s 800 meters in 2015.

Senior Vanessa Fraser won the women’s 5,000 meters with a time of 15:56.89. She set a personal indoor record, earning her a spot at No. 7 on Stanford’s all-time indoor performers list. Sophomore Kristina Aragon, who ran unattached, was the world U-20 championships bronze medalist in 2015. She placed second in the women’s 3,000 meters with a 9:12.58.

Junior Amber Lewis broke two personal records in the women’s 60-meter hurdles, finishing sixth with a time of 8.70. This places her at No. 8 on Stanford’s all-time indoor performers list.

Junior Tristen Newman placed second and set a personal record in the 35-pound weight throw with a throw of 60-10. This places him at No. 8 on Stanford’s all-time performers list. He also took fifth in the shotput with a throw of 55-11 ¼. In the women’s shotput, junior Lena Giger took second with a 49-8 ½.

In the men’s 4×400, junior Colin Dolese, freshman Julian Body, junior Christian White and sophomore Isaac Westlund placed third with a time of 3:16.56.

Next up, the Cardinal will compete in the Don Kirby Invitational on Feb. 11.


Contact Matthew Bernstein at mbernste ‘at’

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