Track and field looks to excel, earn NCAA qualifying marks

Feb. 23, 2017, 11:50 p.m.

It is the last chance for members of the Stanford men’s and women’s track teams to compete to earn NCAA qualifying marks, as both teams compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships this weekend at the University of Washington Dempsey Indoor Facility in Seattle.

The MPSF Championships will feature 20 universities comprised of member teams from the Pac-12, Big West and West Coast Conferences. Twenty women’s teams and 15 men’s teams will compete for the title.

The Cardinal is shooting to qualify for the 2017 NCAA men’s and women’s indoor track championships, held in Texas on March 10 and March 11. The Stanford men’s team placed eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships last year, which was the highest finish at the meet in the last five years. The Cardinal women placed 16th.

Last season, USC placed first in the men’s MPSF championships while Oregon won the women’s MPSF championships.

Some student athletes to watch will be junior Harrison Williams, who leads the MPSF and is ranked sixth nationally in the heptathlon with a season’s best 5828 points. Senior Vanessa Fraser is coming off a personal best of 9:04.78 in the women’s 3000 meters at the Husky Classic. She rounds out this season’s NCAA top five performers in this event. Katie Rainsberger from Oregon will be the favorite to win the 3000m.

For the men’s team, the field is competitive in the 3000 meters. Senior Jack Keelan also recently ran a personal best of 7:51.20 at the Iowa State Classic. This places him in this season’s NCAA top 10 performers in the 3000m. Colby Gilbert from University of Washington will be the favorite to win.

Stanford’s distance medley relay team of junior Tai Dinger, graduate student Jackson Shumway, sophomore Brian Smith and Keelan ran a 9:28.72 at the Alex Wilson Invitational, which placed them third in the nation for the season.


Contact Matthew Bernstein at mbernste ‘at’

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