The Cardinal Classic track meet returns for its third year of competition

April 20, 2018, 2:04 a.m.

This weekend, Stanford men’s and women’s track and field will host their third annual Cardinal Classic, a two-day meet which features college track stars from 15 different participating schools. The action will start on Friday at noon with field events on Cobb Track and Angell field.

This meet comes two weeks after massive Cardinal victories by the men and women at the annual “Big Meet” held this year at Berkeley. Both teams won by point margins of over 50, and several Stanford-Cal records were set by Cardinal athletes.

The Cardinal Classic comes almost a month after the last event hosted on campus, the Stanford Invitational. The Stanford Invitational allows qualifying runners to compete without a college or team, whereas the Cardinal Classic is a more definitively collegiate competition.

Several Stanford athletes have generated buzz going into the meet, including senior thrower and field competitor Lena Giger, who was named the Pac-12 women’s field athlete of the week this week after her performance at the Triton Invitational in La Jolla. Giger smashed her appearance in the shot put, launching it to a personal best of 18.09 meters and increasing her national rank to No. 2 in the event.

Giger’s shot put was only 6.35 centimeters (2.5 inches) away from besting Stanford’s all-time school record currently held by Jillian Camarena. She’ll look to beat that record this weekend when she competes in the shot put and hammer at the Cardinal Classic.

Perhaps the most interesting storyline of this weekend’s meet is that of junior Grant Fisher and fifth-year Sean McGorty, two Stanford students competing in this weekend’s 5,000 meter event. The last time that Fisher and McGorty raced against each other was two years ago at the 2016 Olympic trials.

They raced in an early heat, and McGorty narrowly beat out Fisher for the final spot in the next round of trials, Fisher finishing just one spot too low for the following round, knocked out by his teammate. While McGorty did not make it to the Olympics, both runners have contended for the NCAA title in this event.

In 2016, the same year as the trials, McGorty placed second in the NCAA finals for the 5,000, losing narrowly to Oregon’s Edward Cheserek. Fisher placed fifth in that race. In 2017, with McGorty not competing in the 5,000, Fisher beat the field and emerged as the NCAA champion, a title he currently holds.

Both of these runners are returning to the event for the first time in a while this weekend, McGorty not racing in the 5,000 since the Olympic trials and Fischer not racing since his NCAA championship. Almost evenly matched while racing each other in the past, it will be interesting to see how their head-to-head this weekend shapes up.

There will be plenty of other track and field events and action occurring throughout the weekend as the Cardinal attempt to make a strong showing at their own meet.

Contact Bobby Pragada at bpragada “at”

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