After a two-week break from competition, Stanford track and field divides its forces between Eugene, Ore. and Tuscon, Ariz. to take on six other schools at the West Coast Classic on Saturday. The Cardinal will measure up against five Pac-12 foes — Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Oregon and UCLA — as distance and throwers head north to the famed Hayward Field and sprinters and jumpers take to the desert.
The meet is Stanford’s third outdoor competition of the year and fourth event overall, putting the Cardinal at a slight disadvantage against a number of schools who have had double the meets or more to hone their skills. UCLA, for example, enters Saturday’s action with six partial- or full-team outdoor competitions under its belt.
Even with limited meets, Stanford has demonstrated its talent in numerous areas, with the distance squad being the most dominant. Fifth-year Ella Donaghu boasts Stanford’s highest ranking nationally; her 15:36.52 showing at the Stanford Invitational on April 2 and 3 was good enough for first place at the meet and No. 2 in national rankings in the event. Donaghu will abandon the event in Oregon in favor of the women’s 1500 meters, in which freshman Elli Deligianni has reigned supreme thus far.
Sophomore Charles Hicks holds the highest ranking for Stanford men, with a 28:35.29 mark in the men’s 10,000 meters putting him at No. 8.
Although Hicks’ performance earned him first place at the Stanford Invitational, and fifth-year Alek Parsons was close behind in third, it is the men’s 5,000 meters where Cardinal men have been especially successful thus far. Seven Stanford runners cruised to sub-14 finishes at the Stanford Invitational to earn first, third, six, seventh, eighth, ninth and eleventh places for the Cardinal. Freshman Cole Sprout led the way, crossing the finish line in 13:43.92 to earn the event title in his first home meet of his collegiate career.
On Saturday, Sprout will take on a shorter, but faster challenge — the men’s 1500 meters — and will be joined in the event by senior D.J. Principe and freshman Thomas Boyden, both also dropping down from the 5000 meters. Hicks and Parsons will both opt for the 5,000.
In Arizona, senior Ashlan Best will return after being absent from the start lists at the Stanford Invitational. Best is set to run the women’s 400 meters against a fast Pac-12 field.
Junior Keyshawn King will look to highlight Stanford’s jumping with another personal best after setting personal records in the Cardinal’s last two meets. King narrowly missed the school record when he recorded a jump of 52 feet, six inches at the Stanford Invitiational.
Saturday’s action gets underway first in Eugene, where throwing events are set for 12:30 p.m. PT. Jumps will start at 3 p.m. PT in Tuscon, and running events in both locations are slated for 6 p.m. PT.