By Sofia Scekic
Redshirt freshman Charles Hicks ran the second-fastest winning 10k time at the Pac-12 Championship in 38 years to start the Cardinal off strong on Friday, and senior Julia Heymach capped the meet with a surprise 5k victory on Sunday in an eventful weekend. Both the Stanford men and women placed in seventh at the conclusion of the meet on Sunday evening.
With two laps left, Hicks and John Dressel of Colorado were in a two-man battle for the 10k title but Hicks dropped a blazing 55.74 second final lap to notch the three-second victory. Hicks is the second Cardinal in three years to win the men’s 10k conference title. Junior Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau finished in 29:49.63 for a 21-second personal best and fifth place finish to score four more points for Stanford on day one.
On the women’s side of the 10k, sophomore Grace Connolley finished eighth in 34:15.92, just 0.42 seconds slower than the Loker Stadium record at USC. Senior Virginia Miller placed fifth and sophomore Brielle Smith finished eighth in the javelin on Friday as well to earn additional points for the Cardinal. This year marks the first time in nine years that a Cardinal woman did not win the conference title in the javelin throw.
Over the first two days, junior Allie Jones set or tied personal bests in six of the seven heptathlon events and nearly won the Pac-12 title but finished just eight points behind Washington’s Lyndsey Lopes to claim second place. Jones’s final score of 5727 was a personal best by 255 points and the second best in program history.
Freshman Ky Robinson finished third in the 3k steeplechase to set a freshman school record, and his performance made him the highest placing Cardinal on the men’s side on the second day of the meet. He also moved up one spot in the Stanford record books, and his 8:41.81 time now sits him in eighth in Cardinal history.
On Sunday, senior Ella Donaghu won the 1500 in 4:15.43 and shortly thereafter notched a third place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:04.42. Donaghu’s 1500 title was the first Pac-12 title she has won at any distance. Heymach finished one place above Donaghu in a personal-best 2:02.91 as well.
Additionally in the 1500, fifth-year Christina Aragon took third in 4:16.10 and freshman Lucy Jenks became Stanford’s fourth-fastest freshman of all-time in the 1500 with a personal best of 4:17.22.
The surprise of the meet was Heymach’s 5k title in 15:40.74, a meet and stadium record. After running the 800 a little over an hour earlier, she took the starting line again for her first ever attempt at the 5k on the track. She took the lead with about two laps to go and never looked back, en route to a nearly four second victory. Jenks also ran the 5k, running 15:55.33 to break 16 minutes for the first time. She finished in eighth place to score points for her team and move to third in the all-time freshman record books.
The men garnered three podium finishes on Sunday. Sophomore J.T. Herrscher finished second in the pole vault, clearing 16-11 (5.16 meters). Junior Keyshawn King jumped 52-2.5 (15.91 meters) to earn third in the triple jump after almost missing the finals of the event. Hicks finished in third in the men’s 5k with a time of 13:35.60, leading six Cardinal men to top-13 finishes. His time was one of nine on the day that broke the stadium’s record for the event, but finished three seconds behind winner Cole Hocker of Oregon.
Oregon won the meet on the men’s side with 185 points while USC won the women’s title with 162.5 points. Next up for the Cardinal is the NCAA West prelims, of which the qualifiers will be announced on Wednesday.