Track and field puts on impressive showing at Pac-12s

Feb. 27, 2022, 10:37 a.m.

Stanford track and field traveled to Seattle this weekend, participating in the Pac-12 Invitational indoor meet on both Friday and Saturday. In the team’s final meet in the NCAA indoors qualifying window, many Cardinal athletes established their place in the history books as they fought for qualifying positions. 

On Friday, the women’s distance medley relay team found themselves in a tight race. The team of sophomores Lucy Jenks, Samantha Thomas, Ellie Deligianna and graduate student Julia Heymach placed third behind Oregon and Colorado, running 10:57.74 — only 0.5 seconds behind first-place Oregon, constituting the 6th fastest time in school history. The group put themselves in a good position to earn a berth to qualify for NCAA’s, as only Arkansas has posted a faster time this season prior to the race. 

In the weight throw, senior Jordan Fong set a personal best with a 17.51 meter performance. With that, Fong moved up to No. 5 all-time indoors in program history and earned herself a seventh place finish.

Later in the day, senior Allie Jones ran a personal-best 8.32 in the 60 hurdles to start off the pentathlon, where she came within eight points of the school record. Her 4,055 point performance landed her in second place, narrowly behind Arizona’s Skylar Sieben’s 4,072, and slotted her at No. 3 in Stanford indoor history. This was Jones’ first 4,000-point score.

Cardinal runners in the 60 meter dash had themselves a day, with four either setting personal bests or moving up the Stanford indoor top-10 list. Leading the pack was senior Kennedy Gamble, whose time of 7.38 seconds sent her to Saturday’s final. Graduate student Olivia Okoli also punched a ticket to Saturday’s final, where her 7.41-second performance landed her in seventh place. Rounding out the team from the preliminaries were junior Alexa Rossum and sophomore Megan Olomu, who posted times of 7.47 and 7.68 seconds, respectively.

For the men, junior Max Manson earned a first place finish in the pole vault by tying his personal best of 5.48 meters — the fourth highest at Stanford all-time. Freshman Garrett Brown also had a great showing, clearing 4.98 meters to finish in fourth place.

Junior Evan Burke improved his personal best in the 5,000 meter by nine seconds, posting a 13:46.37 time, which gave him a third-place finish. Two other Cardinal runners had strong performances, as freshman Robert DiDonato and Nolan topper finished eight and ninth in the event.

And in the weight throw, the Cardinal posted a top-five finish behind senior Max McKhann’s 21.29m throw.

The team continued their display of excellence on Saturday. The Cardinal started off strong, getting a 1-2-3 sweep in the men’s 3,000. Sophomore Cole Sprout, junior Charles Hicks and sophomore Ky Robinson all posted personal bests. Impressively, Sprout’s 7:43.10 was only 0.48 seconds behind the school and American collegiate record, and Hicks was not far behind with a time of 7:43.84. On Stanford’s all-time indoor list, Sprout now sits at No. 2 with Hicks at No. 3 and Robinson at No. 9.

In the 800 meter, freshman John Lester finished third overall with a time of 1:48.71. That time slots him in No. 3 on Stanford’s all-time list. 

Senior Keyshawn King came in second place in the triple jump, leaping 15.65 meters, just two inches from the winning length. Right behind him, sophomore Kevin Yang posted a 14.59 meter distance which landed him fourth overall.

The women also performed well in the triple jump, earning third and fourth place finishes behind impressive jumps from freshman Elise Miller and senior Allyson Weiss. Miller’s effort gave a distance of 12.44 meters, while Weiss finished with an 11.85 meter distance.

Gamble continued her impressive weekend with a third place finish in the 60 meter dash. She posted a new personal best with a 7.37 time, improving the position she previously held in the No. 5 spot in school history.

Sophomore Ellie Deligianni finished the 800 meter event in 2:06.92, good for third place. Sophomore Hannah Wilson was the other Cardinal competing in the event, where a time of 2:15.00 landed her in 12th place.

The 3,000 meter saw a second-place performance from Heymach, whose person-best 8:59.69 lands her at No. 7 on Stanford’s all-time list. Junior Grace Connolly also ran a personal-best on Saturday, where her 9:23.03 granted her a 15th-place finish.

Had the meet been officially scored, the Cardinal men would have placed third and the women fourth. 

After many personal bests and continued movement in the all-time record books, Stanford now looks to the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, AL. Their return to action will take place on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12.

Zach Zafran was the Vol. 262 managing editor for the sports section. Now a senior staff writer, he has previous experience reporting and writing with SFGATE. You can find Zach around campus wearing swim trunks no matter the weather. Follow him on Twitter at @ZachZafran and contact him at sports 'at'

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