Women's Track & Field 2001 Season Outlook
Jan. 25, 2001
Proud Past, Bright Future
Following three consecutive top-four finishes at the Pac-10 Track and Field Championships, the Cardinal women are making it customary for fans to see Stanford at the top of the leader board at the Pacific-10 and National Championship meets. With the majority of last year's third-place Pac-10 Conference Championship team returning for the 2001 season, Stanford will again be at or near the top. Four Track and Field All-Americans including all four members of the winning 2000 NCAA Indoor Distance Medley Relay team return in 2001 and joining them will be an excellent freshmen recruiting class.
The Cardinal will have a formidable one-two punch in the sprints in 2001 with the return of All-American Jayna Smith and senior Wilsa Charles. Smith, a senior, established a new school record in the 400 meters last year when she ran 53.62 at the Stanford Invitational in March. Although slowed by injury for the majority of the 2000 season, Smith did muster a third place finish in the 400 meters at the Pac-10 Championships. Smith also set a personal best last year in the 200 meters with a time of 24.05. During the indoor season, Smith garnered her first All-American honor as a member of the winning Distance Medley Relay team at the NCAA Championships. Charles has been a mainstay for the Cardinal at 100 and 200 meters for the last three years and owns the second fastest time in school history for 100 meters at 11.70. At last year's Pac-10 Championships, Charles finished sixth in the 100 and 200 meters to score valuable team points for the Cardinal. Charles' best time of 23.80 in the 200 meters places her in Stanford's all-time top five.
Stanford returns a pair of Pac-10 qualifiers in the hurdles in Robyn Woolfolk and Danielle Spurlock. Woolfolk is Stanford's second fastest 100 meter hurdler ever at 13.86 and is a Pac-10 qualifier in the long hurdles as well. Spurlock, a junior, participated in the 400 meter hurdles for the first time last year and qualified for the Conference Championship meet with a career best 61.82. Spurlock will also contribute in the 400 meters where she has a best of 55.67.
The hurdle events will be bolstered by the addition of freshman Lindsey Johnson. Johnson won Washington State titles in the 100 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles and owns career best of 14.11 and 43.19. Multi event performers Joy Goff and Julie Tinker will also contribute in the hurdles and relays.
Traditionally strong in this area, Stanford returns all of its top middles distance runners from a year ago, including Sally Glynn, Lauren Fleshman and Lindsay Hyatt, all members of the winning NCAA Indoor Distance Medley Relay. Leading the way in 2001 is the veteran of the group, senior Sally Glynn. Glynn had a breakthrough season in 2000 setting personal bests in a number of events. At the GMC/Envoy Open, Glynn ran 4:12.56 for 1500 meters, just shy of Regina Jacobs' school record 4:12.3. Glynn's time qualified her for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Sophomore Lauren Fleshman, the Pac-10 Track and Field Co-Newcomer of the year, set a new freshman school record in the 1500 meters at 4:17.76 at the 2000 NCAA Championships. Fleshman's fifth place performance secured her first Outdoor All-American honor of her young career. Redshirt freshman Katie Hotchkiss ran 4:49.54 for the indoor mile and had the third fastest 1600 meter time as a high school senior in 1999. Juniors Colleen Flaherty and Malindi Elmore will provide additional strength in the 1500 meters and will be a threat to score at the Conference level.
The Cardinal are set to tackle the nation's best 800 meter runners with the return of sophomore Lindsay Hyatt and Hotchkiss. Hyatt, who arrived at Stanford as one of the most decorated high school half-milers ever, certainly lived up to her billing during her freshman track and field season. At the NCAA Indoor 800 meters, Hyatt set a new indoor school record of 2:05.95 in the prelims and placed seventh in the finals to gain All-American honors. Hyatt qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a career-best of 2:05:64. Only Regina Jacobs has run faster in a Stanford uniform. While in high school, Hotchkiss ran 2:08.22 in the 800 meters and will look to transfer her talents to the collegiate level. Malindi Elmore ran a career best 2:09.85 in the 800 meters while finishing sixth at last year's Pac-10 Championships.
As is customary, many of Stanford's middle distance runners will compete in the longer events during the year. Add these runners to an already strong group of athletes, and the Cardinal will have perhaps the best distance runners - from 3,000 to 10,000 meters - in the nation.
Sally Glynn and Lauren Fleshman will again lead the Cardinal. Fleshman set an American Junior Record at 15:50.18 in the 5,000 meters at last year's Mt. Sac Relays. Fleshman's performance is the third fastest time in Pac-10 history and a new Stanford freshman record. The time also qualified Fleshman for the U.S. Olympic Trials. In the 3000 meters, Fleshman is just as formidable as she has posted a best indoor time of 9:20.62. Glynn is the defending Pac-10 3,000 meter champion and an All-American in the event after finishing fifth with a personal best time of 9:17.81 at the NCAA's last year. In the 5,000 meters at the 2000 Mt. Sac Relays, Glynn ran a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 15:59.10 - a personal record and the fourth fastest in school history.
Sophomore Erin Sullivan had an outstanding freshman season and will look to add to her impressive resume from a year ago. Sullivan, the 1999 Pac-10 Cross Country Athlete of the Year was an NCAA automatic qualifier in the 5,000 meters with a time of 16:11.14. Sullivan placed second in the 5,000 meters and third in the 3,000 meters to score valuable points for the Cardinal at last year's Pac-10 Championships.
Senior Elena Villarreal and junior Caroline Annis are both Pac-10 scorers and should contend for points at the NCAA meet. Villarreal placed fifth in the 5,000 meters at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships and provisionally qualified for the NCAA's with a time of 16:33.48. Annis finished third in the 10,000 meters at the Pac-10 Conference meet last year and was a NCAA provisional qualifier in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
A few new faces will adorn Stanford's assembly of star distance runners in 2001. Graduate student Heather Tanner was an All-American in the 10,000 meters at the University of North Carolina and will look to add her name to the Stanford record books in her final season of eligibility. Freshman Victoria Chang was the 1999 Footlocker National Cross Country Champion and was one of the nation's top high school 3200 meter runners last season. New York native Jillian Mastroianni is the Golden West 3200 meter champion and had the ninth fastest high school time in the event in 2000.
A number of Pac-10 qualifiers in the jumps and vault will return to The Farm in 2001 including a pair of pole vaulters that will contend for All-American honors. Sophomore Kathleen Donoghue set a new freshman school record and tied Stanford's all-time record with a clearance of 13-0 1/4 in the pole vault. Donoghue, the 2000 U.S. Junior National Champion and a member of the U.S. World Junior Championship Team, finished seventh at the 2000 Pac-10 Track and Field Championships and seventeenth at the NCAA Championships. Senior Melissa Feinstein is a two-time All-American in the pole vault and shares the school record with Donoghue at 13-0 1/4. Feinstein was sixth at last year's Pac-10 Championships and has scored in the last three Conference meets, including a first place finish in 1998.
Freshman Leila Ben-Youssef was the third-ranked U.S. high school vaulter in 2000 and won the USATF Junior Olympics. Ben-Youssef has a best of 12-7 1/2.
Senior Julie Tinker and Junior Shannon Overly are the top returnees for the Cardinal in the horizontal jumps. Tinker jumped a career best 19-8 to finish ninth at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships. In the Triple Jump, Tinker has a best of 40-7, the fourth farthest jump in school history. Overly leaped a Pac-10 qualifying 39-8 3/4 last year and set a personal best in the long jump. Adding depth will be freshman Lillian Bush who has jumped 19-1 and heptathlete Joy Goff.
Three Pac-10 qualifiers return in the high jump for the Cardinal, including a pair of Pac-10 scorers in sophomores Cheryl Burdick and Kim Stone. Burdick finished fifth at the last year's Pac-10 Championships while Stone was close behind in seventh.
The Cardinal lose the services of All-American discus thrower Summer Pierson, but return five Pac-10 qualifiers, one All-American, and add one of the best recruiting classes in school history. Seniors Allison Beatty and Maureen Onyeagbako will be the leaders of this group in 2001. Beatty redshirted the 2000 season, but was a 1999 All-American in the javelin. She will be a major factor at the conference and national level in 2001. Also look for top performances in the shot put from Erin Fletcher.
Seniors Joy Goff and Whitney Drumright finished sixth and eighth respectively in the javelin at last year's Pac-10 Championships and will look to improve their placing. Onyeagbako is the school record holder in the hammer with a mark of 190-0. She finished ninth at the Pac-10 Championships in 2000. Freshman Jessica Pluth was the seventh-ranked high school hammer thrower in the nation and will look to make an immediate impact with the collegiate implement. Three of the top 20 high school discus throwers in the United States will don the Stanford uniform as freshmen in 2001. High School All-American Jill Camarena had the number six throw in the nation while Molly Meyer had the tenth furthest throw. Katharine Currier threw the high school discus 159-10. Camarena was also ranked third in the nation in the shot put as a high school senior and will be a major factor in this event.
Two of the top heptathletes in the Pac-10 return for their senior seasons on The Farm. Joy Goff was the runner-up at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships with a career best 5,133 points. Julie Tinker, the 1998 Pac-10 runner-up in the Heptathlon placed fifth last year at the Conference meet. Both Goff and Tinker will be threats to advance to the NCAA meet in 2001.