Track And Field Opens Season At UW Indoor Preview
Jan. 15, 2009
The Stanford men's and women's track teams get their seasons underway this weekend when they travel to Seattle, Wash., to compete in the UW Indoor Preview. The meet will take place Saturday from the Dempsey Indoor Stadium on the campus of the University of Washington.
The women begin the season ranked No. 17 in the nation by the USTFCCCA. The Cardinal returns three All-Americans for the indoor season. Alicia Follmar leads the Cardinal after earning two All-America honors last season at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Follmar helped the distance medley relay team to a third-place finish as well as placing 10th in the mile. Also earning an All-America honor as a member of that DMR team was Idara Otu. Finally, Alexandra Gits picked up her first All-America honor outdoors in the 10,000 meters where she finished third. Gits also has significant experience indoors where she was the MPSF Champion at 5,000 meters.
The Cardinal also has several other impact returners including 2008 Olympian Arantxa King. King competed for Bermuda in Beijing and was also a key contributor for Stanford last season as she qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the long jump. Also excelling in the long jump was Griffin Matthew, who returns after being one of two Stanford athletes to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in two events. She qualified in the 100 meters as well as the long jump. Lauren Stewart, the school record holder in the pentathlon, returns for her senior season where she will look to defend her MPSF title and advance to the NCAA's. A pair of throwers return after qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season. Jaynie Goodbody (hammer) should be a threat in the weight throw, while Michaela Wallerstedt (shot put) looks to match her outdoor success indoors.
In addition to the deep group of returners, Stanford has several freshmen ready to contribute right away. Laurynne Chetelat proved she is ready for a successful collegiate career after an outstanding cross country season where she was Stanford's No. 1 runner in all but one race. She should be a threat immediately on the track in the distances. Former world youth record holder Katerina Stefanidi looks to make an immediate impact in the pole vault.
The men's team enters the 2009 indoor season ranked No. 25 by the USTFCCCA. Like the women, the men have significant depth and impact newcomers ready to keep Stanford at the top of the MPSF and a national contender. A total of seven men who have earned All-America honors at Stanford will be back for the outdoor season, but just four have eligibility remaining indoors. A pair of 400-meter runners who earned their All-America honors as members of the distance medley relay return. Andrew Dargie is coming off an impressive 2008 freshman season where he was a member of the DMR team that finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships, in addition to qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the open 400 meters. Zach Chandy earned his All-America honor as a member of the DMR in 2007. Senior Hari Mix, a distance specialist, looks to regain his 2007 form when he was an All-American outdoors at 5,000 meters. Finally, freshman Chris Derrick burst onto the college scene during the cross country season and should be extremely competitive at the long distances. Derrick finished seventh overall at the NCAA Cross Country Championships to earn the first All-America honor of his young career.
Other impact returners for Stanford include hurdler Myles Bradley and a trio of sophomore distance runners, Brendan Gregg, Elliott Heath and Jake Riley. Bradley set school records in both the 60-meter hurdles (7.78) and the 110-meter hurdles (13.78) during the 2008 season and qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships. He will look to earn his first All-America honor during the upcoming indoor season. The trio of sophomore distance runners showed promise during their freshmen track seasons, but made up a big portion of the 2008 cross country team that finished third in the nation. Gregg, Heath and Riley teamed with Derrick and seniors Hakon DeVries and Garrett Heath, who will be back for the outdoor season, to make up a cross country squad that looked a lot like some of the dominating teams of the Stanford past.
Joining Derrick as a potential freshmen that could contribute right away are Geoffrey Tabor and Amaechi Morton. Tabor is the 2008 junior national champion in the discus and Morton was the USATF national runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles.