Stanford Track And Field Heads To Texas A&M For Indoor NCAA's
March 12, 2009
Stanford Prepares For NCAA Indoor Championships
The No. 19 men's team and No. 25 women's team are set to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships, from College Station, Texas. The action begins Friday, March 13 and continues through Saturday, March 14. The men will be sending three athletes to compete in four events, while the women will send six athletes to compete in five events.
The Cardinal will get their meet started on Friday morning when Whitney Liehr competes in the pentathlon. Liehr finished second at the MPSF Championships in the event when she established a new school record with 4,012 points. She is currently ranked No. 13 in the nation in the event.
Also on Friday are the prelims of the men's 60-meter hurdles where Myles Bradley will compete. Bradley is the Stanford record holder and MPSF champion in the event. He is currently ranked No. 5 in the nation in the event and will be looking to improve on last season when he qualified for the NCAA indoor meet, but did not make it out of the heats.
Competing in the final of men's 5,000 meters on Friday evening will be Chris Derrick. It will be only the second collegiate 5k for Derrick after running 13:44.02 in January. His time is the third fastest in Stanford history and the fastest ever by a Stanford freshman indoors. He is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation in the event and has the top time for a freshman.
Finally, Friday night will conclude with the final of the women's distance medley relay. The Cardinal will enter a squad of Alicia Follmar (1,200 meters), Idara Otu (400 meters), Maria Lattanzi (800 meters) and Lauren Centrowitz (1,600 meters). The Cardinal currently have the 12th fastest time in the nation, but did not run their `A' squad at the MPSF Championships.
Saturday will begin with the final of the 60-meter hurdles, where Bradley hopes to be running for his first career All-America honor.
Friday evening will be both the men's and women's finals of the 3,000 meters. This will be the main event for the Cardinal with two men and three women entered in the event. Derrick will look for a good double after competing in the 5,000 the night before, while Elliott Heath will look to earn his first All-America honor. Heath is currently the No. 5 ranked athlete in the 3k and the top freshman. The women will include the trio of Laurynne Chetelat, Centrowitz and Follmar. Chetelat comes into the event ranked No. 3 in the nation after winning the MPSF title with a time of 9:08.15. Centrowitz and Follmar will be coming off the DMR from the night before, but the returning All-Americans should figure to be in the mix as well.
Last Season at the NCAA Indoor Championships
Last season both the Cardinal teams finished in the top-10 with the women placing fifth with 32 points and the men placing seventh with 23 points. The Cardinal were led by Erica McLain who won the NCAA individual title in the triple jump. A total of 11 athletes won 16 All-America honors at last year's indoor NCAA's.
Stanford Women Win MPSF Championships
Despite competing against three higher ranked team, the Stanford women captured the MPSF Championship. The Cardinal entered the meet ranked No.25, but got four individual titles on their way to the conference title. Stanford distance runners led the way with three of the titles as Lauren Centrowitz won the mile, Laurynne Chetelat captured the 3,000 meters and Kate Niehaus took home the 5,000-meter title. In addition Arantxa King captured the title in the triple jump. The Cardinal totaled 115 points, to best second-place Oregon who finished with 91.5 points.
The men's team was led by Myles Bradley who captured the individual MPSF title in the 60-meter hurdles. The men finished seventh overall with 68 points. They were tightly bunched with six other teams trailing the MPSF champ, UCLA with 83.5.
More Top Marks For Stanford At The Husky Invitational
The Stanford women were led by Lauren Centrowitz who ran a personal best and NCAA automatic standard of 4:37.07 in winning the mile. Already an automatic NCAA qualifier in the 3,000 meters and the distance medley relay, Centrowitz added a third event. The time was also the second fastest indoors in Stanford history. In the same race, Alicia Follmar added a personal best and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 4:40.23. In a previous heat, freshman Laurynne Chetelat ran a time of 4:42.25 to also achieve the provisional standard. Both times were top-10 all-time for Stanford.
On the men's side, the Cardinal were led by Elliott Heath in the 3,000 meters. Heath achieved the NCAA automatic standard with a time of 7:53.64. In the process he moved to fourth on the Stanford all-time list. In the 400 meters, Stanford freshman Amaechi Morton tied the school record with a time of 46.88. The time was also a NCAA provisional standard.
Stanford Impresses at UW Invitational
Stanford freshman Chris Derrick led Stanford to a number of impressive performances at the UW Invitational. The Cardinal newcomer won the 5,000 meters with a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 13:44.02. The time was the third fastest in Stanford history and the fastest ever by a Stanford freshman. Also performing well was Ryan Fisicaro who broke the school record in the 60 meters. His time of 6.82 seconds was faster than the previous record held by Wopamo Osaisai.
The women were led by distance stars Lauren Centrowitz and Alicia Follmar. In the 3,000 meters, the pair of Stanford seniors finished second and third overall. Centrowitz placed second with a time of 9:10.99, while Follmar was third with a time of 9:14.98. Both were NCAA automatic Standards a night after the duo teamed with Maria Lattanzi and Idara Otu in the distance medley relay, which also achieved the automatic Standard with a time of 11:07.53
Myles Bradley Leads Stanford In New Mexico
Myles Bradley led Stanford with an outstanding performance in the 60-meter hurdles. At the Cherry and Silver Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bradley improved his own school record in the event with a time of 7.73. Bradley actually ran 7.71, but the time was adjusted due to the altitude in Albuquerque. The time was not only the Stanford record, but improved his NCAA provisional standard, which currently places him first in the MPSF and third in the nation in the event. Other standouts from the meet for the men came in the 4x400-meter relay. The team of Spencer Castro, Zach Chandy, Durell Coleman and Amaechi Morton finished first with a time of 3:14.04. The freshman Morton also doubled back in the open 400 meters to finish fourth with a time of 47.86 seconds.
On the women's side, they were led by a third place finish in the shot put by Michaela Wallerstedt. Wallerstedt finished with a toss of 47-10 ½. In the 60 meters, Shataya Hendricks returned after missing most of 2008 with an injury and finished fourth with a time of 7.56 seconds. Hendricks also competed in the 200 meters where she finished with a time of 26.42.
Stanford Opens At UW Indoor Preview
The Cardinal got their season underway at the UW Indoor Preview. A small group of athletes competed with the highlights coming from a pair of NCAA provisional times by the men's team. Myles Bradley won the 60-meter hurdles with a NCAA provisional time of 7.85. Also with a NCAA provisional mark was Casey Roche who won the pole vault with a height of 17-1. The other event winner was Ryan Fisicaro in the 60 meters with a time of 6.85. On the women's side Brittni Dixon-Smith led the way by finishing third in the long jump with a leap of 19-8 3/4 and fourth in the 60 meters with a time of 7.75.
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 men's team enters the 2009 indoor season ranked No. 25 by the USTFCCCA. 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. 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
The Cardinal women have 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.
Men's impact returners for Stanford include hurdler Myles Bradley and a trio of sophomore distance runners, Brendan Gregg, Elliott Heath and Jacob 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.
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.
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.