Track And Field To Host The Big Meet Saturday
April 16, 2009
The 2009 version of the Big Meet will be 115th time that Stanford and California have gotten together for a dual meet in track and field. This will also mark the 30th time that the women have been involved with the meet. California leads the all-time men's series 66-46-2, but Stanford has won the last two meetings. The Stanford women hold the all-time advantage 19-10, including eight consecutively. The action begins at 11:50 am with the women's javelin kicking off the field events. The running event will begin at 2 pm with the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase. The meet will conclude with the men's 4x400-meter relay, which is scheduled to begin at 5:30 pm.
Stanford at the 2008 Big Meet
The Stanford women extended their winning streak to eight by defeating Cal 87-76 in 2008. The Cardinal were led by Erica McLain, who captured titles in both the long jump and triple jump. McLain also established a new Big Meet record in the triple jump with a mark of 45-3. The other double event winner was Lauren Centrowitz in the 1,500 and 3,000 meters. The throwers also played a big part in the Stanford victory with the Cardinal winning all four events. Returners Jaynie Goodbody (hammer) and Michaela Wallerstedt (shot put), along with 2008 graduates Danielle Maier (javelin) and Melissa Yungans (discus), swept the throwing events. The Stanford men were also victorious in 2008, topping Cal 96-67. The Cardinal was led by Andrew Dargie who took the meet title in both the 200 and 400 meters. Also performing well was Myles Bradley, who set the school record in the 110-meter hurdles at 13.80 seconds. Bradley has since lowered his own record to 13.55 seconds.
California at the 2008 Big Meet
The Golden Bear women were led by Katie Morgan who set the Big Meet record in the pole vault. Morgan cleared a height of 13-5 ¾, which also established a new school record for Cal. The Cal women were particularly strong in the track events, led by Cherrelle Garrett and Kandi Bonty. Garrett was a three-time winner, claiming top honors in the 100-meter dash, the 200 meters and she ran the final leg of the first-place 4x100 relay. Bonty was also a member of 4x100 relay, in addition to winning the open 400 meters and being a member of the 4x400-meter relay. The men were led by Thomas Mack, who set the Big Meet record in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.74. The time also established the Cal school record for Mack. The Cal men flourished in the field events, winning four of them. Ed Wright won the high jump for the third consecutive year, while Martin Maric won the discus. Also with event wins were Craig Kent in the shot put and Ryan Young in the javelin.
Distance Runners Highlight The Stanford Invitational
Stanford was led by Laurynne Chetelat in the 5,000 meters as she ran the second-fastest time ever by an American junior. Only Molly Huddle of Notre Dame who ran 15:36.95 in 2003 has run faster for someone who will not turn 19 in that calendar year. Chetelat's time of 15:43.31 also placed her fourth in an elite field, including second amongst collegiate runners. The time was the sixth-fastest all-time at Stanford and the second-fastest all-time for a freshman. It was also easily a regional standard for Chetelat.
Three other Cardinal runners established the regional standard in the 5,000 meters as well. Georgia Griffin led the trio running in the second heat with a time of 16:30.81. In addition, Emilie Amaro and Stephanie Marcy finished in a near dead heat with times of 16:36.40 and 16:36.43, respectively.
The men were led by an entertaining race by the Heath brothers. The brothers were paced early by rabbit Jacob Evans before younger brother Elliott Heath passed his older brother and began to push the pace over the final few laps. Despite Elliott's lead, Garrett Heath used a strong final kick to edge his brother at the line. Garrett's time of 13:42.27 was personal best for the eight-time All-American. Elliot also set a personal best with a time of 13:42.59 just two weeks after earning his first All-America honor by placing third in the 3,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The times also place the Heath brothers eighth and ninth on the Stanford all-time list.
Also with a big race in the distances was Jacob Riley in the 10,000 meters. Riley finished with a huge personal best to achieve the provisional standard with a time of 29.15.53.
Stanford Completes Outstanding Indoor Season
The Cardinal completed an outstanding 2009 indoor season at the NCAA Indoor Championships, where the men finished 11th and the women 12th. Every Stanford athlete that qualified to compete at the national meet earned All-America honors.
The women were led by senior Lauren Centrowitz who finished third in the 3,000 meters and anchored the distance medley relay team that finished fourth. Alicia Follmar was also a two-time All-America in the 3,000 where she finished eighth and as a member of the DMR. Idara Otu and Maria Lattanzi also earned All-America honors in the DMR, while Laurynne Chetelat captured her first All-America honor in the 3,000 meters as well. The other Stanford All-American for the women was Whitney Liehr who finished 10th in the heptathlon.
The men were led by freshman Chris Derrick who placed fourth in the 5,000 meters and fifth in the 3,000 meters in his first NCAA track meet. Elliot Heath also competed in the 3k where he finished third to earn the first All-America honor of his career. Also a first-time All-American was Myles Bradley who finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles.
The Cardinal women return seven All-Americans for the outdoor season, including three athletes who earned their first All-America honors during the indoor season. Seven-time All-American Lauren Centrowitz leads the Cardinal fresh off two more All-America honors during the indoor season. Alicia Follmar is a four-time All-American after earning two All-America honors in each of the last two seasons at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Earning an All-America honor the last two years as a member of that DMR team is Idara Otu. Freshmen Laurynne Chetelat (3,000 meters) and Maria Lattanzi (DMR) are coming off an indoor season where they earned their first All-America honor. Whitney Liehr also picked up her first All-America honor indoors in the heptathlon. Finally, Alexandra Gits picked up her first All-America honor last season outdoors in the 10,000 meters where she finished third at the NCAA Championships.
A total of nine men who have earned All-America honors at Stanford will be back for the outdoor season. The men will be led by eight-time All-American Garrett Heath who returns after his best cross country season, but did not compete for Stanford indoors because his eligibility had been exhausted. He will be joined by his brother Elliott Heath who earned the first All-America honor of his career in the 3,000 meters at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships. Freshman Chris Derrick is already a three-time All-American after a seventh-place finish in cross country and earning a pair of All-America honors during the indoor track season. Other returning All-Americans in the distances are two-time All-American Hakon DeVries, Jacob Evans and Hari Mix. 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. Finally, newly anointed All-American Myles Bradley will look to build on his fifth place finish indoors in the 60-meter hurdles, outdoors in the 110-meter hurdles.
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 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships in two events. She qualified in the 100 meters as well as the long jump. Lauren Stewart returns for her senior season where she will look to return to the NCAA's in the heptathlon. A pair of throwers return after qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season. Jaynie Goodbody (hammer) should be a threat in the hammer, while Michaela Wallerstedt looks for a return trip to the NCAA's in the shot put. In the distances, Kate Niehaus returns fresh off a MPSF title in the 5,000 meters during the indoor season.
Impact returners for the men include a duo of sophomore distance runners, Brendan Gregg and Jacob Riley. The duo made up a big portion of the 2008 cross country team that finished third in the nation. In addition, they were both NCAA provisional qualifiers in the 5,000 meters during the 2009 indoor season. Junior Justin-Marpole Bird also returns after being a finalist at 1,500 meters at the 2008 West Regional Championships and being a NCAA provisional qualifier in the mile during the 2009 indoor season. In the pole vault, Casey Roche returns after reaching a personal best of 17-1 during the indoor season.
In addition to the deep group of returners, Stanford has several freshmen ready to contribute right away, including Laurynne Chetelat and Maria Lattanzi who became All-Americans during the indoor season. Former world youth record holder Katerina Stefanidi looks to make an immediate impact in the pole vault after clearing 13-5 1/4 during the indoor season. She will be joined in the pole vault by Caitlin Hewitt who reached 12-11 1/2 during the indoor season. In the distances, Emilie Amaro had a strong cross country season and followed that up with NCAA provisional marks in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters during the indoor season.
Joining Derrick as a potential freshmen that could contribute right away are Geoffrey Tabor, Amaechi Morton and Dylan Ferris. Tabor is the 2008 junior national champion in the discus and Morton was the USATF national runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles, while becoming a NCAA provisional qualifier in the 400 meters during the indoor season. Ferris ran a time of 1:50.10 in the 800 meters during the indoor season to become an NCAA provisional qualifier.
Stanford Women Win MPSF Championships
Despite competing against three higher ranked teams, the Stanford women captured the MPSF Championship. The Cardinal entered the meet ranked No. 25 in the nation, 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.