Stanford In Third
March 9, 2001
Fayetteville, Ark - The Stanford men's track & field team claimed the distance medley relay national championship for a second straight year on Friday during first day competition at the NCAA Indoor Division I Track & Field Championships at the University of Arkansas.
A bold move by junior Gabe Jennings with 900 meters to go in the race catapulted the Cardinal from third to first place for good, capturing ten points for the Stanford men. The distance medley relay is comprised of four legs measuring 1,200, 400, 800 and 1,600 meters. Freshman Donald Sage put Stanford in the mix at the start of the race, leaving the squad in a close third behind Arkansas and Florida after 1,200 meters.
Juniors Mark Hassell and Jonathan Stevens held Stanford's position during the 400 and 800 meter legs, and Jennings used the final leg to kick down the opponents and cross the line in 9:30.01, less than two seconds off the Cardinal's 9:28.93 American record set at this meet last year.
Jennings covered the final 1,600 meters in 3:56.4.
Senior Jonathon Riley added five points to the Cardinal total with his fourth place finish in the 5,000 meters in 13:51.68, his best time of the season. Sophomore Louie Luchini finished eleventh in the race in 14:09.88.
The Stanford men now sit in third place with 15 points after day one of the two-day national meet. Alabama leads with 21 points, and TCU is second with 16. Defending NCAA champion Arkansas is fourth with 14 points.
Individually, Jennings ran the fastest mile time of the prelims (3:59.75) to win his heat to advance to the finals on Saturday night. Sage clocked 4:05.35 for sixth place in the same race, but did not advance.
On the women's side, sophomore Lauren Fleshman qualified automatically in Saturday's final in the mile by placing second in her heat in 4:43.69.
Sophomore Lindsay Hyatt finished fourth in her heat of the 800 meter run with a time of 2:10.09, but did not advance.
The women's distance medley relay team composed of Ashley Couper (1,200 meters), junior Danielle Spurlock (400 meters), Lindsay Hyatt (800 meters), and senior Elena Villarreal (1,600 meters) placed eleventh in a time of 11:40.10.
Competing for Stanford on Saturday will be Gabe Jennings in the mile, Lauren Fleshman in the mile, Riley and Seth Hejny in the 3,000 meters, Villarreal in the 3,000 meters, and sophomore Michael Ponikvar in the high jump.