More Than 4,000 Athletes Set To Compete At 31st Annual Stanford Invitational

March 24, 2005

Stanford, Ca - The 31st annual Stanford Track & Field Invitational will be held this weekend (Friday-Saturday) at Cobb Track & Angell Field. This prestigious event will again feature thousands of top college and high school athletes in the United States.

Friday afternoon will feature a linited number of running events and field events. On Friday night, the Stanford Invitational will conduct the college/open distance races. On Saturday, there will be a multitude of college and high school events.

Friday's events will start at 9:50 a.m. with the women's 5,000 meters. The first high school event will be the girls distance medley relay at 3:00 p.m. First day competition will conclude with the men's 5,000 meters at 10:50 p.m.

On Saturday, the first event will start at 9:00 a.m. with the high school girls 400 meter hurdles and the girls pole vault. The first collegiate event will be the men's shot put at 11:00 a.m.

Several of the world's top track & field athletes have participated in this event in past years including Gail Devers, and Stanford's PattiSue Plumer, Grant Robison, Lauren Fleshman and Brad Hauser. Last year's meet produced more than 200 NCAA Division I automatic or regional qualifiers. Expect more of the same this year.

More than 4,000 college and high school athletes are expected to compete in this two-day event. In addition to excellent team from Stanford and California, other Pac-10 schools include UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State. Also look for top performances from such collegiate notables are Wisconsin, Arkansas, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Brigham Young, and Iowa,

Many of Stanford's top outdoor athletes will be competing. The list includes Brett Gotcher and Forrest Tahdooahnippah in the 10,000 meters, Naftalem Araia and Chris Emme in the 5,000 meters, Feranmi Okanlami and Solomon Welch in the triple jump and long jump, Michael Robertson in the discus and shot put, Janice Davis, Ashley Purnell, Christine Moschella, Nashonme Johnson, Ashley Freeman, Chinny Offor in the sprints, Sara Bei, Alicia Craig, Amanda Trotter, Katy Trotter, Anita Siraki, Julie Allen, Jeane Goff, Lindsey Allen and Teresa McWalters in the distance events, Samantha Shepard in the pole vault, Erica McLain in the triple jump and long jump, Lindsey Brisbin in the discus, Sarah Hopping and Katy Elsbury in the hammer and Erin Merriman in the javelin. Also competing will be former Stanford standout and seven time All-American Jill Camarena in the shot put.

At the 2004 Stanford Invitational, more than 100 athletes achieved the NCAA regional or automatic qualifying standards. Countless others bettered the NCAA Division II and III standards or achieved conference qualifying marks.

Payton Jordan - Champions of Life
In conjunction with the 2005 Stanford Track & Field Invitational, all alumni and friends of Stanford University are invitted to join Payton Jordan at Cobb Track & Angell Field on Saturday, March 26, as the former Stanford and Olympic Head Coach signs copies of the recent book Champions for Life. Coach Jordan is scheduled to sign books from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at Templeton Plaza located at the west end of Cobb Track & Angell Field. Copies of Champions for Life will be available for purchase at the Stanford Track House (located adjacent to Cobb Track & Angell Field) throughout the day.

IAAF World Cross Country Championships
Former Stanford All-American Lauren Fleshman led a strong United States team to a third place finish in the women's short race (4,000 meters) at last weekend's IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Saint Etienne, France.

Fleshman, a four-time cross country All-American, placed eleventh among 106 runners in a time of 13:44. That was the best finish by an American athlete in any of the six races held at the Championships. For her efforts, Fleshman was named the USATF Athlete of the Week. Tirunesh Dibab of Ethiopia won the race with a time of 13:15. Ethiopia won the team competition with 18 points followed by Kenya with 19 and the United States with 67. Sixteen countries competed.

Team USA's bronze medal performance was the first women's short-course team medal for the Americans since 1998.

Freshman Lindsay Flacks placed third among United States runners and 30th overall to help the six-member American squad to a fourth place finish in the junior women's race (Under 20). Flacks ran the 6,000 meter course in a time of 22:37. Burika Bati Gelete of Ethiopia won the competition over 116 other runners in a time of 20:12.

Kenya won the competition with 16 points followed by Ethiopia with 22, Japan with 56, the United States with 118 and Morocco with 135. Seventeen countries competed in 85 degree weather.

In the junior men's competition (Under-20), another Cardinal freshman, Hakon DeVries finished fourth (8,000 meters, 26:33) among United States runners and 50th overall to help the United States to a seventh place finish among 18 teams. The Americans chalked up 154 points. Kenya won the competition with ten points. Five Kenyan runners finished 1-2-3-4-5 in the 132 man field.

Two other Stanford runners competed in France. Senior Ian Dobson was second among United States runners and 61st overall as the United States finished 13th in the long race for men (12k). Dobson was timed in 38:45. Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia won the race (35:06). Ethiopia won the team competition with 24 points. Kenya was second with 35. The United States tallied 262 points. Senior Donald Sage placed second among American runners and 60th overall (12:36) in the short race for men (4,000 meters). The Americans finished 13th with 252 points. Ethiopia won with 23 points.

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