Stanford Track & Field And Cross Country Signs 11 To Class of 2011

Nov. 28, 2006

Stanford, Calif. - Eleven outstanding recruits, including seven women and four men from a variety of event groups, will join the Cardinal Cross Country and Track & Field squads next fall, announced Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track & Field Edrick Floreal. Natasha Barthel, Brittni Dixon-Smith, Shataya Hendricks, Arantxa King, Whitney Liehr, Ashley Menzies, Alexis Spiranac, Cody Cox, Elliott Heath, Benjamin Otto and Casey Roche will all head to The Farm next year as members of the Class of 2011.

'This our best and most complete recruiting class ever,' said Floreal. 'They cover the entire spectrum of track and field events and will greatly strengthen our team.'

Hailing from Campbell, CA, Natasha Barthel attends St Francis High School where she is currently the seventh-ranked pole vaulter in the nation. She is the 2006 California state pole vault runner-up and finished third at the 2006 Golden West Invitational.

'Natasha has a great gymnastics background, which allowed her to learn the vault very quickly' said Floreal. 'She will add to the growing strength of our pole vault squad and help take us to the next level.'

Brittni Dixon-Smith attends Woodbridge Senior High School in Woodbridge, VA. She is the 2006 Virginia state long jump champion and the 2006 regional long jump champion. Dixon-Smith owns the Virginia state long jump record and is an excellent 100m and 200m runner.

'Brittni is one of the best-kept secrets as a jumper/sprinter. She will add a lot of depth to our outstanding sprinters and jumpers groups.'

Shataya Hendricks comes to The Farm from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The 3A Florida state champion in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4 x 400 meter relay, she was named the 2006 St. Thomas Aquinas Female Athlete of the Year. A U.S. Junior National Team member and a High School All-American, Hendricks is the current Florida state record-holder at 11.51.

'Shataya is one of the country's best high school sprinters. She is a fierce competitor and will be an All-American as a freshman and should develop into a US Olympian'

From Medford High School in Medford, MA, Arantxa King captured the 2005 World Youth long jump championship and the 2005 Junior Pan American long jump championship. She is a four-time Massachusetts long jump champion and was ranked first nationally for the long jump and sixth nationally for the triple jump in 2005. King is the Bermuda national junior and senior record-holder for the long jump and triple jump, and also owns the Massachusetts and New England long jump records. She is the 2005 and 2006 outdoor high school national champion in the long jump and the 2006 outdoor champion in the triple jump.

'Arantxa is an amazing athlete. Her international experience will be a huge asset to our program. She has the ability to be a Stanford Olympian before graduation.'

Whitney Liehr will join the Cardinal from Palos Verdes High School in Palos Verdes, CA. Liehr captured the 2006 West Regional Junior Olympic championship in the heptathlon, and took second at 2006 USATF Junior Olympic National championships in the same event.

'Whitney is one of the top heptathletes in the nation. She will make an instant impact on our team.'

Ashley Menzies hails from Beverley Hills High School in Beverley Hills, CA. A nationally-ranked 400 meter runner. Menzies is the 2006 Mt. SAC Relays seeded 400m champion. She is a 2005 CIF Division 2 finalist in the 400 meters and captured the 2004 and 2005 league 200 and 400 meter titles.

'Ashley is a versatile all around sprinter with Pac-10 competitive marks sprint marks. She will be an instant contributor at the national level on both of our relays.'

From Monument, CO, Alexis Spiranac attends Lewis Palmer High School where she helped lead her team to a state championship. She finished second in the high jump and scored in the hurdles.

'Lexie is ranked in the top 25 in the nation as a high jumper. She is a fierce competitor and will develop into a great multi-eventer.'

On the men's side, Cody Cox will join the Cardinal next fall from Atlanta, GA, where he attends The Lovett School. He is currently the fourth-ranked hammer thrower in Georgia, as well as the third-ranked weight thrower indoors.

'Cody is a welcomed addition to The Farm. His versatility in the hammer and the weight, along with the shot, makes him an exciting addition to our program.'

From Winona High School in Winona, MN, Elliott Heath is one of the nation's best distance runners and a national contender in cross country. He captured the 2005 Minnesota state cross country championship, as well as the 2006 Minnesota state 3,200 meter championship.

'Elliott is an incredibly strong and dedicated distance runner and we are thrilled he will be joining us next year. An outstanding student-athlete, Elliott will be a key contributor through his entire collegiate career.'

Benjamin Otto currently attends Hill Murray School in White Bear Lake, MN. Otto is the 2005 Minnesota state long jump champion and currently holds state records in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump and triple jump. He is a 2005 national high school long jump All-American and a numerous time all state performer.

'BJ is an extremely talented athlete. He will have a huge impact on our team's national success, as well as our record book.'

The top-ranked pole vaulter in the nation, Casey Roche hails from Saint Francis High School in nearby Mountain View, CA. Roche is the reigning Junior Olympic Champion in the pole vault and holds the meet record at 17'5'. He placed third last spring at the California state meet.

'Casey is an amazing athlete and will continue the great tradition of phenomenal pole vaulters here at Stanford.'

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