Stanford Women Take Early Lead At MPSF Championships
Feb. 27, 2009
Seattle, Wash. - The Stanford women took the early lead at the MPSF Championships on Friday from Dempsey Indoor Stadium on the campus of the University of Washington. The Stanford women totaled 56 points to take a nine point lead on Arizona State heading into the final day of competition on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Stanford men are in the thick of a close competition, sitting in fourth with 20.5 points, but just 7.5 points out of the lead.
The women had a banner day with two school records being set and a MPSF title for Kate Niehaus.
Niehaus took the MPSF title in the 5,000 meters with a career-best time of 16:22.34. The time was a NCAA provisional standard for Niehaus who captured her first indivual conference title for the Stanford. Also faring well in the 5,000 was Emilie Amaro who finished fifth with a time of 16:35.32. Her time was also a personal best and a NCAA provisional standard.
The busiest athlete of the day was Whitney Liehr who set the school record in the pentathlon with a score of 4,012. She became the first person in Stanford history to total over 4,000 points on her way to a second place finish. The score was just short of the NCAA automatic standard, but was easily a provisional standard. Liehr's best event came in the long jump where she reached a career best of 20-1 ½. She also competed in the open 60-meter hurdles where her time of 8.66 seconds qualified for Saturday's finals.
The other school record came from Katerina Stefanidi in the pole vault. Stefanidi cleared a height of 13-5 ¼ to claim second place, while capturing the school record.
More big points for Stanford came in the distance medley relay where the Cardinal women finished second. The team of Madeline Duhon, Joy O'Hare, Claire Cormier Thielke and Laurynne Chetelat finished with a time of 11:22.70 to claim eight big points for Stanford.
The Stanford women also scored big points in the long jump where they placed three in the top eight. Arantxa King led the Stanford women with a leap of 19-11 ¾ to place third. Also scoring were Brittni Dixon-Smith (19-9) who placed fifth and Griffin Matthew (19-4) who finished seventh.
Matthew also had a busy day in the sprints. In the 60 meters she qualified for tomorrow's final with a time of 7.60 seconds. In addition, she finished seventh in the 200 meters with a time of 24.64.
The men were led by Myles Bradley who finished tied for third in the long jump. Bradley recorded a career-best leap of 24-7 ¼, which was a NCAA provisional mark and moved him into third on the all-time Stanford list. However, the long jump was not the most impressive mark of the day for Bradley. He also competed in the 60-meter hurdles where he set stadium record of 7.77 seconds to advance to tomorrow's final as the No. 1 qualifier.
J.J. Jackson also competed in the hurdles and advanced to the final with a time of 8.14 seconds, which was the fifth fastest time of the day.
The 5,000 meters also provided good results for the Cardinal, led by Jacob Riley. Riley finished fourth with a time of 14:04.03. Just behind him was Brendan Gregg who finished sixth with a time of 14:07.45 established a career best and a NCAA provisional standard.
The final points of the evening for Stanford came in the distance medley relay where the Cardinal finished fifth. The team of Justin Marpole-Bird, Amaechi Morton, Dylan Ferris and Elliott Heath finished with a time of 9:49.49.
Saturday will mark the conclusion of the 2009 MPSF Championships. Both the Stanford men's and women's teams remain in contention for a conference title. The women will look to extend their lead, while the men will look to gain ground on a tightly bunched group of competitors.