Stanford Headlines NCAA Preliminary Round Qualifiers

May 21, 2010

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    New Orleans - The NCAA Outdoor Championships will take on a new format this season as the regional format has been discontinued and the national meet will take place over two weekends and several rounds. The announcement of the fields took place today with Stanford well represented. The Cardinal women will have 17 women compete in 20 individual events along with one relay, while the men will have 15 athletes compete in 16 individual events as well as two relays.

    The Stanford participants will head to Austin, Texas, on May 27-29, for the opening sections of the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Depending on the event, the Cardinal will run heats or compete in preliminary rounds to advance to the final rounds of the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 9-12.

    The fields in Austin will be made up of 48 athletes in the individual events and 24 teams in the relays. The goal will be to be one of the top 12 individuals or relays teams at the end of the weekend that will earn a trip to Eugene for the NCAA championship rounds. The 12 from Austin and the 12 from the other preliminary round site in Greensboro, N.C., will make up the 24 athlete and relay team fields that will compete at Oregon's Hayward Field for the a chance at the national title.

    Breaking Down The Fields

    Stanford Women

    100 Meters
    9. Griffin Matthew 11.51
    11. Carissa Levingston 11.54
    46. Shataya Hendricks 11.82

    The Preliminary Round in Austin will cut the fields form 48 to 12 with two heats. Matthew will look to make the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive year in the 100, while the freshman Levingston is also a good bet to advance. Hendricks will likely need a season best, but has shown the potential in the past to run in the 11.6 range.

    1,500 Meters
    17. Madeline Duhon 4:22.30
    42. Victoria Pennings 4:27.59

    The 1,500 will also have two heats over the weekend to cut the fields from 48 to 12. Duhon will look to qualify for her first NCAA meet in an event that Stanford has done well in recent years. She is the new leader of a young 1,500-meter group following the graduation of Lauren Centrowitz and Alicia Follmar. Pennings will look to build on a PR at the Pac-10 meet that got her into the national field.

    3,000-Meter Steeplechase
    17. Madeleine O'Meara 10:24.06

    The fifth-year senior O'Meara continues to improve each year and may be ready to breakthrough to qualify for the national championship final rounds. The steeplechase will be three heats of 16 with the top three in each heat and the next three fastest moving through to Eugene.

    5,000 Meters
    9. Kathy Kroeger 16:01.13

    Freshman Kathy Kroeger ran one of the top 10 times in Stanford history at the Payton Jordan Invitational and looks to be a big part of the future of the young, but talented women's distance group. She will need to finish in the top five of her heat of 24 or be one of two time qualifiers to advance.

    Georgia Griffin will compete in the 10,000 meters

    10,000 Meters
    9. Georgia Griffin 33:39.52
    10. Stephanie Marcy 33:41.57
    13. Kate Niehaus 33:55.33

    The depth of the women's distance program shows through in the 10,000 with three women with an excellent chance to move on to Eugene. Griffin and Marcy both moved into the top 10 all-time in the 10K at Stanford, while Niehaus is a veteran of the NCAA finals, having made it in the 5,000 meters last season. The 10K will be one heat of 48 runners with the top-12 advancing.

    11. Stanford 44.83

    The women's 4x100 will look to be the first relay to advance to the NCAA's in a number of years. The Cardinal team will likely include Matthew, Levingston and two from the group of Hendricks, Arantxa King and Brittni Dixon-Smith. The relay will be three heats with 12 teams total advancing to compete in Eugene.

    Pole Vault
    9. Katerina Stefanidi 14-1 ¼ (4.30m)

    One of Stanford's top hopes to not only advance, but score points at the NCAA's is Stefanidi. She is the school-record holder and finished fourth at the NCAA indoors. 12 will advance to Eugene and look for Stefanidi to be one of them.

    Long Jump
    5. Griffin Matthew 21-1 ½ (6.44m)
    10. Arantxa King 20-10 ¾ (6.37m)
    14. Brittni Dixon-Smith 20-9 ¼ (6.33m)
    29. Whitney Liehr 20-2 ¼ (6.15m)
    43. Karynn Dunn 19-8 ¼ (6.00m)

    The Cardinal women have shown tremendous depth in the jumps under Edrick Floreal. This year is no different with five competitors who all are capable of having a big day and advancing through. Matthew and King have the most big-meet experience in the event with Matthew qualifying for the 2008 NCAA meet and King competing in the 2008 Olympic Games for Bermuda. The jumpers will have three jumps to advance to a 16 person, three-jump final that will find the 12 athletes who will go to Eugene.

    Triple Jump
    14. Whitney Liehr 42-5 ¼ (12.93m)
    15. Arantxa King 42-5 ¼ (12.93m)

    Liehr and King are both veterans of the event with Liehr qualifying last year and King setting the Bermuda national record just last weekend at the Pac-10 meet. Liehr is probably a better triple jumper, while King prefers the long jump, but both could advance in either or both. The triple jump format mirrors the long jump.

    Hammer Throw
    8. Jaynie Goodbody 200-5 (61.08m)

    The Pac-10 champion in the hammer, Goodbody, will look to advance to NCAA Championships for the third-consecutive year. Goodbody has yet to score at the national meet, something she appears capable of this season. First, she will have to make sure she advances by being in the top 12 in Austin.

    40. Liz Minoofar 147-10 (45.07m)

    Minoofar has improved her personal best multiple times this season and will look to continue that trend in Austin. Just 12 will advance through to Eugene and would likely take a big PR for the Cardinal junior to advance.

    Stanford Men

    100 Meters
    44. Daniel Belch 10.59

    Belch has moved into the top-10 all-time at Stanford in the 100 this season as a part of the rejuvenated men's sprinters. The Cardinal senior could be in his last meet with just 12 advancing, but between the open 100 and the relay, Belch has helped put Stanford men's sprinting back on the map.

    800 Meters
    18. Justin Reed 1:49.28

    The Cardinal senior has shown steady improvement during his time on The Farm and the next step would be moving though to the NCAA finals. He will need to get through two rounds of competition as one of the 12 that moves on to Eugene.

    1,500 Meters
    4. Dylan Ferris 3:40.07
    29. Andrew Berberick 3:45.18

    Ferris is one of the favorites in the 1,500 after an All-America season in the mile indoors and winning the top section of the 1,500 meters at the Payton Jordan Invitational. He will need to avoid anything unusual in two rounds of competition that will see 12 advance to Eugene. Berberick is just a freshman, but has the talent to be a surprise to move through as well.

    JT Sullivan looks to qualify for the NCAA final rounds in the steeplechase.

    3000-Meter Steeplechase
    9. JT Sullivan 8:43.69
    34. Benjamin Johnson 8:58.92

    Sullivan just missed the NCAA Championships last year and looks secure a trip this season. He is a good bet to advance, but just three from each of the three heats and the next three fastest times will move through to Eugene. Johnson also has the potential to advance as one of the top 12.

    5,000 Meters
    3. Elliott Heath 13:29.75
    4. Chris Derrick 13:31.67
    10. Jake Riley 13:48.65

    The 5,000 will be run in two heats with the top five from each heat and the next two fastest times advancing. Derrick and Heath went 1-2 at the Pac-10's and are among the favorites to not only advance, but compete for the national title in Eugene. Riley is scheduled to double in the 5 and 10K, something he did with great success at the Pac-10 meet. The 10K will be run Thursday, while the 5K is Saturday, giving Riley just 48 hours to recover.

    10,000 Meters
    13. Jake Riley 28:54.69
    16. Brendan Gregg 28:56.44

    Riley is a returning All-American in 10K and doubling sets up nicely for him to run his better event first. He should be a favorite to advance to Eugene, but Gregg is also more than capable of moving on. The 10K should be great for spectators with 48 runners battling for 12 spots to move on.

    Amaechi Morton will compete in the 400 intermediate hurdles and anchor the 4x400-meter relay.

    400-Meter Hurdles
    2. Amaechi Morton 48.94
    20. Durell Coleman 51.19

    Morton smashed the school record at the Pac-10 meet and is the top national challenger to two-time defending champion Jeshua Anderson of Washington State in the event. The two will be in Austin, but their main battle will likely take place in Eugene. Lost in the record-breaking performance of Morton at the Pac-10 meet was a big PR from Coleman. He is capable of earning a trip to Eugene as well.

    4x100-Meter Relay
    20. Stanford 40.41

    The participants in the relay will likely be Belch, Tyrone McGraw, Mark Mueller and Ryan Fisicaro. The format is three heats with the top three in each heat and the next three fastest advancing. This means the Cardinal will get one chance to run the perfect race and clear up some rough handoffs that have kept the group from reaching its top potential this season.

    4x400-Meter Relay
    20. Stanford 3:09.41

    The mile relay will be the same format as the 4x100 with Stanford looking to secure one of the 12 spots to Eugene. The team will likely consist of freshman Spencer Chase, who just missed qualifying in the open 400, Reed, Coleman and Morton. The latter three will have individual events to worry about, but any group anchored by Morton has a chance to come up big.

    High Jump
    42. Jules Sharpe 6-10 ¼ (2.09m)

    Sharpe burst onto the scene, jumping over seven feet as a freshman, during the indoor season. His outdoor season has not been as strong, but all it takes is one big jump and he could earn his trip to Eugene. Sharpe's indoor PR puts him right on the edge of the top 12 that will move on to compete at the NCAA Championships.

    Pole Vault
    21. Casey Roche 17-0 ¼ (5.20m)

    The nature of the pole vault and just three attempts at a certain height provides opportunity for nearly anyone in the field. Roche certainly has the potential to keep clearing bars and be one of the final 12 remaining.

    Hammer Throw
    16. Carter Wells 203-1 (61.91m)

    Wells has shown big improvement this season surpassing the 200-foot barrier. Just 12 will move on, but Wells should be right in the middle of the group vying for the final spots that will advance to the NCAA championship rounds.

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