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Williams Latest to Reach Standard

Apr 27, 2021

HARRISON WILLIAMS '18, NCAA champion and Stanford school-record holder, established the Olympic standard in the decathlon on Sunday, scoring 8,439 points, in Chula Vista, California.

Williams became the 10th Stanford track and field alum to achieve an Olympic qualifying standard. Two -- Katerina Stefanidi '12 and Jacob Riley '11 -- already have secured berths in Tokyo. Sara Bei Hall '05 achieved the standard in the marathon, but did not finish the trials race, so therefore cannot advance to Tokyo in that event. The rest, including Williams, need to place among the top three at the U.S. Olympic Trials July 18-27 in Eugene, Oregon, to make the team for the Tokyo Games.

Williams established four personal bests during the two-day, 10-event competition: in the 100 (10.64), long jump (25-3 ¼, 7.70 meters), shot put (47-0 ¾, 14.34m), and discus (160-3, 48.86m). He crushed the Olympic standard of 8,350 and his previous best of 8,188, which also counts as the Stanford record, from the 2019 U.S. Championships. 

Williams is the 2019 NCAA indoor heptathlon and 2018 Pac-12 decathlon champion, and was runner-up in the 2019 NCAA decathlon. In 2019, he placed third at the U.S. Championships and 14th at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Williams' score ranks him No. 3 in the world this year and No. 2 among Americans. 

Stefanidi is the defending Olympic women's pole vault champion, winning gold in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Stefanidi, also the 2017 world champion, clinched a spot for Greece in 2021 after clearing 15-11 (4.85m) in placing third at the 2019 World Championships to achieve the 15-5 (4.70m) Olympic standard.

Riley secured his spot on the U.S. team by placing second at the Olympic Trials marathon in Atlanta on Feb. 29, 2020, running 2:10:02 -- under the standard of 2:11:30. 

Besides the nine who have reached Olympic standards and have aspirations of Olympic berths in those events, at least five other alums – Olivia Baker '18 (women's 800; U.S.), Mackenzie Little '19 (women's javelin; Australia), Claudia Saunders '16 (women's 800; France), Steven Solomon '16 (men's 400, 4x400 relay; Australia), and Bei Hall (women's 5,000) -- are close to the standards and remain in the hunt for Tokyo.

The Olympic standards are more difficult than for previous Games, but the qualification windows are longer, from May 1, 2019-April 5 2020 and December 1, 2020-June 29 2021.

Here are the Stanford alums who have achieved Olympic standards and remain in contention in those events: 

Name Country Event Best Mark Standard
Valarie Allman '17 U.S. W Discus 230-2 (70.15) 208-0 (63.50)
Kori Carter '14 U.S. W 400 Hurdles 55.09 55.40
Elise Cranny '18 U.S. W 5,000 15:04.88 15:10.00
W 10,000 30:47.42 31:25.00
Grant Fisher '19 U.S. M 5,000 13:02.53 13:13.50
M 10,000 27:11.29 27:28.00
Vanessa Fraser '17 U.S. W 5,000 14:48.51 15:10.00
Sean McGorty '17 U.S. M 5,000 13:06.45 13:13.50
Jacob Riley* '11 U.S. M Marathon 2:10:02 2:11:30
Katerina Stefanidi* '12 Greece W Pole Vault 15-11 (4.85) 15-5 (4.70)
Harrison Williams '18 U.S. M Decathlon 8,439 8,350

* clinched Olympic berth
Best Mark = Best mark during Olympic qualifying window