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Fisher to Tokyo

Jun 18, 2021

EUGENE, Ore. – Grant Fisher '19 is an Olympian. 

A 2017 NCAA champion for Stanford, Fisher placed second in the men's 10,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Friday to earn a trip to Tokyo. 

Fisher ran 27:54.29 to place second behind Bowerman Track Club teammate Woody Kincaid (27:53.62) in a last-lap duel at Hayward Field. Fisher, already with the Olympic standard, achieved it again in earning first Olympic berth. Fisher is only 24.

Fisher was the only Stanford athlete, current or former, to compete in a final on the first day of the Trials, but seven others were in action and six advanced. 

Ella Donaghu and Julia Heymach, a week removed from the NCAA Championships, each moved on from the first round of the women's 1,500 to Saturday's semifinals, as did Rebecca Mehra '16. 


Ella Donaghu. Photo by Chuck Aragon.

Valarie Allman '17 unleashed the second-longest women's discus throw in American history – 229-8 (70.01m) – and the second-longest in the world this year to become the top qualifier for Saturday's final (6:42 p.m.). The only longer throw in American history was Allman's 230-2 (70.13m) from 2020. 

In the women's 5,000, Bowerman TC teammates Elise Cranny '18 and Vanessa Fraser '18 placed third and fifth, respectively, to advance to Monday's final by finishing among the top five automatic qualifying spots in their heat. 

Summer Pierson '00 was 17th 178-9 (54,48m) in the women's discus and did not advance to the 12-thrower final. 

Fisher, a 12-time All-American and 2017 NCAA outdoor 5,000 champ, had the fastest time going into the race and was patient as he began to move up the pack at around 3,600 meters. Fisher settled into fifth midway through and then inched into the top three by running a machine-like 68-second pace per lap.

With four laps to go, Fisher inched into the top three, behind leader Robert Brandt and Fisher's former Colorado rival Joe Klecker. The pace increased to 63 as Fisher moved into first by the bell lap, towing Biya Simbassa and Kincaid in his wake. 

Fisher, who closed in 54.53, held the lead until the homestretch, when Kincaid passed on the outside and gained control with a 53.47 final lap. 

Fisher becomes the fourth Stanford track alum to clinch a spot in Tokyo, joining Malindi Elmore '02 (Canada) in the women's marathon, Jacob Riley '11 (U.S.) in the men's marathon, and Katerina Stefanidi '12 (Greece) in the women's pole vault. 

Fisher also is scheduled to run the first round of the 5,000 on Thursday.


Julia Heymach. Photo by Chuck Aragon.

Heymach and Donaghu ran similar-style races in first and third heats, respectively. Each led for the first two laps, were passed by a pack, but held their positions to advance automatically among the top six, with sixth-place finishes. Mehra was fourth in the second heat also earned an auto qualifying spot. The semifinals are Saturday at 6:40 p.m., and the final is Monday. 

Cranny and Fraser did enough in the second heat of the 5,000 to go through, finishing safely among the top five and advancing automatically. Cranny was third and Fraser fifth. Each has the Olympic standard.

Day Two brings the women's discus final, the opening day of the decathlon for contender Harrison Williams '18. Saturday's action also includes four current Stanford athletes – Donaghu and Heymach in the 1,500 semis, Liam Christensen in men's javelin qualifying, and Keyshawn King in men's triple jump qualifying. 


 Grant Fisher (right) duels Woody Kincaid around the final turn. Photo by Chuck Aragon.

* * * 

U.S. Olympic Trials
At Hayward Field
(Results of 2021 Stanford athletes and alumni)

10,000 final – 2, Grant Fisher '19 (Nike/Bowerman TC) 27:54.29. Fisher makes Olympic team.

1,500 first round
– 11, Ella Donaghu (Stanford) 4:12.16; 12, Julia Heymach (Stanford) 4:12.41; 18, Rebecca Mehra '16 (Oiselle/Littlewing Athletics) 4:13.71. Donaghu, Heymach, Mehra advance to semifinals.
5,000 first round – 7, Elise Cranny (Nike/Bowerman TC) 15:32.71; 10, Vanessa Fraser '18 (Nike/Bowerman TC) 15:33.54. Cranny, Fraser advance to final.
Discus qualifying – 1, Valarie Allman '17 (ASICS/NYAC) 229-8 (70.01); 17, Summer Pierson (Santa Cruz Throwers) 178-9 (54,48m). Allman advances to final.
* * *

Stanford's Schedule

TV: NBCSN, 5-7 p.m.; NBC, 7-8 p.m.
1 p.m.: -- Men's decathlon 100 (Harrison Williams).
1:50 p.m. – Men's decathlon long jump (Harrison Williams).
2:15 p.m. – Men's javelin qualifying (Liam Christensen).
2:50 p.m. – Men's decathlon shot put (Harrison Williams).
4 p.m. – Men's decathlon high jump (Harrison Williams).
5:15 p.m. – Men's triple jump qualifying (Keyshawn King).
6:18 p.m. – Men's decathlon 400 (Harrison Williams).
6:40 p.m. – Women's 1,500 semifinals (Ella Donaghu, Julia Heymach, Rebecca Mehra).
6:42 p.m. – Women's discus final (Valarie Allman).

TV: NBC, 6-8 p.m.
12:15 p.m. – Men's decathlon 110 hurdles (Harrison Williams).
1:20 p.m. – Men's decathlon discus (Harrison Williams).
3:45 p.m. – Men's decathlon pole vault (Harrison Williams).
5:15/6:15 p.m. – Men's decathlon javelin (Harrison Williams).
7:23 p.m. – Men's decathlon 1,500 (Harrison Williams).

TV: NBCSN, 4-5 p.m.; NBC, 5-6 p.m.
4:15 p.m. – Men's javelin final.
4:29 p.m. – Men's 3,000 steeplechase first round (Sean McGorty).
4:40 p.m. – Men's triple jump final.
5:05 p.m. – Women's 1,500 final.
5:40 p.m. – Women's 5,000 final (Elise Cranny, Vanessa Fraser).

TV: NBCSN, 6-9 p.m.
6:04 p.m. – Men's 1,500 first round (Sean McGorty).
6:31 p.m. – Women's 200 first round (Alexa Rossum).
7 p.m. – Women's 800 first round (Olivia Baker, Rebecca Mehra).
8:04 p.m. – Men's 5,000 first round (Grant Fisher, Sean McGorty, Thomas Ratcliffe).

Friday (June 25)
TV: NBCSN, 2-5 p.m.
1 p.m. – Women's javelin qualifying (Virginia Miller).
(1:35 p.m. PT – British trials, men's 10,000 final (Charles Hicks))
3:02 p.m. – Women's 800 semifinals.
4:05 p.m. – Men's 1,500 semifinals.
4:25 p.m. – Women's 200 semifinals.
4:42 p.m. – Men's 3,000 steeplechase final.

Saturday (June 26)
TV: NBC, 6-8 p.m.
5:30 p.m. – Women's javelin final.
6:44 p.m. – Women's 10,000 final (Sara Bei Hall, Elise Cranny, Vanessa Fraser, Fiona O'Keeffe).
7:24 p.m. – Women's 200 final.

Sunday (June 27)
TV: NBC, 4-5:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m. – Men's 5,000 final.
4:52 p.m. – Women's 800 final.
5:10 p.m. – Men's 1,500 final.