Eight to Tokyo
WITH THE ADDITIONS of Mackenzie Little and Steve Solomon to the Australian Olympic team last week, eight Stanford track and field alumni representing four countries will compete in Tokyo (July 30-Aug. 8).
This matches 2008 as the most for the program in a single Olympiad.
For these Games, World Athletics strengthened the Olympic standards while also creating a system where athletes could gain entry through world rankings, achieved through frequency and success at major competitions.
Little and Solomon are the first Stanford alums to advance to the Olympics through this path.
Little is ranked No. 30 in the world in the women's javelin and Solomon is No. 49 in the men's 400. This will the first Olympics for Little, a two-time NCAA champion, and the second for Solomon, who was eighth at the 2012 London Games.
They join defending Olympic women's pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi (Greece) among Olympic-bound Cardinal. Canadian women's marathon record holder Malindi Elmore also is a returning Olympian, having competed in the 2004 Athens Games in the 1,500 meters.
Of those on the American team, all four are first-time Olympians. Valarie Allman won the women's discus at the U.S. Olympic Trials and is the American record holder, Grant Fisher advanced in both the men's 5,000 and 10,000, Elise Cranny captured the U.S. title in the women's 5,000, and Jacob Riley was the first of the group to qualify, placing second in the men's marathon trials on Feb. 29, 2020.
* * *
Here are Stanford's Tokyo track and field Olympians, with their graduating classes:
Valarie Allman '17 (U.S., women's discus)
Elise Cranny '18 (U.S., women's 5,000)
Malindi Elmore '02 (Canada, women's marathon)
Grant Fisher '19 (U.S., men's 5,000, 10,000)
Mackenzie Little '19 (Australia, women's javelin)
Jacob Riley '11 (U.S., men's marathon)
Steven Solomon '16 (Australia, men's 400)
Katerina Stefanidi '12 (Greece, women's pole vault)
* * *
Stanford's individual schedule (all times Pacific):
3 a.m.: Women's 5,000 first round (Elise Cranny).
4:30 a.m.: Men's 10,000 final (Grant Fisher).
5:30 p.m.: Women's discus qualifying (Valarie Allman).
6:45 p.m.: Men's 400 first round (Steven Solomon).
1:20 a.m.: Women's pole vault qualifying (Katerina Stefanidi).
4 a.m.: Women's discus final.
4:05 a.m.: Men's 400 semifinals.
5:40 a.m.: Women's 5,000 final.
5:20 p.m.: Women's javelin qualifying (Mackenzie Little).
4 a.m.: Men's 5,000 first round (Grant Fisher).
3:20 a.m.: Women's pole vault final.
5 a.m.: Men's 400 final.
4:50 a.m.: Women's javelin final.
5 a.m.: Men's 5,000 final.
3 p.m.: Women's marathon (Malindi Elmore).
3 p.m.: Men's marathon (Jacob Riley).
* * *
Main photo: Katerina Stefanidi. Photo by Kirby Lee/Image of Sport.