Stanford Signs Top Class
STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford strengthened its track and field and cross-country programs by signing 11 to letters of intent, including a group of eight that make up what is regarded as the nation's top girls' recruiting class.
Stanford and J.J. Clark, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, signed three of MileSplit's top four girls, including the No. 1 recruit and another who is the reigning Gatorade national track and field athlete of the year. No other team in the NCAA signed more from MileSplit's top 50-ranked girls recruits than Stanford with five.
Women who signed National Letters of Intent are: Julia Flynn (Traverse City, Mich./Traverse City Central HS), Nicola Hogg (Sydney, Australia/Abbotsleigh School), Alyssa Jones (Homestead, Fla./Robert Morgan Educational Center, Miami Southridge HS), Ava Parekh (Chicago, Ill./Latin School of Chicago), Riley Stewart (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek HS), Caroline Wells (Winter Springs, Fla./Winter Springs HS), Juliette Whittaker (Laurel, Md./Mount de Sales Academy), and Roisin Willis (Stevens Point, Wis./Stevens Point HS).
Men who signed are: Zane Bergen (Niwot, Colo./Niwot HS), Callum Sherry (West Hartford, Conn./Conard HS), and Gavin Sherry (West Hartford, Conn./Conard HS).
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Zane Bergen. Photo by Bocopreps.com.
Zane Bergen (Niwot, Colo./Niwot HS)
Personal bests: Mile – 4:03.90; 3,200 – 8:57.51; 800 – 1:51.26
Zane Bergen ran a 4:03.90 mile to place second at the Nike Outdoor Nationals last spring, topping off a track season in which he swept the three distance races at the Colorado 4A Championships – the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 meters. His mile was the fourth-fastest high school time in the nation in 2021. Bergen is a two-time state cross country champion, breaking his own 4A state record on the Norris Penrose championship course on Oct. 30, and has won four state 4A team titles – two each in track and cross country. A fly-fishing enthusiast, Bergen is the latest from Niwot High track to join the Cardinal program in recent years, following a path begun by Tokyo Olympian Elise Cranny.
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Julia Flynn. Photo courtesy of Flynn family.
Julia Flynn (Traverse City, Mich./Traverse City Central HS)
Personal bests: 1,600 – 4:41.87; 3,200 – 10:09.87; Mile – 4:48.77; 800 – 2:09.18
Julia Flynn is the newly-crowned Mid-East (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio) cross country champion. She has personal bests of 4:41.87 in the 1,600, the seventh-fastest in the nation for 2021, and 10:09.87, in the 3,200, the 13th-best in the country. Flynn finished seventh in the mile at the 2021 Brooks PR Invitational in 4:48.77. She also has run 16:51.27 for 5K in cross country. Flynn, of Traverse City Central High, is the reigning Michigan's cross country Meet of Champions cross-country winner. She was runner-up at the state's Lower Peninsula championship race. Last spring, she swept the Big North Conference distance titles on the track (800, 1,600, and 3,200) and went on to place second at the Michigan Lower Peninsula- Division I 1,600 final. Flynn has been active in the community, including with the Peer-To-Peer program that pairs able-bodied with those with disabilities, and is a member of the National Honor Society.
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Nicola Hogg. Photo by Getty Images.
Nicola Hogg (Sydney, Australia/Abbotsleigh School)
Personal bests: 800 – 2:06.79; 1,500 – 4:18.85; Mile – 4:45.18; 3,000 – 9:44.04
Nicola Hogg, who raced for the Australian under-20 national team last summer, will be the seventh Aussie to compete for Stanford in a 10-year span and among three on the team next spring, joining Ky Robinson and Imogen Gardiner. She was second in the 1,500 and third in the 800 at the 2021 Australian U20 championships, running bests of 4:18.85 and 2:06.79. She also was third in the New South Wales Open Championships in the 1,500. In 2019, Hogg won the national U17 title in 800 and was second in the Australian All-Schools Championships while representing Abbotsleigh School.
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Alyssa Jones. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Jones.
Alyssa Jones (Homestead, Fla./ Robert Morgan Educational Center, Miami Southridge HS)
Personal bests: High jump – 6-0 ¾ (1.85m); Long jump – 21-4 (6.50m); 100 – 11.67; 200 – 23.90
Alyssa Jones is MileSplit's No. 3 girls' recruit in the country. On the 2021 outdoor lists, Jones was No. 2 in the long jump and No. 3 in the high jump. She is a two-time Gatorade Florida Girls' Track and Field Player of the Year. Jones has gone 21-4 (6.50m) in the long jump and 6-0 ¾ (1.85m) in the high jump. She also has a 7.50 in the 60, 11.67 in the 100, and 23.90 in the 200. Jones attends Robert Morgan Educational Center, competes for Miami Southridge High and is interested in environmental engineering. She won three Florida 3A state titles in 2021 – in the 100, high jump, and long jump – and was second in the 200. As a freshman, she captured the state 4A high jump title. Jones twice has hit 6-0 ¾ (1.85m) in the high jump and is the reigning USATF Junior Olympic under-20 high jump and long jump champion.
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Ava Parekh. Photo by Mike Newman/DyeStat.com.
Ava Parekh (Chicago, Ill./Latin School of Chicago)
Personal bests: Two-mile – 10:15.96; Mile -- 4:47.17
Ava Parekh is ranked as the No. 13 girls' recruit in the country by MileSplit. She is a two-time Illinois 2A state champ in cross country and a two-time 2A state champ in the 3,200 on the track. She ran 10:18.77 for sixth in the two-mile at the Brooks PR Invitational last spring and 10:15.96 at the same distance for the No. 4 indoor time in the country in 2021. In addition, her 4:47.17 mile was No. 2 indoors and gave her the victory at the 2021 adidas Indoor Nationals. The 2020 Gatorade Illinois Girls Cross Country Player of the Year attends the Latin School of Chicago and is interested in math and computer science.
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Callum Sherry. Photo by John Nepolitan/DyeStat.com.
Callum Sherry (West Hartford, Conn./Conard HS)
Personal bests: Two-mile – 9:14.22; 5,000 – 15:04.62
Callum Sherry, of Conard High, was second in the Connecticut State Open cross country championships and this fall and third at the New England Championships, behind his twin brother Gavin, also a Stanford recruit. Sherry owns a 9:14.22 two-mile from the Nike Outdoor Nationals and was second at the same distance at the NSAF USA Meet of Champions.
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Gavin Sherry. Photo by John Nepolitan/DyeStat.com.
Gavin Sherry (West Hartford, Conn./Conard HS)
Personal bests: Mile – 4:03.24; Two-mile – 8:53.25; 3,000 – 8:14.07; 5,000 – 14:30.37; 1,500 – 3:48.68
Ranked as MileSplit's No. 6 boys' recruit in the country, Gavin Sherry ranked among the top high school runners in the country at three outdoor distances – the 3,000 (8:14.07, second), mile (4:03.28c, fourth), and 1,500 (3:48.68, eighth). In winning the 2020 New England Indoor Championships, Sherry clocked 8:53.25 for two miles. He also won at that event at the NSAF USA Meet of Champions outdoors and 2020 New Balance Games indoors. And in winning the NSAF Outdoor Nationals in the mile, Sherry ran 4:07.20. Sherry showed his range with a 14:30.37 in the 5K last fall. In his last opportunity to race at the then-Foot Locker cross country nationals, Sherry was the highest finishing sophomore, placing 14th.
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Riley Stewart. Photo courtesy of Riley Stewart.
Riley Stewart (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek HS)
Personal bests: Mile – 4:40.66; Two miles – 10:27.96; 800 – 2:08.22
Riley Stewart is a three-time Gatorade Colorado Girls' Player of the Year – twice in cross country and once in track and field. Riley holds the record for the fastest high school 1,600 in the state of Colorado (4:44.13). She did even better, running a 4:40.66 mile while placing second at the Brooks PR Invitational. That time placed her No. 6 in the nation for 2021. Running for Cherry Creek High, Stewart was a triple state 5A champion last spring – in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200. She's also won three state 5A cross country championships and has three state 5A Runner of the Year honors.
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Caroline Wells. Photo by Cedric Gillette.
Caroline Wells (Winter Springs, Fla./Winter Springs HS)
Personal bests: Mile – 4:42.40; 5,000 – 16:16.02; 3,200 – 10:08.77
Caroline Wells holds three Florida high school records – in the 5,000 (16:16.02) and 3,200 (10:08.77) on the track and in the 5K (16:40.2) in cross country. She placed fourth in the Brooks PR Invitational in the mile in 4:42.50, which placed her No. 9 in the nation for 2021. Competing for Winter Springs High, Wells earned the 2020 Gatorade Florida Girls Cross Country Player of the Year. She is a two-time state 3A champ in cross country and a double state 3A winner in track last spring, in the 1,600 and 3,200. Wells is the No. 33-ranked recruit in the country and MileSplit described her ability to run as fast in the 1,600 and 3,200, as "exceptional and a true display of raw fitness and firepower."
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Juliette Whittaker. Photo by Chuck Utash/DyeStat.com.
Juliette Whittaker (Laurel, Md./Mount de Sales Academy)
Personal bests: 800 – 2:01.15; 1,500 – 4:19.79; Mile – 4:38.65; 3,200 – 10:23.14; 5,000 – 16:58.32
Juliette Whittaker is ranked as the nation's No. 1 recruit by MileSplit. Focusing on the 800 in 2021, she ran sub-2:02 four times in a five-week span and six times overall. Whittaker advanced to the semifinals of the 800 at the U.S. Olympic Trials, placing 10th overall. Her best time of 2:01.15 was No. 2 in the nation among high school runners in 2021 and places her No. 7 on the all-time high school list. She followed with a 4:38.65 mile to win the Brooks PR Invitational with the year's fastest time. Whittaker, who attends Mount de Sales Academy, also is No. 3 all-time in the indoor 800 (2:02.07) and has run a 4:19.79 in the 1,500, and 10:23.14 in the 3,200. She joined future Stanford teammate Roisin Willis in setting a world indoor under-20 record in the 4x800.
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Roisin Willis. Photo by Kirby Lee/Image of Sport.
Roisin Willis (Stevens Point, Wis./Stevens Point HS)
Personal bests: 800 – 2:00.78; 400 – 52.64; 1,000 – 2:41.51; 1,600 – 4:41.46
Roisin Willis is a two-time Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Player of the Year and the No. 3-ranked recruit in the class of 2022 by MileSplit. Willis reached the 800 semifinals of the U.S. Olympic Trials, placing 13th overall. She ran the fastest high school 800 in the nation in 2021. Her 2:00.78 was a U.S. under-18 record, a Wisconsin state record, and made her No. 4 all-time at that distance. Her 52.64 in the 400 was placed her No. 3 in the nation in 2021 and her 2:41.53 in the indoor 1,000, is No. 2 all-time among high school runners. Roisin, who competes for Stevens Point High, combined with future Stanford teammate Juliette Whittaker to set a world under-20 indoor record in the 4x800. Also, her 4:41.46 was the sixth-fastest 1,600 in the nation in 2021.