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Two Seconds on Day One

Mar 11, 2022

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Julia Heymach and Ky Robinson each used strong final laps to give Stanford runner-up finishes in the women's distance medley relay and men's 5,000 meters, respectively, on Friday at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex. 

Only 1 hour, 45 minutes, after running 4:33.20 in her mile semifinal, Heymach returned with a 4:33.07 to anchor the Cardinal to a time of 10:53.37 – the second-fastest time in school history and the 11th-fastest in collegiate history. 

Stanford's team was Christina Aragon (1,200), Samantha Thomas (400), Ellie Deligianni (800) and Heymach (1,600). Aragon now is part of Stanford's two fastest DMR's, having anchored the Cardinal school-record of 10:52.02 at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships. 

Robinson and Cole Sprout, who placed fifth, gave Stanford a one-two punch in the 5,000. Robinson's time of 13:20.17 was a personal record, the second-fastest in Stanford indoor history, and the fourth-fastest absolute time (including indoors and outdoors) at that distance for the Card. 

The top four runners in the race eclipsed the meet record, which means that both Robinson and Sprout, who ran 13:25.67, now have run the second- and eighth-fastest times in meet history. 

 

Cole Sprout and Ky Robinson. Photo by David Hicks.

And leading off the meet for the Cardinal was Max McKhann, the first Stanford men's thrower to reach this meet since 2003, when Nick Welihozkiy was 12th in the 35-pound weight throw. Competing in the same event, McKhann, who broke the school record this season, was 12th at 69-2 ½ (21.09m), a distance he reached on his first attempt. He also hit 69-2 (21.08m) on his third and final try.

In the 5,000, Robinson and Sprout began the race conservatively, tucking into 13th and 14th place among a 16-runner field on the 200-meter banked track for the first few laps. 

Robinson moved up slowly for much of the race, settling into sixth through about 4,000. He moved into fourth with five laps to go and stayed there until the bell. 
On the backstretch, Robinson passed Northern Arizona's Nico Young and Florida State's Adriaan Wildschutt, but the gap was too big to try to chase down Northern Arizona's Abdihamid Nur, who earned the victory in a meet record 13:19.01.

Robinson and Sprout each earned first-team All-America honors. It was the second for Robinson on the track, after his fifth at the outdoor NCAA steeplechase last year, and third overall. It is the first track All-America honor for Sprout and his second overall. 

Stanford was in the mix in the DMR from the beginning. Aragon led off with a split of 3:20.67, briefly taking the lead on the fifth lap and handing off in second. Thomas ran a 55.87 split and was sixth at the exchange with Deligianni, who ran 2:03.77 to move the Cardinal into fourth.

Heymach passed the Kentucky and Oregon anchors on the final lap to give Stanford its fifth second-place women's DMR finish since 2014. 

This is the first All-America honor for Thomas and Deligianni. Aragon now is an eight-time All-America and Heymach has six such honors. 

In the team scoring, the Stanford men are fifth with 12 points and the Cardinal women are tied for 11th with 8. 

Stanford has two events on Saturday: Sprout and Charles Hicks race the men's 3,000 at 3 p.m. PT and Heymach races in the women's mile final at 5 p.m. PT. 

 

Max McKhann. Photo by Chuck Aragon.

 
* * * 

NCAA Indoor Championships
At Birmingham CrossPlex
(200-meter banked track)
Winners and all Stanford

Men
Team scores (after the first of two days):
1, Princeton 20; 2, Tennessee 18; 3, Northern Arizona 17; 4, Alabama 14; 5, Stanford 12.
5,000 final – 1, Abdihamid Nur (Northern Arizona) 13:19.01; 2, Ky Robinson (Stanford) 13:20.17 (PB; No. 2 Stanford AT); 5, Cole Sprout (Stanford) 13:25.67.
Weight throw – 1, Bobby Colantonio (Alabama) 77-5 ¼ (23.60m); 12, Max McKhann (Stanford) 69-2 ½ (21.09m). 

Women
Team scores (after the first of two days): 1, Florida 22; 2, Mississippi 21; 3 (tie), Virginia Tech and Arkansas, each 18; 5, BYU 14; 11, Stanford 8.
Mile semifinal
– 3, Julia Heymach (Stanford) 4:33.24 (advances to final). 
Distance medley relay final – 1, Arkansas 10:51.37; 2, Stanford (Christina Aragon, Samantha Thomas, Ellie Deligianni, Julia Heymach) 10:53.37 (No. 2 Stanford AT). 

PB = personal best
AT = all-time