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Two Trophies on Day One

Jun 8, 2022

EUGENE, Ore. – Stanford opened the four-day NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with two top-six finishes in the men's 10,000 meters and some history from sprinter Udodi Onwuzurike on Wednesday at Hayward Field. 

Cole Sprout and Charles Hicks placed fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 10,000, scoring a combined eight points for the Cardinal, which brought six men and seven women competitors. Sprout clocked 28:14.89 and Hicks 28:17.88 in the first running final of the meet.

As for Onwuzurike, the Stanford men's sprints program has been waiting 59 years for someone like him. Since 1963, when Larry Questad and Eric Frische both reached the 100- and 220-yard finals, Stanford has not had anyone in the 200 at the NCAA Championships, much less anyone in both short sprints, until Wednesday. 

Onwuzurike advanced to the 200 final by placing second in his semi in 20.24 to advance automatically. His time was third overall. He is the first Stanford men's short sprinter to reach an NCAA final since Darrin Nelson in the 100 in 1980. Nelson was ninth.

Stanford's most recent NCAA 100 appearance before Wednesday was by Wopamo Osaisai in 2008. In both the 100 and 200, Onwuzurike ran Stanford's fastest times ever run this meet. His 10.21 placed him 10th overall, but it was only good for sixth in his semifinal and was not fast enough to advance. Previous Stanford-best NCAA times were 10.38 by Nelson and 20.74 by Questad in 1963 – converted from a 220-yard hand-time of 20.7.

Onwuzurike ensured himself of his first two All-America honors, for clinching places among the top 16. He will race the 200 final on Friday at 7:37 p.m.


Udodi Onwuzurike in the 200. Photo by David Hicks.

In the 10,000, Sprout earned his highest NCAA finish – including cross country, and indoor and outdoor track – and Hicks earned his highest placing at outdoor nationals. Sprout, a sophomore, was fifth in the NCAA indoor 5,000 in March, and Hicks was seventh in the NCAA outdoor 10,00 last season, in previous high finishes. 

Campbell's Athanas Kioko bolted to a huge lead from the gun. Sprout led the peloton briefly, but mostly he and Hicks settled near the front of the pack that pulled in Kioko with six laps to go. By this time, Hicks had blood dripping down his face and on to his singlet after getting bumped during the race, causing a bloody nose and cut lip.

The pack began to split as Northern Arizona's Abdihamid Nur pushed with 1,000 to go. Sprout was sixth and Hicks seventh at the bell. Sprout pushed hard on the backstretch to move into fourth and made a run at the fading Nur down the stretch. Sprout finished with a final lap split of 56.87. 

The first Stanford athlete to compete was pole vaulter Max Manson, a junior in his first NCAA Championships. Manson cleared his first two heights, with a best of 16-10 3/4 (5.15m) before missing three tries at 17-4 1/2 (5.30m). 

Sprout races again, running the 5,000 on Friday, alongside teammate Ky Robinson. Also competing Friday is triple jumper Keyshawn King, and Onwuzurike in the 200.

The Stanford men are tied for 10th with 8 points after six events scored. The women begin action on Thursday, with javelin thrower Virginia Miller the only one to compete in a final on the meet's Day Two.
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NCAA Championships
Wednesday's results
Winners and Stanford

Team scores (6 of 21 events) – 1, Tennessee 21; 2, Florida State 16; 3, Princeton 15; 10 (tie), Stanford 8. 
100 semifinals – 10, Udodi Onwuzurike (Stanford) 10.21. 
200 semifinals – 3, Udodi Onwuzurike (Stanford) 20.24 (Onwuzurike qualifies for final). 
10,000 – 1, Dylan Jacobs (Notre Dame) 28:12.32; 4, Cole Sprout (Stanford) 28:14.89; 6, Charles Hicks (Stanford) 28:17.88.
Pole vault – 1, Sondre Guttormsen (Princeton) 18-10 ¼ (5.75); 21, Max Manson (Stanford) 16-10 ¾ (5.15m). 
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Stanford's Schedule

5:46 p.m.: Women's 1,500 semifinals (top 5, plus 2) – Ht.1: Christina Aragon; Ht.2: Julia Heymach, Melissa Tanaka. 
6:45 p.m.: Women's javelin trials and final – Fl.2: Virginia Miller.
7:14 p.m.: Women's 800 semifinals (top 2, plus 3) – Ht.1: Ellie Deligianni.

1 p.m.: Women's heptathlon 100 hurdles – Ht.2: Allie Jones.
2 p.m.: Women's heptathlon high jump – Fl.1: Allie Jones.
4 p.m.: Women's heptathlon shot put – Fl.1: Allie Jones.
6:20 p.m.: Men's triple jump trials and final – Fl.1: Keyshawn King.
7:37 p.m.: Men's 200 final – Udodi Onwuzurike.
7:43 p.m.: Women's heptathlon 200 – Sec.1: Allie Jones.
7:55 p.m.: Men's 5,000 final – Ky Robinson, Cole Sprout.

10:30 a.m.: Women's heptathlon long jump – Fl.1: Allie Jones.
11:45 a.m.: Women's heptathlon javelin – Fl.1: Allie Jones.
2:41 p.m.: Women's 1,500 final.
3:44 p.m.: Women's 800 final.
4:13 p.m.: Women's heptathlon 800 – Allie Jones.
4:25 p.m.: Women's 5,000 final – Lucy Jenks.