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International Championships Next

Jul 31, 2022

SEVEN ATHLETES WITH Stanford ties compete in major international track and field competitions this week – the Commonwealth Games and the World Under-20 Championships. Three are active Cardinal, two are incoming freshmen, and two are alumni. 

Rising sophomore Udodi Onwuzurike, representing Nigeria, and rising junior Ky Robinson, of Australia, compete at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. They are joined by alums Mackenzie Little '19 and Steven Solomon '16, both of Australia. 

Rising sophomore Garrett Brown competes at the World U-20s in Cali, Colombia, along with incoming freshmen Juliette Whittaker and Roisin Willis, all of the U.S. 

Last year, Onwuzurike won the World U20 title in 200 in Nairobi, Kenya. He will be racing in the 100 meters, 200, and 4x100 relay. The Stanford record-holder in the 100, 200, and indoor 60, Onwuzurike is extending a freshman season in which he placed third in the NCAA outdoor 200 and reached the 200 semifinals of the World Championships earlier this month, both in Eugene, Oregon. 

Knowing his season could be long, Stanford sprints coach Jarius Cooper kept Onwuzurike to a light competitive schedule during the collegiate indoor and outdoor seasons. However, including relays and world competitions, Onwuzurike has raced 35 times in 2022 and will receive a much-deserved rest upon his return home to his hometown of West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, before the fall quarter begins in late September. 

 

Ky Robinson. Photo by Spencer Allen/SportsImageWire.com.

Robinson will run the 10,000 in Birmingham. This will be his second meet for the Aussie senior national team, following the World Championships, where Robinson was eighth in his heat of the 5,000 and missed qualifying for the final by fewer than three seconds. Robinson, the Stanford record-holder in the steeplechase, was the NCAA indoor 5,000 runner-up and took fourth in the NCAA outdoor 5,000. 

This will be only the second track 10,000 for Robinson, who made his debut at that distance at the Payton Jordan Invitational on April 29, running 27:47.11 -- the fourth-fastest time in Stanford history and eighth-fastest in Pac-12 Conference history.

Little competes in the javelin. She was fifth at the World Championships and eighth at the Tokyo Olympics. Little was a two-time NCAA champion and holds the Stanford record. 

Solomon is competing in the 400. A six-time member of Australia's global national teams (Olympics and World Championships), Solomon is competing in his third Commonwealth Games. He is Stanford's record-holder in the outdoor 400 and won an NCAA indoor title in the distance medley relay, and was a 2012 Olympic 400 finalist. 

Garrett Brown comes into the World U20s with momentum. On July 9, he broke the Stanford freshman record in the pole vault of 17-8 ¾ (5.41 meters) held by Olympian Toby Stevenson since 1997. Brown jumped 17-9 ¼ (5.42) in Chula Vista, California. 

 

Garrett Brown. Photo by John P. Lozano/ISIphotos.com.

The women's 800 features both Whittaker and Willis, two of the greatest high school half-milers of all time. On July 6, Whittaker was named the Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Player of the Year. 

"Juliette Whittaker had already established herself as one of the elite middle-distance athletes in U.S. prep history by advancing to the 800-meter semifinals at last year's Olympic Trials," wrote DyeStat's Erik Boal. "But following her mile victory at June's Brooks PR Invitational and a pair of sub-two minute efforts in the 800 during this past outdoor season—capped by her national high school record performance at the USATF U20 Championships in Oregon—she has elevated herself into the ranks of the all-time greatest high school competitors, regardless of gender or event. She is poised to make a significant impact at Stanford as the leader of one of the deepest recruiting classes in that program's history."

Whittaker set a meet record in the 800-meter run at June's USATF U20 Outdoor Championships, clocking a 1:59.04 to shave nearly a half-second off the previous high school record, set in 2013. Whittaker also ran four of the U.S. top-50 prep times from 400 meters to a mile in 2022, including the seventh-fastest mile in girls high school history. 

Willis is one of the all-time high school greats herself, breaking the U.S. indoor 800 record, winning the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals in the 400, and reaching the semifinals of the Olympic trials in the 800 in 2021 after her junior year. 

Whittaker and Willis finished 1-2 at the U.S. U20 Championships and rank first and third in the 800 on the all-time national high school list.  

 

Juliette Whittaker. Photo by Kirby Lee/Image of Sport.

 
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Commonwealth Games
Birmingham, England

Live results

Mackenzie Little '19 (Australia): Women's javelin.
Udodi Onwuzurike '25 (Nigeria): Men's 100, 200, 4x100.
Ky Robinson '24 (Australia): Men's 10,000.
Steven Solomon '16 (Australia): Men's 400.

Schedule (all times Pacific)

Tuesday, Aug. 2
2:40 a.m.: Men's 100 first round (Onwuzurike). 
12:35 p.m.: Men's 10,000 final (Robinson).

Wednesday, Aug. 3
4:20 a.m.: Men's 400 first round (Solomon). 
11:10 a.m.: Men's 100 semifinals (Onwuzurike).
1:30 p.m.: Men's 100 final (Onwuzurike).

Thursday, Aug. 4
3:45 a.m.: Men's 200 first round (Onwuzurike).

Friday, Aug. 5
11:09 a.m.: Men's 200 semifinals (Onwuzurike).
1 p.m.: Men's 400 semifinals (Solomon).

Saturday, Aug. 6
4:45 a.m.: Men's 4x100 relay first round (Onwuzurike).
1:18 p.m.: Men's 200 final (Onwuzurike).

Sunday, Aug. 7
2:45 a.m.: Men's 400 final (Solomon).
3:35 a.m.: Women's javelin final (Little).
4:40 a.m.: Men's 4x100 relay final (Onwuzurike).

 

Steven Solomon. Photo by Getty Images.

 
* * * 

World Under-20 Championships
Cali, Colombia

Live results

Garrett Brown '25 (U.S.): Men's pole vault.
Juliette Whittaker '26 (U.S.): Women's 800.
Roisin Willis '26 (U.S.): Women's 800.

Schedule (all times Pacific)

Monday, Aug. 1
4 a.m.: Women's 800 first round (Whittaker, Willis). 

Tuesday, Aug. 2
2 a.m.: Men's pole vault qualifying (Brown).
9:10 a.m.: Women's 800 semifinals (Whittaker, Willis).

Wednesday, Aug. 3
11:10 a.m.: Women's 800 final (Whittaker, Willis).

Thursday, Aug. 4
8:05 a.m.: Men's pole vault final (Brown).