The 4*400 relay team of Frank Kurtz, Isaiah Brandt-Sims, Harrison Williams, and Jackson Shumway have forever stamped their names into the Stanford history books this past weekend.
At the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas, the men tackled the long-standing school record of 3:06.74s set in 1978 by a team anchored by NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton, with their 3:05.59s. This mark positions the Cardinal into the No. 10 spot in the nation this year for the event.
Williams led off with a 47.0s split, followed by Kurtz at 46.6s, and Brandt-Sims in 46.4s. Shumway anchored, going in with an individual 400m personal best of 47.36, only to run a flaming 45.3s.
Williams, the decathlete, came right off the relay to win the 110m high hurdles in 14.27s, and Shumway went on to take third in the 400m intermediate hurdles with a 51.39s.
Valarie Allman took the hammer throw, setting a personal best in each of her last seven consecutive meets. With a 199' 5" -- a 10ft improvement -- she slid up to the No. 3 spot in school history. In addition, her 4-inch improvement in the discus moved her into the No. 6 spot collegiate for the event, with a 190' 11".
Texas native Kristyn Williams returned home to win the 400m in 52.99, and anchored the winning 4*400 relay team. The combined team of Gaby Gayles, Olivia Baker, Kaitlyn Williams, and her twin Kristyn ran a 3:33.96s, which is good enough for a Clyde Hart Stadium record, and No. 8 in school history.
While the sprinters, jumpers, and throwers spent their weekend in Baylor, Stanford and their distance runners hosted the Twilight Invitational.
Fifth-year senior Molly McNamara continues to have a great feel-good story of a season. After years of plateau in her times, she has gone out to set personal bests in each of her first three outdoor meets, especially in her 1500m at Twilight. She finished second with a 5-second best at 4:15.22, moving her into the top-5 collegiately at No. 4. Claudia Saunders took fourth in the event at 4:15.52, and Vanessa Fraser won section two with a 4:19.45 to finish seventh overall.
McNamara credits head coach Chris Miltenberg for her resurgence and his persistent faith in her.
"I just had to trust that it was going to happen at some point," McNamara said. "People keep asking, ‘What did you do differently?' I was this way in cross country, and in my junior year when I couldn't crack 4:30. I've stuck with it, and they were the ones who encouraged me when I wasn't sure if I was cut out for this anymore. The first thing Coach Milt said to me when he got here (in fall, 2012) was, ‘I'm not going to forget about you. I'm not going to put you on a shelf.'"
In the men's 1500m, Sean McGorty took third with a 3:42.22, and freshman Grant Fisher set a personal best of 3:42.85 to take fifth.
Up next for the Cardinal will be hosting the Payton Jordan Invitational on Sunday, May 1st.