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Stanford Track: 15 Stanford Athletes Advance to Nationals

Another solid weekend for Stanford track and field.

Track and Field: Stanford Invitational Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With Stanford’s sound performance at NCAA West Regionals at the University of Kansas this past weekend, 15 of the Cardinal’s most primed athletes (12 individual and a relay) can now begin to book their trips to Nationals at Oregon University’s storied Hayward Field from June 8th through the 11th.

The Memorial Day weekend was drenched in rain, forcing the meet to be condensed from three days to only two. Albeit hectic, the women’s 4*400m relay squad highlighted the weekend, running 3:31.15s. The team comprised of Gaby Gayles, Olivia Baker, Michaela Crunkleton Wilson, and Kristyn Williams finished third in their heat—which earns an automatic berth into nationals—and recorded the second-fastest time in school history. The men’s 4*400m team finished just short of a qualification, taking fourth.

In the women’s 1500m, both fifth year senior Molly McNamara and sophomore Elise Cranny qualified by finishing second in their respective heats with times of 4:17.20s and 4:21.93s. This will be McNamara’s first appearance at Nationals, and a perfect way to walk out on a high note. She took second in her heat with a massive closing kick, continuing her breakout season. Senior Rebecca Mehra finished just outside of qualifying, with a 4:22.33s. She made a move to keep up with Cranny and Fresno State’s Annemarie Schwanz in the second half of the race, but just could not hold on to make it to the finish.

Senior Justin Brinkley was left questioning every step as he just missed qualifying in the men’s 1500… by only 0.007 seconds! He tried to avoid getting caught in the pack by running on the outside for the final 600m, but those few extra meters may have come back to haunt him.

Fifth year senior Aisling Cuffe (16:08.45s) and junior Vanessa Fraser (16:10.57) qualified in the women’s 5000m, taking second and fourth respectively. In the men’s 5000m, Sean McGorty’s 14:12.52 and Grant Fisher’s 14:14.42 earned them both tickets to Oregon. With five advancing automatically, the men just had to stick with the pack of four trailing behind Oregon prodigy and clear leader of the field, Edward Cheserek.

Junior Valerie Allman advanced in the discus. She tossed a 182’ 9" on her second of three throws, which was good enough for fifth place.

Athletes that had qualified before this meet include Dylan Duvio in the men’s pole vault, Mackenzie Little in the women’s javelin, Harrison Williams in the decathlon, and Olivia Baker and Claudia Saunders in the women’s 800m.

The Cardinal will now have the entire week and then some to recover, and prepare for its season finale up north.