This past weekend, 9 current Stanford Cardinal athletes continued their season by competing at the US Track and Field Championships up in Sacramento at Hornet Stadium. Joining them also were five alums and two incoming freshmen.
However, stealing the show this weekend were none other than the performances by two names we’ve heard repeatedly all spring: Valarie Allman and Vanessa Fraser.
Allman, who had already hit the World Championship standard in the women’s discus and therefore only needed to finish in the top-3, threw 190’ (57.93m) for third place and will head to London as a part of Team USA. She missed an Olympic spot last year by only 3.5’.
"It feels unreal," Allman said. "It was on my mind all year, wanting to get back in this spot and try to represent our country."
With one season of collegiate eligibility left, Allman will become the first Stanford competitor to represent the Cardinal at the World Championships and then return since triple jumper Erica McLain did it in 2005.
Fraser ran the women’s 5000m, her first ever US championship race. Taking seventh-place, which unfortunately won’t take her to London, she still posted a lifetime best of 15:25.48s and finished second among collegiate athletes in the race.
Both had quiet a hectic weekend, starting from graduating last Sunday and then walking alongside each other dressed as peanut butter and jelly on Wacky Walk, to competing and succeeding on the national stage.
"I don't know if I'll ever have a week as great as this one, to be honest," Allman said.
Allman wasn’t the only Cardinal to make a national team. Joining her was incoming freshman Liam Christensen, who won the junior (under 20) men’s javelin with a throw of 225’ 8” (68.79m). He is now slated to represent the US at the Pan Am Junior Championships down in Lima, Peru later this summer.
This will be the sixth national championship he has won, two being at the Junior Olympics, two at New Balance Outdoor Nationals, and the other at the 2015 US World Youth Trials.
Athletes this weekend had to deal with temperatures that soared over 100-degrees, making these stellar performances all the more remarkable.