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Brooks, men’s relay shine for track and field at Pac-12s
Fifth-year senior Darian Brooks (above) took the Pac-12 triple jump title for the third straight season, the most for any competitor in the history of the event. (DAVID BERNAL/isiphotos.com)

Brooks, men’s relay shine for track and field at Pac-12s

Fifty-six Stanford athletes competed at the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships at the University of Washington on May 14 and 15. For the third consecutive year, the Stanford women took third place with a score of 90, while the Stanford men took sixth place with a score of 74. The Cardinal also took six combined conference titles, the most by any Stanford men’s and women’s teams since 2005.

Competing in his hometown, two-time defending champion fifth-year senior Darian Brooks won the Pac-12 men’s triple jump with a 51-11 3/4. Brooks became the first person in conference history to win three consecutive titles in the event.

Junior Valarie Allman, the 2015 Pac-12 women’s discus champion, also defended her title, winning the event with a 188-11. In addition, Allman placed second in the hammer throw, an event that she mostly does for practice, with a 194-5.

In addition, sophomores Elise Cranny and Olivia Baker were also at the top of their events. Cranny won the women’s 1,500 meters with a 4:17.72, the first Cardinal victory in this event since 2007. Meanwhile, Baker won the women’s 400 with a 53.20, the first Stanford event win since 2006.

Freshman Mackenzie Little rounded out the individual champions, taking the women’s javelin with a 176-2. The win gave Stanford its fifth consecutive Pac-12 title in this event.

“I don’t really thrive under too much pressure usually, but this is something I just had to do,” Little said. “I was expected to come out on top and I managed to do that, so I’m happy.”

The top-seeded men’s 4×400-meter relay team of sophomores Harrison Williams and Frank Kurtz, junior Isaiah Brandt-Sims and senior Jackson Shumway made a bit of history itself by taking its event with a 3:08.13 and becoming the first Stanford men’s team to achieve a conference title since 1954.

Another top finisher in the track events was the Cardinal women’s 4×400-meter relay team. Sophomores Michaela Crunkleton-Wilson, Gaby Gayles and Baker, and senior Kristyn Williams took second with a time of 3:36.19.

Junior Vanessa Fraser ran the 10K and took fourth with a 33:55.99, a personal best, that put her No. 10 on Stanford’s top-10 all-time performers list.

“It was a great race in terms of mental effort,” Fraser said.

Stanford also placed two athletes in the top five in the men’s 1,500. Senior Justin Brinkley took fourth with a personal best of 3:40.31. Brinkley was recently named track and field’s Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and received an NCAA post-graduate scholarship. Junior Sean McGorty finished just behind him in fifth with time of 3:40.74.

In the men’s pole vault, junior Dylan Duvio tied Arizona’s Pau Tonnesen for second place in a tie with a 17-4 ½ after battling a two-hour rain delay and severe calf cramps.

“I am just really stoked,” Duvio said. “I am really ready to go out and compete like I did today. I feel like that will carry me on to nationals. Nationals will be the place to be.”

Up next for those athletes that qualified are the NCAA West Prelims held in Lawrence, Kansas on May 26-28. The top 12 finishers will advance to the NCAA Championships held in Eugene, Oregon from June 8-11.

 

Contact Matthew Bernstein at mbernste ‘at’ stanford.edu.