Yesterday was even quieter than Tuesday for our program here at home. The morning distance crew practice was comprised of Will, Garrett, Thomas, Luke and myself. Starting from the track around 7:20 a.m., we headed out going west on Campus Drive towards the hospital, eventually connecting with Junipero Serra and then onto Alpine Road.
After the run, a few of us headed to weight room for our usual 30-minute Wednesday session. Under the previous coaching staff, distance runners didn’t hit the weight room at all, but it’s something Coach Milt believes will lead to us becoming more well-rounded athletes. Most of our work focuses on core stability and bodyweight upper-body exercises. In the afternoon, freshman sprinter Jack Shumway could be seen doing some run-throughs over hurdles and pole vaulter Garrett Starkey did some short sprints up and down the home stretch. All in all, it was a relatively uneventful day for those athletes still on campus.
That’s because right now, our 35 regional athletes and the coaching staff are in Austin, Texas, as the regional competition begins today. Geoff Tabor will start things off in the first round of the discus at noon, while the running events get underway at 4:30 p.m. with Kori Carter and Kala Stepter running the opening round of the 400-meter hurdles. Molly McNamara and Tate Murray will follow in the 1500-meter at 5:30 p.m., and Mike, Stutz, Marco and Justin will run the same event starting a half-hour later.
Also at 6 p.m., high jumpers Jules Sharpe and Dartis Willis will compete in their preliminary heats while two-time All-American long jumper Karynn Dunn will jump in her signature event. The 2012 Olympic finalist Steve Solomon will run in the opening round of the 400-meter race at 7:45 p.m., with our 800-meter trio of Justine Fédronic, Amy Weissenbach and Claudia Saunders competing in their first-round races shortly thereafter. Jim Rosa’s 10,000-meter race at 9:40 p.m. will end Thursday’s action for Stanford…it will certainly be a busy day.
With the 2012-13 cross country and track and field season almost behind us, I would be remiss if I didn’t familiarize you with our incoming recruiting classes. Once again on the men’s side, we will bring in the top distance runners in the nation, a group headlined by two-time Footlocker National Championship finalist and 2012 runner-up Sean McGorty from Fairfax, Va., who will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact this fall in cross country. Jack Keelan out of Illinois also has an impressive résumé, including a sub-8:50 3200-meter performance at last month’s Arcadia Invitational. Scott Buttinger is the fastest Canadian high-schooler in the 1500-meter race, and Sam Wharton was the 2012 NXN cross country individual champion. Those are just a part of what promises to be an incredible distance haul for our team in the years to come.
In my last blog installment tomorrow, I’ll recap Day One at the regional meet and talk more about our female recruits for the Class of 2017.