From April 1-2, thousands of track and field athletes from 110 colleges and universities as well as high schools and unaffiliated programs will swarm to The Farm for the 41st annual Stanford Invitational — a meet which offers qualifying opportunities for the NCAA preliminaries and for the US Olympic Team Trials.
The Cardinal are looking to carry their success from a strong indoor season into outdoor competition. Stanford totaled five top four finishers at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships from March 11-12, including a third in the women’s DMR and a fourth in the men’s DMR. Additionally, junior Sean McGorty finished second in the 3000 meters and sophomore decathlete and Stanford record holder Harrison Williams, finished fourth in the heptathlon.
Although freshman heptathlete Brittany McGee is currently healing from an injury and won’t be competing this weekend, she is still looking forward to the competition.
“The whole team has been telling us that this meet is like no other that we will attend. The atmosphere is supposed to be like nothing else,” McGee said. “I’ve heard that all of our bleachers will be filled, people will line the fence around the track and the cheering will be so loud during races that you’ll barely be able to hear yourself think. Not only that, but it also has some top level competition that we don’t even have to leave campus to compete against.”
Freshman Lucas Ege agrees that having the meet at home is special.
“I’ve heard that this is one of the most exciting and fun meets we participate,” Ege said. “All of your friends can come down the track to watch the competitions.”
The Stanford men and women are competing in almost every one of the 123 events. Junior Valarie Allman, who was recently named Women’s Field Athlete of the Week by the Pac-12 and places No. 2 on Stanford’s all time performers’ list, is the defending Pac-12 champion in discus. She will compete in the hammer throw invite as well as the discus throw invite.
Sophomore Olivia Baker, who placed third in the 800 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships last month with the fastest time in Stanford history, will run the 100 meters and the 400 meters along with some of her 4 x 400 meter relay teammates: sophomores Michaela Crunkleton Wilson and Gaby Gayles and senior Kristyn Williams. Freshman Missy Mongiovi will also be running the 100 meters and the 400 meters.
Sophomore Elise Cranny will compete in the 800 meters. Juniors Vanessa Fraser and Malika Waschmann and senior Claudia Saunders will run in the 1500 meters. Sophomores Lena Giger and Tristen Newman will compete in the shot put invites.
The men’s 100 meters will field six Stanford competitors: sophomores Isaiah Brandt-Sims, Daniel Brady, Colin Dolese, Frank Kurtz, and seniors Miguel Shaw and Jackson Shumway. The men’s 800 will host seven Stanford competitors including senior Justin Brinkley and freshman Daniel Book. Brinkely will also run in the 1500 meters.
The meet begins on Friday at 9 a.m. on the Cobb Track and Angell Field.
Contact Matthew Bernstein at mbernste ‘at’ stanford.edu.