As the No. 13 Stanford men looked to snap a three-year losing streak in the Big Meet, fate would have it such that the Stanford-Cal rivalry would come down to the final 4×400 relay. And instead of Stanford’s usual quartet running the event, sophomore decathlete Harrison Williams, who was named Pac-12 Field Athlete of the Week last week, was a last-minute addition to the lineup, running the leadoff leg.
“I was just trying to give us a good lead when I gave it to Isaiah [Brandt-Sims],” Williams said.
Despite the late substitution, Williams still excelled, giving Stanford a 10-meter lead after one leg, and even though Brandt-Sims didn’t have a clean exchange with Williams, the Bears didn’t even come close as Stanford won by 7.2 seconds to clinch the Big Meet, 86-77, and snap its losing streak to its cross-Bay rival. Williams ran a 47.17, the best in the 400, and propelled teammates Brandt-Sims, sophomore Daniel Brady and senior Jackson Shumway to the win with a time of 3:11.21 to Cal’s 3:18.40.
“I’m a senior, so this is my last Big Meet,” Shumway said. “So to have a group of guys who are capable of winning this with me was pretty fantastic.”
Williams also placed first in the pole vault with a score of 16-0, set a lifetime best in the 110 high hurdles (taking second with a 14.25) and led off the second-place 4×100 team. This came just nine days after his win at the Texas Relays decathlon last week with his score of 7,842, a new Stanford record, the highest score by a collegian or an American this year and the fourth-best score in the world.
The Stanford men also won all four jumping events. Fifth-year senior Dartis Willis II won the high jump with a 7-2¼, while classmate Darian Brooks, the two-time defending Pac-12 Champion, won the triple jump with a 50-9¼ and the long jump with a 23-10¾ in his final Big Meet.
The Stanford men also took the top three spots in the 1,500-meter, each with sub-four-minute miles. Junior Sean McGorty (3:42.11), junior Thomas Coyle (3:42.68) and freshman Grant Fisher (3:42.86) rounded out the top three finish in the meet for the men.
The No. 16 Stanford women earned their fifth victory in six years by a score of 114-48. This was the Stanford women’s largest margin of victory since 2012, when the team won by 81 points. It also marked the 14th consecutive year Stanford has won the women’s javelin, this time with freshman Mackenzie Little’s throw of 179-5.
Other top finishers were junior Vanessa Fraser in the women’s 3,000-meter with a 9:18.20, sophomore Michaela Crunkleton Wilson in the women’s 100-meter with a 11.90 and senior Kristyn Williams in the women’s 400-meter with a 53.53. Finally, junior Valarie Allman, the defending Pac-12 discus champion, won the event with a 184-2. She also won the hammer throw with a personal best of 189-1.
Next up for the Cardinal men and women is the Brutus Hamilton Challenge at Cal and the Stanford Twilight meet at Stanford, both set for Friday, April 22, in addition to the Michael Johnson Invitational at Waco, Texas on Saturday, April 23.
Contact Matthew Bernstein at mbernste ‘at’ stanford.edu.