By Sydney Shaw
Standout Stanford senior Vanessa Fraser had a record-breaking performance at this weekend’s Payton Jordan Invitational in the 5,000 meter race, setting a personal best by over 15 seconds.
The senior’s 15:25.83 was good for ninth in the invitational section of the meet. Because Fraser is redshirting this season, she raced as an individual and the race did not count for Stanford’s team or name — if it had, it would have put her at No. 5 all-time in front of famous alumni Alicia Craig, a two-time national champion in the 10,000 meters.
Her performance at the invitational has put her on the U.S list at No. 2 and No. 14 in the world this year. Even more impressive is that Fraser was just a walk-on her freshman year and is now a three-time all-American. Starting her freshman year running the same race at 16:22.64, Fraser has decreased her time each year by an absurd average of 12.6 seconds.
“If you would have told me at that meet as a freshman that I was going to run 15:25 in three years, I would have laughed. It seems so huge, but it really only chips away, with consistent training,” Fraser commented after the race.
With a time just short of the U.S. Championships automatic qualifying standard of 15:25, Fraser still has a chance of making the qualifications because of her impressive resume.
Fraser was accompanied by a number of elite competitors in the race, fourteen of whom broke 15:30.
Contact Sydney Shaw at sshaw17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.