Widgets Magazine
Track and field season preview
Senior Olivia Baker (above) will look to add more wins to her impressive college resume this season.(JOHN P. LOZANO/isiphotos.com)

Track and field season preview

The Stanford men’s and women’s track and field teams will begin their indoor season this Saturday at the University of Washington Indoor Preview in Seattle, Washington. According to preseason rankings released Wednesday, the men’s team is ranked 12th and the women’s team is 16th.

Stanford joins Oregon and USC as the only Pac-12 schools to have both the men’s and women’s team in the top 25.

Stanford returns 11 indoor All-Americans this season, including three who will compete this weekend: senior Olivia Baker, fifth-year senior Tom Coyle and junior Missy Mongiovi.

The women’s team is looking to improve upon last year’s indoor season, which concluded with a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. A two-time NCAA finalist in the 800 meters, Baker will begin this indoor season running the 600-meter this weekend. In last year’s race, Baker set a personal best and school record, finishing second with a time of 1:28.22.

Mongiovi, who ran in Stanford’s NCAA runner-up distance medley relay (DMR) team last year, will be joining Baker in the event and running the 4×400 meter relay. Stanford placed third in last year’s 4×400 race.

For the first time in her collegiate career, Baker will be racing in the 1,000-meter event, along with with senior Maddie Berkson, who finished 11th in this race last year, sophomore Ella Donaghu, who will be making her collegiate track debut, and several other Stanford women. Berkson and freshman Jessica Lawson will represent the Cardinal in the 3,000-meter.

Fifth-year senior Valarie Allman, who represented the U.S. team as a discus thrower at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, will begin her final track season as a Cardinal at the event. The veteran, who redshirted last season, competes in the weight throw and has broken the Stanford record in that event six times. She is a captain of the women’s team along with Mongiovi, senior 1,500-meter runner Elise Cranny, and senior high jumper Rachel Reichenbach.

“I could not be more excited to see how the throwers do, as well as the rest of the team,” said Allman, who is the top seed in the weight throw event this weekend.

On the men’s side, the cross-country team is coming off of a fourth place finish at NCAA Championships, as well as a Pac-12 title, and looks to build upon that momentum this track season.

“I’ve seen these guys have a level of focus in December and January that we haven’t had in the past,” said Chris Miltenberg, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field and men’s cross-country head coach.

Tom Coyle, a two-time DMR All-American and sub-four-minute miler, will be racing the 3,000-meter this weekend along with sophomore Isaac Cortes, who finished second in the 1,000-meter at this meet last year.

Among the sprinters, senior Daniel Brady and junior Lucas Edge are seeded second and fifth, respectively, in the 600-meter event. The sprint crew will also boast two teams for the 4×400 meter relay, which the men won last year.

Brady is a captain of the men’s team along with senior middle distance runner Tai Dinger, fifth-year senior Sean McGorty and senior decathlete Harrison Williams.

Several freshmen will make their collegiate debut this weekend, including Ashlan Best, Aria Small, Carolyn Wilson, Brandon McGorty, Gabe Navarro and Louis Stenmark.

“Everything in our system is build upon accumulation … to me it’s a really exciting snowball rolling,” said Miltenberg. “I think the snowball is rolling in a really exciting place.”

 

Contact Alejandro Salinas at asalinas ‘at’ stanford.edu.