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Indoor track begins season with a record breaking start

The men’s and women’s track and field team set multiple meet and school records at the UW Indoor Preview this past weekend

Senior Missy Mongiovi (above) helped the women's 4x400 relay team finish first at the UW Indoor Invitational. (JOHN P. LOZANO/isiphotos.com)

In the first collegiate indoor meet of the season this weekend, Stanford’s men’s and women’s track and field broke several school and meet records across various events at the UW Indoor meet in Seattle, Washington.

In the 600 meters, sophomore Louis Stenmark broke two records after his impressive time of 1:17.59 earned him the victory. Stenmark, from Mosman in New South Wales, Australia, broke the school record held by Luke Lefebure’s 1:18.39 performance in 2014. He also broke the UW Indoor meet record of 1:17.74 set in 2013 by Washington’s Maurice McNeal.

Since the 600 meter race is not a distance run at the NCAA Indoor meet, athletes usually only run this distance at this meet. Stenmark ran 1:21.86 in the 600 meters at this meet last year, finishing seventh. His four-second improvement on Saturday may be an indicator for what is to come this season for the Australian.

Stenmark was joined in the race by junior Julian Body and senior Isaac Westlund, who both set personal bests. Body’s 1:19.38 time was a personal best and No. 3 time in program history. Westlund also ran a personal best of 1:21.26 for fourth place. Body and Westlund joined forces with freshman Miles Zoltak and sophomore Gabriel Navarro in the 4×400 meter relay, finishing atop the field with a time of 3:14.29.

In the men’s mile, freshman Clayton Mendez won his heat and finished eighth overall in 4:06.5 for a personal best. He ran the fastest freshman mile since 1998 and holds the fourth best all-time Stanford freshman time.

Fifth-year Harrison Williams, who is embarking on his final season as a Cardinal, won the long jump (7.11 meters), finished fifth in the pole vault (5.20 meters) and fourth in the 60 meter hurdles. The decathlon veteran has four All-American titles to his name and a Pac-12 Championship.

On the women’s side, several freshman had particularly strong performances at their collegiate career debuts. Out of a field of 36 athletes in the 60 meter dash, freshman Kennedy Gamble and sophomore Ashlan Best reached the finals of the event. Best clocked in 7.55 for fifth place, while Gamble finished seventh (7.65).

Best and Gamble joined sophomore Carolyn Wilson and senior Missy Mongiovi, a three-time All-American, in the 4×400 relay, which the Cardinal won with a time of 3:45.76. The Cardinal men and women both took first place in this race at this meet, demonstrating the team’s strength in the event. Wilson also won the 600 meters in 1:31.54.

Senior Kaitlyn Merritt finished fourth in the pole vault event, but first among collegiate athletes after clearing 4.10 meters tying her best from last year’s indoor season. Merritt’s performance secures her the No. 2 spot on Stanford’s all-time indoors list in the event.

In the 20-pound weight throw, freshman Jordan Fong threw for 16.77 meters, a personal best that placed her No. 10 all-time in Stanford history. Fong follows in the footsteps of fifth-year Lena Giger who, as a freshman, earned the No. 7 spot on Stanford’s all-time list in the sport.

At the meet this past weekend, Giger cruised to first in the shot put with a 16.73 meter throw in an event that she finished sixth in at the NCAA Indoor Championships last year. The three-time All-American embarks on her final season as a Cardinal. In her indoor season last year, Giger broke the school record, throwing 17.78 meters to win the Husky Invitational.

Stanford will return to Seattle for the UW Invitational on Jan, 25 and Jan. 26.

 

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

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