For the first time since 2015, Stanford track and field will compete at the two-day Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Friday and Saturday. The Cardinal will be represented by 49 athletes as the team heads to its second meet of the indoor season.
After a nearly two-week break from competition since the season-opening UW Preview at the University of Washington on Jan. 18, the Cardinal head to Arkansas with their focus on setting personal bests, according to first-year head coach J.J. Clark.
“Everyone can be on board with getting a personal best,” said Clark, who doesn’t rely on national rankings as a metric of success.
“I focus more on execution,” said Clark. “Obviously we want to qualify for nationals, but the way you do it is by executing your plan.”
For Aria Small, her execution at the opener led to a meet-winning leap of 12.19 meters in the women’s triple jump, becoming one of two Stanford athletes to win their event. The junior is slated to compete in her same two signature events this weekend, the triple jump and long jump.
Junior Ashlan Best clocked the fourth-fastest 400-meter dash in program history in her season debut. Her time of 53.69 was the fourth-fastest in the nation at the time she ran it, but since then it has moved down to 13th. The sprinter is scheduled to compete in the invitational heat of the 400 meters against several of the competitors ranked ahead of her.
Seniors Ella Donaghu and Christina Aragon, along with junior Jess Lawson, will represent the Stanford women in the invitational mile. Donaghu and Lawson had particularly strong season debuts, running the No. 1 times in the country in the 3,000 meters and mile. Since the opener, Lawson’s mile time of 4:37.64 has moved to No. 4 in the country, while Donaghu’s time of 8:58.305 in the 3,000 meters still stands as the only collegiate time under nine minutes.
On the men’s side, sophomore Max McKhann, who won the men’s weight throw at the UW Preview with the ninth-longest hurl in program history, is slated to compete in the same event this weekend. His meet-winning toss of 18.19 meters ranks 64th in the nation heading into the weekend.
In his collegiate debut, freshman Devin Hart clocked a stunning 3,000-meter time of 8:02.47, the seventh fastest in the country. The New Jersey native will compete in his first collegiate mile this weekend. His personal best at 1,600 meters is 4:09.49.
Meanwhile, in the invitational mile, junior D.J. Principe and senior Alex Ostberg will face a competitive field capable of running under four minutes. While Principe’s best mile time is 4:00.73, Ostberg dipped under the famed barrier for the first time in his career with a 3:59.31 at the UW Invitational last year.
Junior Brandon McGorty is listed to compete in the 800 meters. Brandon, brother to 5,000-meter NCAA champion Sean McGorty ’17 M.S. ’18, opened his indoor season with a 2:26.24 in the 1,000 meters at the UW Preview. While his 800-meter personal best of 1:48.58 in the event stretches back to his high school career, Brandon will be representing Stanford in the 800 for the first time in two years.
The Razorback Invitational kicks off Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. PST, and Saturday’s events begin at 8:40 a.m PST.