Sports

Stanford's Allman wins discus at U.S. junior nationals

Stanford sophomore Valarie Allman captured the women's discus title and former teammate Megan Glasmann won the women's javelin on Sunday at the USATF Junior National Track and Field Championships on Sunday in Eugene, Ore.

Allman, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, won with a personal-best throw of 188-6. She improved upon her Stanford freshman record on her first throw to win by 14 feet. She remains at No. 3 on Stanford's all-time list, improving on her previous frosh record of 187-7. The throw ranks her No. 1 among world juniors.

"This is my third time at juniors. I started doing track & field my sophomore year of high school.

My coach took me to juniors and it completely opened my eyes to what throwing could be like," Allman said. "I had no idea that it was something I could pursue after high school. I remember being at that meet and seeing Shelby Vaughan throw and being like, oh my gosh, there is so much room to grow.

"Last year was a tough year and it didn't go as I was hoping, but after talking to my coach and my family I realized there was a lot that I could learn from the experience. It was a long wait to be able to go from that time to here now, but it was it was worth every moment of the training and the lifting."

Allman's winning throw qualified her for the IAAF World Junior Championships later this month, also at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field, July 22-27.

"I'm really excited to see how the world treats track and field because I've only seen it through the lens of the United States," Allman said.

Allman will be joined at World Juniors by former teammate Megan Glasmann plus incoming freshmen Elise Cranny and Olivia Baker after all three finished among the top two in their events.

Glasmann repeated the junior national title she first won as a high school senior in Park City, Utah. Glasmann's top throw of 175-0 was a season best by more than 10 feet and places her at No. 2 on both the Stanford all-time and freshman lists, behind current three-time All-America Brianna Bain.

Glasmann, however, recently left school after dealing with injuries this season.

"I thought going into college I would continue to thrive and I found going to Stanford wasn't the best fit for me," Glasmann said. "I was released several weeks ago and I came to this meet unattached. I actually had a stress injury in my foot, so I took some time off and came into this meet just hoping to hit a good mark. It was incredible being out there and feeling like I was me again.

"I was out to prove something to myself, to my family, and to everyone out there, but mostly myself. I had felt like I was losing the sport because it was the wrong rhythm for me all this year. Coming out here and feeling one again, just the javelin and me, no longer the javelin as one thing and I'm throwing it. Just going down the runway and it releases and you watch it and it's like wow!"

Baker, the nation's top recruit in the girls' 400 meters, finished second in 52.46 to earn a return trip to Oregon for Junior Worlds. Her time set a New Jersey state prep record, breaking the mark of 52.56 set in 1998 by Olympian Mikele Barber.

"I feel awesome. This was the goal," Baker said. "I really wanted to come and make the team and it's especially a bonus getting to run an individual event and not just getting to run a relay. So now I get the opportunity to compete and run an individual race and a relay."

Also finishing second was Cranny, who clocked 4:17.40 in the women's 1,500. She, too, is a No. 1 national recruit.

"I thought it was a good race, (winner) Alexa (Efraimson) really changed her pace in the last 400. I think I should have tried to go a little sooner. I waited too long and the last 100 she (Efraimson) just had another gear. I think that if I would have changed gears sooner it might have been a little closer in the last 100."

Cranny ranks among the all-time prep girls in the 1,500, along with Efraimson and national recordholder Mary Cain.

"All of us owe a lot to Mary (Cain). I don't think Alexa and I would be running that fast, because I think that she showed us that we can run faster," Cranny said. "It keeps going down the line and inspires everyone."

Also placing second was incoming freshman Rachel Reichenbach out of Foothill High in Pleasanton. Reichenbach cleared a liftime best of 5-8 3/4 in the high jump. Though the top two in each event earn the right to advance to Worlds, Reichenbach has not achieved the qualifying standard of 5-11 1/2..

Elsewhere on Sunday, Stanford's Thomas Coyle was fourth in the men's 1,500 in 3:52.94 and Gunn High grad Kieran Gallagher of Harvard finished eighth in the women's 1,500 in 4:38.94.

At the Canadian Junior Championships in Ste-Therese, Quebec, recent Menlo School grad Maddy Price finished sixth in the women's 200 on Sunday. Price clocked 25.18 in the finals after running 24.65 in the prelims earlier in the day. Had she matched her prelim time in the finals, Price would have won.

Price, however, still qualified for the IAAF World Junior Championships by winning the 400 meters on Saturday in a personal best of 53.20.

Also competing was Stanford's Victoria Smith in the women's javelin. She finished fourth at 143-8.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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