Stanford senior Elliott Heath was not to be denied. Only a few days earlier he talked about facing track-and-field rival Cal in his fourth straight Big Meet. Heath said since he had beaten the Bears three times before, this was not the time for the streak to end.
And, it didn't. On sunny day at Stanford's Cobb Track and Angell Field, not only did the Cardinal men keep their winning streak intact against Cal but the Stanford women avenged last year's loss in the 117th annual Big Meet.
With Heath winning two events, the Cardinal men won, 98-65, while the Stanford women pinned an 88-75 loss on the visiting Bears.
The Cardinal men have now won five straight Big Meets, while the Cardinal women has started a new streak after losing last season for the first time since 2000. The Stanford men still trail the all-time series, 66-49-2, while women improved to 21-11.
The Cardinal women made it interesting, taking it all the way to the second-to-last event, the 3,000 meters, with Stanford clinging to a one-point lead. Stanford needed a 1-2 finish to clinch the meet title and ran perfect tactical race to accomplish the goal. Victoria Pennings took out the pace hard to setup teammates Kate Niehaus and Stephanie Marcy. Niehaus broke from the field and won in 9:34.50, while Marcy waited and unleashed a big kick to place second in 9:34.77, nearly catching her teammate from way behind.
The top individual for Stanford was Kori Carter, who won both the 100- and 400-meter hurdles. Carter ran 13.62 and 59.78, respectively, to score 10 points for the team. Katie Nelms also excelled in the hurdles, placing third in the 100 hurdles in 13.91 and coming from behind take second at the line in the 400's in 1:00.55.
Other event winners on the track for Stanford were Shataya Hendricks and Carissa Levingston in the sprints and Joy O'Hare in the 800 meters. Hendricks took the 100 meters in a personal best of 11.49, which ranks fifth in Stanford school history. Levingston was the runnerup in the 100 with a time of 11.60, but won the 200 in 23.58. O'Hare took the 800 with an impressive kick, running 2:08.94 as part of a Stanford sweep. Justine Fedronic placed second in 2:09.86, while Madeline Duhon was third in 2:10.86. Duhon also placed second in the 1,500 meters in a personal-best time of 4:21.61.
Other events of note on the track were Hannah Farley who was the runnerup in the 400 meters and the 4x400-meter relay. Farley ran a personal best of 54.84, which ranks 10th all-time at Stanford. She then helped the Cardinal to victory in the 4x400 by taking out the leadoff leg. Teammates Kellie Schueler, O'Hare and Kala Stepter polished off the victory in 3:43.62.
Katerina Stefanidi led the Cardinal in the field events, winning the pole vault competition with a mark of 14-1 ¼. Ellie McCardwell also scored in the event, clearing 12-9 ½.
In the throws, the Cardinal had a pair of event winners with Eda Karesin capturing the javelin and Alyssa Wisdom winning the shot put. Karesin and Liz Minoofar led the Cardinal 1-2 finish in the javelin as Karesin threw 157-10, while Minoofar threw a personal best of 156-1. Wisdom won the shot put with a personal-best toss of 48-3 ½.
Other notables were Whitney Liehr, who was second in both the long jump and the triple jump, and Adrienne Johnson, who was the runnerup in the high jump. Liehr leaped a personal best of 20-5 ¾ to move to seventh all-time in the long jump and matched her personal best of 43-8 ½ in the triple jump, which ranks second all-time at Stanford. Johnson recorded a personal best of 5-9 ¼ in the high jump that ranks fifth all-time at Stanford.
The men's meet was a bit less interesting as the Cardinal dominated throughout. Mark Mueller clinched the win in the 200 meters, winning in 21.33, but the meet had been all-but decided for some time.
Mueller's best run came in the meet's final event, however, as he anchored the 4x400-meter relay. The Cardinal senior took the baton a couple paces off the lead, but ran an outstanding anchor to run down Cal on the final straightaway. The Cardinal finished with a time of 3:14 as Alfredo Corral, Kevin Cardey and Spencer Chase running the first three legs.
Chase was the individual champion in the 400 meters, winning in 47.95. Corral also scored a point, placing third in 48.89.
Stanford's star of the meet was Heath, who outkicked the field in winning both the 800 and 1,500 meters. Heath, who generally runs longer distances, showed off his range in the middle distances. Heath ran 1:52.50 in the 800 and 3:43.58 in the 1,500 for the double-victory. The Cardinal scored well in both events as Andrew Berberick took second in the 1,500 (3:44.13) and Spencer Castro took third in the 800 (1:53.66).
Heath's distance buddies also excelled in the 3,000 meters as Chris Derrick outkicked Michael Coe of California to win in 8:06.46. Jake Riley grabbed the third-place point with a time of 8:11.70.
The other event winner on the track was Amaechi Morton, who cruised to any easy victory in the 400 intermediate hurdles. Morton ran 52.34 after finishing second in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.37.
The surprise point-scorer in the hurdles was Benjamin Johnson, who took third in the 400 IH despite being a steeplechase runner. He was the runnerup in his primary event, clocking a personal-best time of 8:57.94. JT Sullivan placed third in the steeple with a time of 9:02.73.
The Cardinal also won the 4x100-meter relay as the team of Tyrone McGraw, Mueller, Colin Hepburn and Ryan Brown ran 41.32 for the meet title. McGraw also had a point in the open 100 meters, running 10.79 to finish third.
In the field, the Cardinal were led by Jules Sharpe in the jumps and Geoffrey Tabor and Carter Wells in the throws. Sharpe took the high jump title with a leap of 6-11 ¾, while finishing as the runnerup in the triple jump with a mark of 48-11.
Tabor and Wells each had a meet title with Tabor winning the discus and Wells the hammer throw. Tabor won the discus in 188-9, which ranks eighth in school history and also threw the shot 57-7 ½. Wells won the hammer in 188-2 and placed third in the discus, throwing 165-10. Also in the throws, Quinn Dawson had a pair of runnerup finishes, tossing the hammer 186-3 and the discus 174-3.
The Cardinal also had a 1-2 finish in the javelin as Robert Hintz had a personal best of 203-5 to win and Aaron Konigsberg tossed 199-8 to place second. The throws were fourth and sixth all-time at Stanford.
Finally on the field, Corey Dysick won the pole vault, clearing a personal best of 17-0 ¼ to move into a tie for fourth all-time at Stanford.
The Cardinal will now head to Berkeley next week for the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. The two-day meet will be April 22-23.