Stanford makes a big move at NCAA track and field meet


Amaechi Morton helped turn Friday into a Cardinal letter day as the junior raced a season-best 49.08 to finish second in the 400 hurdles at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Morton was one of several Stanford athletes who finished among the top five in their events on the third day of the national event.

Junior Katerina Stefanidi led a successful day for the women's team by placing third in the pole vault with a mark of 14-5 1/4.

The Cardinal men have 24 points, tied for fifth. The Stanford women are third with 25 points.

Chris Derrick and Jake Riley scored in the men's 10,000, which had been delayed nearly 24 hours because of lightning. JT Sullivan and Ben Johnson each recorded in the 3,000 steeplechase.

Stanford's Kathy Kroeger scored in the 5,000 and Whitney Liehr added points in the triple jump for the women's team.

Derrick and Riley finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 10,000. Elliott Heath also ran well, placing 11th, while Miles Unterreiner was 22nd. Derrick and Riley closed hard to finish with times of 28:26.65 and 28:27.31, both personal bests and top-10 all-time marks at Stanford. The Cardinal runners were the top two American-born finishers.

Sullivan ran a career-best time of 8:37.74 to place fourth in the steeplechase, while Johnson ran 8:40.75 to take seventh.

In the pole vault, Stefanidi cleared 14-5 1/4 on her first try, but then failed three times at 14-7 1/4 as she went for a personal best and the eventual winning mark.

In the triple jump, Liehr unleashed the best jump of her career on her final attempt for fifth place. Her mark of 44-1 1/4 ranks second in Stanford history.

Kroeger came through with a personal best of 15:45.55 in the 5,000 to place fifth and move to eighth all-time at Stanford. Stephanie Marcy also competed in the event, but finished 16th.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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