Stanford freshman Justin Brinkley won the junior men's 1,500 meters at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, but NCAA champion hurdler Kori Carter was unable to take the starting line in her senior women's 400 hurdles semifinal.
An illness prevented Carter, a Stanford junior now representing Nike, from competing and ended her hopes of making the U.S. team for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
The one bright spot is that Carter will be able to attend her older sister's wedding after all. Had Carter earned a spot on the U.S. team, the world championships would have conflicted with the ceremony.
Six current, former, or future Stanford athletes took part in the concurrent junior and senior championships Saturday, with Brinkley providing the singular highlight by winning in 3:46.64, with Stanford recruit Sean McGorty fourth (3:49.26) and current Cardinal freshman Will Drinkwater seventh (3:53.73).
"This has been the end goal for the whole season," Brinkley said. "It has been my goal since September when I got to school for camp."
McGorty took the initial lead with Brinkley tucked in behind. North Carolina State's Craig Engels had the lead on the final turn, but Brinkley kicked hard and won the sprint to the finish line, raising his arms in triumph.
"I knew, based on the training I have done, that I would be able to close fast," Brinkley said. "I just relied on that. With about 80 meters to go, I knew that I had that last move."
Brinkley, from Kingwood, Texas, had advanced to the NCAA West Prelims in his rookie season.
In the senior men's 1,500 final, Stanford grad Russell Brown led for much of the race, but was unable to maintain position on the final lap, finishing ninth in 3:46.94. Oregon grad Matt Centrowitz won in 3:45.17.
In the first round of the senior women's 200, Cardinal; grad Chauntae Bayne finished second in her heat in a wind-aided 22.39 to earn an automatic spot in the semifinals.
In the junior women's discus final, Stanford recruit Valarie Allman was fifth at 165-2.
Arizona grad Georganne Moline won the 400 hurdles title with a run of 54.82, just nipping Dalilah Muhammand, who came in at 54.83.
Carter and Moline are now teammates with Nike. Carter was 5-0 against Moline in the 400 hurdles this season.
American records fell in the women's hammer (Amanda Bingson, 248-5 twice), women's shot put (Michelle Carter at 66-5) and women's 100 hurdles (Brianna Collins in 12.26).