Sports


Stanford women go the distance at MPSF championship meet

 

Stanford won the women's distance medley relay at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor track and field championships on Friday for its first such title since 2008.

The Cardinal team of Jessica Tonn, Olivia Baker, Claudia Saunders, and Elise Cranny ran 11:02.98 for the No. 4 time in Stanford history.

The Cardinal also snapped Washington's three-year hold on the conference DMR title, beating the runner-up Huskies by more than six seconds, and secured a spot in the NCAA Championships on March 13-14 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, by being one of the fastest 12 teams in the country this year.

The DMR highlighted the first day of the two-day MPSF meet, held on the 307-meter flat track at the Dempsey Indoor facility at University of Washington.

It was the first time Stanford had used the lineup. Tonn, a 5,000-meter specialist with great versatility, ran the opening 1,200 leg and had moved past Oregon into second on the final turn, as the Ducks' dropped the baton.

Meanwhile, Baker followed Tonn's 3:23.5 (unofficial) split by quickly making up a 10-meter deficit, running 53.7 on her 400 leg to bolt into a two-stride lead. Saunders took over from there, running 2:07.2 for 800, and extended the lead. Cranny, pushing hard over the final laps, completed the victory with a 4:38.1 1,600 split.

Stanford won five DMR titles in six years (2003-08), and returned to first with two freshmen – Baker and Cranny – among its quartet.

Another freshman, Harrison Williams, made his collegiate multi-events debut and stands fourth after the first day of the seven-event heptathlon.

Williams, the 2014 U.S. junior national champion and national high-school record holder, scored 2,939 points and trails leader Mitch Modin of Oregon by 215 points.

Williams scored the biggest on the opening event, running 7.09 in the 60, for 854 points. His two best events – the 60 hurdles and pole vault – begin Saturday's competition, which ends with the 1,000.

In the men's 5,000, Stanford's Garrett Sweatt and Jim Rosa, closed furiously to finish third and fourth, in 13:59.30 and 13:59.33. It was an eight-second personal record for Sweatt, who now gives Stanford seven runners with bests under 14 minutes. It also was the first race for Rosa, who missed the cross country season, since last spring.

Softball

Stanford split a pair of decisions to open the Long Beach Louisville Slugger Classic on Friday, defeating Utah Valley 6-0 and falling to Wichita State 6-4.

The Cardinal (10-9) saw strong performances in the circle from pitchers Madi Schreyer and Haley Snyder, who combined to allow one earned run over 14 innings.

Stanford had a strong day offensively, hitting .333 as a team (19-for-57) with 10 RBI and a .404 slugging percentage.

Hanna Winter paced the Cardinal going 3-for-5 (.600) with one walk and two runs. Erin Ashby also had a nice showing at the plate, batting 4-for-7 (.571) with a double and two RBI.

Stanford scored three runs in the first inning against Utah Valley, with Cassandra Roulund, Ashby and Kyle Sorensen each driving in a run.

The Cardinal added three in the sixth, with Leah White producing a run and Lauren Bertoy adding a two-run single.

The Cardinal continues play Saturday with games against Northwestern and host Long Beach State.

Men's tennis

Stanford had its five-match winning streak snapped Friday as the Cardinal dropped a 6-1 nonconference decision to host USC.

The Cardinal (6-3) seized a 1-0 lead after capturing the doubles point, but was unable to hold off the Trojans (10-1), who have won five of the last six NCAA championships.

Stanford's top duo of John Morrissey and Robert Stineman posted a 6-3 victory over the nation's second-ranked pairing of Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz.

The doubles point was secured on court three, as Nolan Paige and David Wilczynski outlasted Nick Crystal and Jonny Wang 7-5. The Trojans dropped the doubles point for only the fourth time this season.

USC then swept all six singles spots, although Stanford was competitive at almost every spot in the lineup.

Maciek Romanowicz and Paige both forced third sets in their matches. Meanwhile, freshman Tom Fawcett lost for the first time in seven matches while Morrissey was beaten for the first time in six duals.

Stanford concludes its SoCal road swing on Saturday against No. 21 UCLA at 1 p.m.

Men's volleyball

Gabriel Vega collected 12 kills but No. 5 Pepperdine hit a smooth .468 to down host Stanford, 25-17, 25-19, 25-18, Friday at Maples Pavilion.

Stanford's ledger fell to 5-11 overall and 3-8 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action. Pepperdine bumped ahead to 13-2 with a 9-2 league mark.

"I thought we did some good things. Pepperdine is a really tough team for us to match up with right now," Cardinal coach John Kosty said. "They are hitting on all cylinders and there are attacking threats from all over the place."

Madison Hayden notched nine kills and six digs. Stanford's middle blockers Conrad Kaminski and Spencer Haly finished with five and four kills, respectively. Both players hit over .400.

James Shaw, who dished out 16 assists in the third set when the Cardinal hit a match-high .387, also chipped in five kills. It was his first match back in the rotation since suffering and injury at Concordia on Feb. 7.

The Cardinal finishes the back half of its weekend slate on Saturday against Holy Names. First serve is set for 7 p.m. (PT) in Maples Pavilion.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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