Stanford to send 11 athletes to indoor track championship


Eleven Stanford athletes have earned spots at the NCAA indoor track and field championships, as announced Tuesday night.

Six men and five women will compete in a total of five events at nationals on March 13-14 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The group includes four who have performed previously at NCAA indoors -- Erik Olson, Luke Lefebure, Claudia Saunders, and Jessica Tonn. It also includes two true freshmen (Olivia Baker and Elise Cranny) and two redshirt freshmen (Thomas Coyle and Sean McGorty).

Cranny and Tonn will double in the same events, the DMR on Friday and the 3,000 Saturday. Cranny is Stanford's highest seed in the meet, at No. 4 in the 3,000, with Tonn at No. 8.

Tonn is undefeated against collegiate competition this season, winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title in the mile and capturing another crown as the leadoff to the DMR.

The DMR has become Stanford's signature event in indoor competition. With legs of 1,200, 400, 800, and 1,600 meters is has traditionally played the program's strengths. Last year, the Stanford men won the event and the Cardinal women were second.

From those teams, only a pair of half-milers return -- Luke Lefebure for the men and Claudia Saunders for the women. Stanford is ranked No. 6 in the men's DMR and No. 7 in the women's.

The women's quartet of Tonn, Baker, Saunders, and Cranny ran together only once, clocking 11:02.98 to win MPSF's handily. It was good for the No. 4 time in Stanford history.

The men's DMR of Coyle, Shumway, Lefebure, and McGorty includes two sub-four milers (Coyle and McGorty) and has run together only once, finishing second at Notre Dame's Alex Wilson Invitational in 9:29.34 -- the No. 5 time in school history.

The distance medley relay holds a strong tradition at Stanford. The men have won the event four times, including last year with a team of Marco Bertolotti, Steven Solomon, Lefebure, and Michael Atchoo.

The women have one NCAA DMR victory, achieved in 2000 with a team anchored by Lauren Fleshman. In all, the men have 10 top-five DMR finishes at the NCAA's and the women have eight.

Brook is a two-time conference champion, winning the MPSF title Saturday and is the reigning Pac-12 outdoor champion. He broke school records in each victory, breaking a 44-year-old outdoor record at Pac-12's last spring.

Olson has the highest individual finish among Stanford's returnees, finishing seventh in the 3,000 last year in addition to a 12th place finish in the 5,000.

The fields were determined by the top marks in the country through last weekend.

Stanford's competitors, by order of event:

Friday, March 13

Women's distance medley relay, 7:05 p.m. PT (9:05 p.m. CT)

Jessica Tonn, Olivia Baker, Claudia Saunders, Elise Cranny: No. 7 (11:02.98)

Men's distance medley relay, 7:20 p.m. PT (9:20 p.m. CT)

Thomas Coyle, Jackson Shumway, Luke Lefebure, Sean McGorty: No. 6 (9:29.34)

Saturday, March 14

Men's triple jump, 4 p.m. PT (6 p.m. CT)

Darian Brooks: No. 16 (52-2 ¾, 15.92m)

Women's 3,000 meters, 6 p.m. PT (8 p.m. CT)

Elise Cranny: No. 4 (9:02.36); Jessica Tonn: No. 8 (9:04.93)

Men's 3,000, 6:15 p.m. PT (8:15 p.m. CT)

Erik Olson: No. 11 (7:51.26)

— Stanford Athletics


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