Cranny finishes second in 3,000 meters at NCAA indoor meet


Stanford freshman Elise Cranny set an American junior indoor record in the 3,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, finishing second in the race at the Randal Tyson Center.

Cranny became the No. 10 performer in meet history and finished as the NCAA runner-up after crossing the line in 8:58.88, with teammate Jessica Tonn, a fifth-year senior, close behind in fifth with a personal record of 9:01.84 on the 200-meter banked track.

Elise Cranny
In the process, Cranny bettered the U.S. junior mark (19 and under) of 9:04.51 by Mary Cain in 2013. Though Cranny ran under Cain's mark on Feb. 14 in Seattle, it was an oversized track, which does not qualify for record purposes.

Cranny jumped to second on Stanford's all-time top-10 list behind only PattiSue Plummer, who ran 8:53.1 in 1983. The freshman also posted the best NCAA indoor finish for the Cardinal in the 3,000 since Sara Bei was second in 2004.

Cranny and Tonn gave Stanford two top-five performances in the 3,000 at the indoor nationals since 2008 when Arianna Lambie came in third (9:05.41) and Lauren Centrowitz fourth (9:11.09).

The race, which developed tactically from the start, picked up late.

Cranny and Tonn stayed with the lead group that split off halfway through and with three laps remaining, Cranny went ahead with Arkansas senior Dominique Scott.

Scott's 8:55.19 not only won the title, but was also the fourth-fastest time in NCAA meet history and the ninth-fastest in collegiate history.

It was the second dual in two nights between the two. On Friday, Scott outlasted Cranny on the anchor leg of the distance medley relay, with Arkansas and Stanford finishing 1-2.

"I loved being able to race with Jess tonight," Cranny said. "She kept me so calm and it was just amazing energy to have another teammate in the race. And she ran so awesome.

"The race was really hard, but I knew I had to be brave and get out aggressively to get in good position. Then I just tried to stay as calm as I could until the last few laps. Racing tonight is the best I have felt since coming to Stanford because I was able to stay calm and composed.

"It's a little bittersweet getting outkicked by Dominique both races this weekend, but racing against her has definitely taught me a lot and helped me grow as an athlete."

Overall, the Cardinal women placed eighth as a team with 20 points.

In the men's 3,000m, Erik Olson finished 11th out of the 16-competitor field with a time of 8:03.90. Olson earned his fourth All-America honor.

Stanford was also represented in the men's triple jump on Saturday by senior Darian Brooks. The Seattle, Washington, native placed 12th with a leap of 51-5 ½. Brooks, the reigning Pac-12 outdoor and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor champion, earned his second All-America honor.

— Stanford Athletics

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