While their teammates were having a big day across the country at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, two Stanford athletes had performances Friday in Berkeley that could have big-time implications.
Harrison Williams, a near-lock for All-America honors in the decathlon as a true freshman, competed in three events at the Brutus Hamilton Open and set personal records in all of them. And Jaak Uudmae, a sophomore in his first year of eligibility, high-jumped to No. 9 on Stanford's all-time list and may have found a new specialty.
Seventeen Stanford athletes competed at Edwards Stadium on the Cal campus, with five earning victories: Williams in the 110-meter high hurdles (14.51), Uudmae in the high jump (6-10 3/4), Amber Lewis in the 400 hurdles (1:02.63), Marisa Kwiatkowski in the long jump (18-10 3/4) and Victoria Smith in the javelin (143-8). In finishing a close second in the 1,500, sophomore Danielle Katz (4:26.36) broke her personal best by nearly four seconds.
Harrison, who will high jump Saturday at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge on the same track, was seeking to shore up several events as he builds for a likely appearance in the NCAA Championships. Williams' score of 7,518 points in his collegiate outdoor debut last month, set a Stanford freshman record and placed him first among collegians at the Texas Relays.
However, Williams admitted afterward that he left points on the table. Foremost, was in the discus, where he threw 103-1 -- "terrible," he said -- and got the lowest point total of the 10 events during that competition. On Friday, Williams threw 127-1 - which would have been a 132-point improvement on the decathlon scoring tables.
Other personal bests came in the long jump (22-9 1/4), a 2 3/4 improvement, and 110 high hurdles (a blazing 14.51) If he can improve even these events - the high hurdles is one of Williams' strengths -- he'll be well on his way to breaking Bob Mathias' Stanford record of 7,592 from the 1952 Helsinki Olympics -- the oldest remaining record in the Stanford history books.
As for the other improvements, Williams' best in the collegiate-heighth highs was 14.82, and his best long jump was 22-7.
Uudmae's best event is the triple jump, though he has yet to compete in a collegiate competition in that event. However, it's possible his success in the high jump could influence his focus. He didn't train for the high jump until the week of the April 11 Big Meet, and won with a jump of 6-9. Two weeks later, Uudmae gave it a second try and now is among Stanford's all-time best. What exactly is his potential in this event?