Former walk-on Jackson Shumway was among seven Stanford track and field athletes to advance at the NCAA West Prelims on Thursday in Austin, Texas, and take one step closer to nationals.
Shumway, a junior from Deerfield, Massachusetts, finished fourth in his heat of the 400-meter hurdles to advance on time to Friday's semifinal. If he finishes among the 12 qualifiers, he will advance to the NCAA Championships on June 10-13 in Eugene, Oregon.
Stanford has 31 athletes 16 men, 15 women -- competing in individual events over the three-day meet that acts as a gatekeeper for nationals.
It is one of two NCAA preliminary meets the other is in Jacksonville, Florida to determine the 24 qualifiers in each event.
Nine of the 13 Cardinal athletes competing Thursday at Myers Stadium were in middle-distance events, with five advancing to Saturday's final round.
Of those, freshman Olivia Baker won her heat of the 800 in 2:08.28. Teammate Claudia Saunders, the 2014 NCAA outdoor runner-up, was second in her heat and advanced as well.
In the women's 1,500, freshman Elise Cranny stayed out of trouble and cruised to second in her heat, in 4:26.62.
In the men's 1,500, junior Justin Brinkley, competing in his home state, moved up from the back of the pack to place fourth in his heat and advance among the top five. Thomas Coyle was sixth in his heat, but advanced on time (3:46.03).
Kristyn Williams, another Texas native, was third in her heat of the 400 in 52.94 and seventh-fastest overall to advance to Friday's final round. She is seeking her first NCAA berth.
Three seniors did not advance, and competed in their final collegiate meet. Molly McNamara missed advancing to her first NCAA Championships by 0.19 in the women's 1,500. Dartis Willis II, a 2012 All-America, high-jumped a season best 6-11 3/4 and was 25th overall. Luke Lefebure, a 2014 NCAA outdoor finalist, was fifth in his heat (the top three advanced automatically) and missed by only 0.06 to advance on time.
Stanford will have nine athletes competing Friday, with eight of them competing directly for NCAA berths. Freshman decathlete Harrison Williams is the only Cardinal so far to have secured a spot at nationals.
Four members of the Stanford lightweight rowing team were named CRCA Scholar Athletes on Thursday.
Senior Mackenzie Crist, junior Brittany Presten and sophomores Sarah Hirshorn and Jackie Huddle were named to the list. To be eligible a student-athlete must have a GPA of 3.5 or better and have completed one full year of college.
Stanford will begin competition at the IRA National Championships on Saturday morning in West Windsor, New Jersey.