Sports


Stanford men's track & field has nation's No. 1 class

 

Stanford has the nation's No. 1 recruiting class in men's track and field. That was the verdict handed down by Milesplit.com earlier this week.

Taking the season-best marks from the class of 2015, the athletes were broken down by their future schools and places on the season lists were scored like a championship meet.

Stanford scored 28 points, followed by Houston with 27, and UCLA with 25.

The Cardinal got big points from Grant Fisher, the two-time Foot Locker national cross country champion, who topped the lists in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. The Grand Blanc, Mich., product became the seventh high school runner in history to run a sub-4 mile. His season bests were 3:57.93 in the 1,600 and 8:40.53 in the 3,200.

Also scoring was Alex Ostberg, the 2014 New Balance Outdoor Nationals 5,000 champ, who was second to Fisher on the 3,200 list. Ostberg, of Darien, Conn., ran 8:43.93.

The recruiting class also includes 2015 New Balance Outdoor Nationals 5,000 champ Will Lauer (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Illinois 2A record-setting hurdler Lucas Ege (Hampshire, Ill.), Colorado 5A high jump champ Trevor Rex (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), 1:51 half-miler Brian Smith (Amstelveen, Netherlands), and Washington 2A 400 champ Isaac Westlund (Snohomish, Wash.).

* * *

Stanford's Claudia Saunders, who broke the school women's 800 record at the NCAA Championships, races at the IAAF Diamond League meet at the Stade de France on Saturday in St. Denis.

Saunders, whose mother is from France, is a dual citizen and has family there. She completed her junior collegiate season by finishing second at the NCAA's for the second consecutive year. Her 2:00.63 broke the school mark of 2:00.97 set in 2013 by Justine Fedronic at the same French meet.

Fedronic was born in Germany and spent her early childhood in France before moving to Belmont. Though injured this year, she was active with the French national team in 2014.

Saunders is part of an 11-runner field that includes nine with lifetime bests under 2:00. Saunders is one of three Americans, alongside Molly Ludlow and Chanelle Price, the fourth- and fifth-place finishers at the U.S. Championships in Eugene last week. Saunders competed in her first U.S. senior championships, but did not advance out of the first round.

Fedronic set her school record by allowing the field to pull her to a fast time. Saunders will likely follow the same strategy. The field includes Kenya's Eunice Kepchoech Sum, who has run the fastest time in the world this year (1:57.82) and Russia's Yekaterina Poistogova, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, in 1:57.53.

Notes

The Canadian championships began Thursday and incoming freshman distance runner Claire Smith, a Canadian record holder in the 3,000, did not finish in the junior women's 5,000 meters.

Smith was running second, less than a half-second behind eventual winner Anne Marie Comeau when she dropped out after four laps.

Two current Stanford athletes, javelin thrower Victoria Smith and 400 hurdler Daniel Brady, are also competing at the meet is in Edmonton, Alberta.

Smith goes Friday and Brady runs Saturday.

Stanford's Valarie Allman, who capped her sophomore collegiate season by finishing fifth at the NCAA Championships, throws the discus at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.

Football

Mike Williams, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound defensive tackle from All Saints' Episcopal School in Texas, confirmed Friday with Scout that he had verbally committed to Stanford, as indicated by a change in his Twitter bio.

As a junior, Williams recorded 64 tackles, seven tackles for loss, one sack, three fumble recoveries, and one defensive touchdown while playing through nagging injuries.

Scout ranks Williams as No. 5 in Texas and No. 14 nationally at his position. He becomes the 11th player to get his verbal for the Cardinal's recruiting class of 2016.

Center Nate Herbig (6-3, 335) rated the 12th center in the nation, committed last week.

— Stanford Athletics

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