Stanford athletes advance to Pan Am Jr. Championships


Stanford's Daniel Brady earned a top-two finish at the Canadian Junior National Track and Field Championships to contribute to the Cardinal's strong representation at the meet in Edmonton, Alberta.

Brady was second in the men's junior 400-meter hurdles, incoming freshman Claire Smith won the women's junior 3,000, and Stanford's Victoria Smith was fifth in the senior national women's javelin.

Brady and Claire Smith both earned spots on Canada's team for the Pan Am Junior Championships in Edmonton on July 31-Aug. 2. They join Stanford current and future teammates Olivia Baker (women's 4x400), Steven Fahy (men's 3,000 steeplechase), Lena Giger (women's hammer), and Harrison Williams (decathlon) – all members of the United States team – as qualifiers for the 19-and-under meet.

A year ago, Brady finished third at the Canadian juniors, but this time improved his place and nearly won. He ran 52.94 to trail only Matthew Bedard (52.74). Brady's time was a season best by more than a half second and placed him No. 2 on Stanford's all-time freshmen list, behind only 2012 NCAA champ Amaechi Morton, who ran 50.11 in 2009.

Brady advanced by winning his Saturday heat in 53.10.

Claire Smith won the 3,000 in 9:49.87, giving the Ottawa native her first national title. She was fifth in the meet last year. The Pan Ams won't be Smith's first appearance for the national team. She won a bronze medal for Canada at the 2014 NACAC cross country championships in Trinidad.

On Friday, Victoria Smith threw the javelin 150-8 in her first senior national meet. Smith completed her sophomore collegiate season by finishing 16th at the NCAA Championships last month.

In Saint Denis, France, Claudia Saunders ran 2:02.55 to finish 10th in the women's 800 at the Meeting Areva at the Stade de France. Saunders, the two-time NCAA runner-up and the Stanford recordholder, completed her junior season in a race won by Kenya's Eunice Jepkoech Sum in a world-leading 1:56.99. The race went out in a scorching 56.33 first lap.

In the same meet, Greece's Katerina Stefanidi, Stanford's 2012 NCAA women's pole vault champion, was 11th at 14-4 1/2, a disappointing result for her. She has a season best of 15-5 1/2, which ranks No. 8 in the world this year.

NOTE: Gunn High senior Amy Watt has been named as one of 60 athletes to the U.S. Paralympics roster for the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto (Canada) this August.

Forty-four men and 20 women will run, sprint, throw and jump for Team USA at the multi-sport Games, Aug. 10-14 at the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium. The event will serve as the largest international competition before the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar in October. The Parapan Am Games and will feature 1,608 athletes from 28 countries competing in 15 sports with the last Games taking place in 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The U.S. track and field team contributed 56 medals to Team USA's overall medal count in Mexico with 25 gold, 15 silver and 16 bronze medals won. Team USA finished second in the overall count behind Brazil with a total of 132 medals over eight days.

— Stanford Athletics

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