Stanford's Williams sets junior decathlon record


Stanford's Harrison Williams broke the American Junior Record in the decathlon on Saturday, scoring a meet-record 8,037 points to win the gold medal at the Pan Am Junior Track and Field Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Representing the United States, Williams needed at least 4:32.00 in the final event, the 1,500 meters, to break the 8,018 mark for those 19 and under set by Gunnar Nixon in 2012.

Harrison Williams
Riding the tail of race leader Nathaniel Mechler of Canada, Williams ran a personal-record 4:29.20.

Williams opened the race with a fast lap of 66 seconds, but closed the gap to Mechler while reeling off laps of 73, 72, and 72 on the way to the finish. After crossing the line, Williams dropped to the track in exhaustion.

Williams completed a freshman season in which he twice broke the Stanford record, repeated as U.S. junior champion, earned first-team All-America honors with a fourth-place NCAA finish, and was Pac-12 runner-up.

The score also exceeded his previous junior best of 8,001 while he earned the distinction of becoming champion of the Americas.

Williams won six events over the two-day, 10-event competition to earn a commanding lead from the start. He beat runner-up Travis Toliver of the U.S. by a huge margin of 691 points.

Williams set or tied three personal bests. He entered the day with 4,182 points and registered marks of 14.41 in the 110 high hurdles, 130-2 in the discus, 16-4 3/4 in the pole vault, and 169-10 in the javelin going into the 1,500 during a competition that was interrupted by lightning.

The 8,037 total does not count as a Stanford record (which is 7,806) because, under junior rules, a lighter discus and shot and lower high hurdles were used than in collegiate competition.

This is the second American record set this year by a Stanford freshman, joining Elise Cranny's women's junior indoor 3,000 mark of 8:58.88.

Another Cardinal, Canadian Daniel Brady, ran the 400 hurdles in a season-best 52.52 – the second-fastest freshman time in school history – but missed qualifying for the final by one place.

Stanford's Olivia Baker races Sunday, on the final day of the three-day meet, as part of the U.S. 1,600 relay team.


Palo Alto junior Alex Liang swam the 400-meter freestyle in the morning and came back to swim another 200 meters in helping Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics finish second in the 800 free relay at the Speedo Junior National Swimming Championships in San Antonio on Saturday.

Liang was joined by PASA teammates Benjamin Ho, Joe Molinari and Jeremy Babinet in completing the race in 7:33.26, holding off the Sarasota YMCA Sharks, which finished .58 seconds behind. North Baltimore won the event in 7:31.58.

Gunn grad Jennifer Campbell, who is headed to Cal, finished eighth in the 400 free, going 4:17.95. Incoming Stanford freshman Ella Eastin placed third in the competitive 100 fly, recording a time of 59.84. The top three finishers were within .33 seconds of each other. Stanford grad Felicia Lee's 2009 record 58.69 remains the event standard.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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