Sports


Brooks opens indoor track and field season with record jump

 

Darian Brooks unleashed the longest triple jump in Stanford history, indoors or outdoors, as the Cardinal opened its track and field season at the UW Indoor Preview on Saturday.

Brooks, the defending conference champion indoors and outdoors, jumped 52-9 1/4 on his sixth and final attempt to improve by more than a foot and surpass his own year-old school indoor mark (52-2 3/4) by seven inches.

Close behind runner-up Brooks was teammate Jaak Uudmae, who uncoiled a huge personal record of his own, jumping 51-5 3/4 to move ahead of Richard Sherman to No. 4 on Stanford's all-time indoor performers' list.

Field events highlighted Stanford's day at the Dempsey Indoor facility at University of Washington, with the Cardinal finishing 1-2-3 in the men's pole vault with matching clearances of 17-3. Dylan Duvio won on fewer misses -- he was perfect until going out at 17-9 -- and was followed by Garrett Starkey and sophomore decathlete Harrison Williams, who set a personal best by seven inches and jumped an exhausting 13 times in the competition. Williams also competed in the 60-meter hurdles (sixth, 8.29) and long jump (13th, 21-7 1/2).

Other Stanford victories came in the women's 800 (Malika Waschmann) and 1,000 (Rebecca Mehra).

In the men's high jump, Dartis Willis, a fifth-year senior, proved he is back in form. An All-America as a freshman, Willis cleared 7-0 for the first time since 2012.

Willis was third overall, but the top collegian after clearing 7-0 1/2 on his first attempt at that height.

In his Stanford debut, Collin Leibold ran the fastest mile by a collegian this year, with a 4:02.65 on the 307-meter flat Mondo track. Leibold is a graduate transfer from Georgetown, working toward his masters in epidemiology.

A second-team All-America outdoors in the 5,000 last spring, the Virginia native arrived at Stanford with a foot injury suffered during the summer and was limited to only one cross country race.

Saturday's mile showed that Leibold is better than ever, improving upon his previous mile best of 4:03.29.

Leibold began the race conservatively, but moved up from eighth to tuck into third with a lap remaining.

He moved into second on the final turn behind Dusty Solis, only for Nike's Trevor Dunbar to overtake both to win in 4:01.41. Leibold eclipsed the previous season collegiate leader, Sean Tobin of Ole Miss (4:02.97).

Olivia Baker broke her own school record in the rarely-run 600 in perhaps the most anticipated race of the meet. Baker took on fellow sophomore Raevyn Rogers of Oregon, the 2015 NCAA outdoor 800 champion.

Baker is the New Jersey high school 400 recordholder and became a second-team outdoor All-American in the 800 last year.

Stanford teammate Gaby Gayles took the race out hard as a rabbit, but Baker was unable to sustain the pace and gave up the lead on the backstretch of the final lap.

Baker ran 1:29.08 to eclipse her Stanford record of 1:29.42, but finished third. Rogers ran 1:26.34 to not only break the meet and track records, but also the collegiate record for oversized tracks (over 200 meters).

In the 1,000, Mehra made a bold move on the backstretch of the to join teammate Claudia Saunders in the lead, only for Oregon's Annie Leblanc to move from the outside as they came off the turn.

As Saunders faded, Mehra held off Leblanc down the stretch to win in 2:45.28. Saunders was eighth in 2:47.27.

Waschmann, a junior, earned her first collegiate victory by taking the lead entering the final straight and powering down the homestretch to win in 2:08.96.

Among other highlights, Jackson Shumway, a 400 hurdler by trade, equaled his best outdoor time in the open 400. Shumway's 47.71 moved him up to No. 7 all-time indoors at Stanford. He was second in the race.

The meet also marked the collegiate debut for three Stanford freshmen. Kaitlyn Merritt (12-6 1/4) and Jackie McNulty (12-0 1/2) were fourth and sixth, respectively, in the women's pole vault. Heptathlete Brittany McGee competed in the long jump (fourth, 18-11 1/4), 60 hurdles (10th, 8.95), and 200 (28th, 26.33).

As for Brooks, he may have left Dempsey Indoor with mixed feelings. He jumped farther than he ever has, but fell short of the winning 53-11 jump of USC's Eric Sloan, a junior college transfer making his four-year college debut.

Sloan jumped just once, but his first attempt in the first flight stood. Brooks, in the second flight, was forced to compete from behind the entire competition.

Brooks has won the past two Pac-12 outdoor titles and the 2015 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor crown, but the feeling is that he and Sloan will have some memorable duels to come.

— David Kiefer/Stanford Athletics

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