Distance medley relay teams pace Stanford at NCAA meet


Stanford earned a pair of top-four finishes in the distance medley relays Friday to highlight performances from the first day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

The Stanford women were third and the men fourth in the DMR, a collegiate indoor track staple comprised of legs of 1,200, 400, 800, and 1,600 meters. The results enhanced the stature of the event at Stanford, which now has 21 NCAA top-five DMR finishes between their men's and women's programs.

Olivia Baker
The Cardinal women's team of Elise Cranny, Kristyn Williams, Malika Waschmann, and Rebecca Mehra ran 10:58.94, just 1.73 seconds behind first-place Georgetown.

The Stanford men's team of Tom Coyle, Jackson Shumway, Justin Brinkley, and Sean McGorty ran 9:33.85, but were never were in position to challenge for the lead. McGorty anchored with a 3:58.19 split on the way to earning his highest NCAA finish of any season (cross country, or indoor or outdoor track).

In other events, sophomore Harrison Williams was 11th after the first four events of the two-day seven-event heptathlon, with 3,168 points. He is 30 points ahead of pace for the Stanford school record, set by Josh Hustedt in 2007.

Olivia Baker ran the fastest women's 800 in Stanford history at the NCAA Indoor Championships, with a 2:04.73 that qualified the sophomore for Saturday's final. Lindsay Hyatt's 2:05.95 from 2000 had been Stanford's fastest at this meet. Senior Claudia Saunders wasn't as fortunate as Baker, failing to advance.

For the third consecutive year, Stanford led the women's DMR going into the final leg. Cranny's 3:24.04 had the Cardinal in fourth on the first exchange, but Williams ran a torrid 52.78, the fastest 400 split of the race by 0.39, to give Stanford a 0.1 edge over Arkansas.

Waschmann, in her first NCAA meet, maintained the lead with a 2:06.25 split, before handing off to Mehra just 0.2 ahead of Georgetown anchor Katrina Coogan. Mehra ran a personal-best split of 4:35.88, though Coogan was able to power the Hoyas to victory in 10:57.21, with Washington in tow for second.

The men's DMR shaped up differently for Stanford, which got caught in traffic and never was truly in the race. Coyle burst out to a 2:58.06 split and handed off to Shumway in sixth. After Shumway got one spot back with a 47.97, Brinkley ran a 1:49.64, but lost two places.

Over the course of his anchor leg, McGorty passed four teams, but had no shot at the leaders, especially with Edward Cheserek closing out the victory for Oregon with a 3:52.84 for his second victory within the hour, following his triumph in the 5,000.

In the heptathlon, Williams set two personal bests and two season bests. Day Two features his best two events, the 60 high hurdles and the pole vault, and finishes with the 1,000 meters. Hustedt had 3,138 first-day on his way to 5,837 and fourth place.

Williams got off to a great start, winning his 60 heat in a lifetime best 6.96. He followed with a season-best 22-7 ¼ in the long jump, a lifetime best 44-4 in the shot put, and concluded by tying his season best of 6-6 in the high jump.

— Stanford Athletics

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