Several more Stanford records are set at NCAA finals


Stanford's Sean McGorty closed fast to finish second in a loaded 3,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Alabama.

He was among three high Stanford finishers Saturday, following Olivia Baker, third in the women's 800, and Harrison Williams, fourth in the men's heptathlon with a school-record 5,937 points.

Darian Brooks
Darian Brooks was ninth in the men's triple jump -- Stanford's best finish in that event -- and Vanessa Fraser was 10th in the women's 3,000 for the highest national finish of her career.

With Friday's results: a third in the women's distance medley relay and a fourth in the men's DMR, Stanford totaled five top-four finishes at the meet.

The Stanford men tied for eighth with 18 points -- their highest finish since 2011 -- and the Cardinal women were 16th with 12.

McGorty ran 8:01.55 to trail only Oregon's Edward Cheserek, who ran 8:00.40 to close out a three-victory meet. It was remarkable performance considering the caliber of athletes competing.

Most of top milers bypassed that distance for the 3,000, combining with some of the top distance runners in one high-quality field. The result reflected that depth, with eight runners finishing within three seconds of the lead.

McGorty was third with one 200-meter lap to go and found himself in a duel with Justyn Knight of Syracuse in a repeat of the Iowa State Classic.

In that one, Knight edged McGorty at the line. This time, McGorty unleashed a 28.18, the second-fastest final lap in the field to beat Knight and close the deficit on Cheserek by two seconds.

It was the highest national finish for the junior McGorty, a sophomore in track eligibility who already has six All-America honors, and the highest Stanford placing in the 3,000 since Chris Derrick was runner-up in 2012.

Baker earned Stanford's highest-ever finish in the indoor women's 800, bettering the seventh of Lindsay Hyatt in 2000.

Baker, a sophomore, came into the meet seeded No. 11, and had the eighth and last qualifying time after the semifinals. But in a tactical race, Baker showed off her speed.

After 400, Baker was last in a congested field, and was sixth with one lap to go. But Baker passed three with a fastest final lap, other than Rogers, in the field. Rogers won in 2:04.68, with Virginia Tech's Hanna Green second in 2:05.90 and Baker third in 2:06.08.

In the heptathlon, Williams was 11th after the first day of the seven-event competition, but saved his best results for the three second-day events. He placed second in the 60-meter hurdles, fourth in the pole vault, and first in the 1,000 -- the final event -- to move up seven spots on the way to matching his NCAA outdoor finish from the 2015 decathlon.

Williams needed to run 2:48.95 in the 1,000 to break Josh Hustedt's 2007 school record of 5,837. He ran ran 2:39.75 for 876 points.

It was Williams' fourth personal best of the meet and second of the day. His 60 hurdles time of 8.12 strengthened his spot at No. 6 on Stanford's all-time performers' list.

It was the third school record for Williams, who twice broke Stanford's decathlon record last spring as a freshman.

His excellence at this stage of his career is impressive. The three finishers ahead of him -- Wisconsin's Zach Ziemek (6,137), Arizona's Pau Tonnesen (6,027), and Georgia's Garrett Scantling (5,951) -- are fifth-year seniors. Among his victims was last year's NCAA indoor champion, Minnesota's Luca Wieland, who finished fifth.

In the pole vault, Williams fought to a third-try clearance at 16-8 to set the scene for the 1,000, which he won by more than two seconds. His performance in the final event moved him up two spots, from sixth.

Williams came into the meet with two goals. The first was to finish among the top eight and earn first-team All-America honors. The 'reach' goal was 6,000 points. Though Williams fell just short, the school record was a satisfying byproduct. Williams' finish was the highest by Stanford athlete in this event since Hustedt's second place in 2008.

Williams' school record was the sixth by Stanford athletes this season. Previous records were set by Brooks (52-9 1/4), McGorty in the mile (3:53.95), Valarie Allman in the women's 20-pound weight throw (62-8 1/2), the men's DMR (9:27.27), and the women's 4x400 relay (3:33.78).

The six records from 2016 are double those from any other year in the Stanford indoor record book. In second are three marks from 2012.

In the triple jump, Brooks' first jump of 52-4 stood as his best. It was Stanford's highest placing in that event, improving upon Brooks' 12-place of a year ago.

— Stanford Athletics

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Capelo's Barbecue opens to-go counter in Redwood City
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 2,458 views

On Metaphor and Mortality
By Aldis Petriceks | 0 comments | 1,270 views

Premarital and Existing Couples: Marriage Rules: Yours, Mine, or Ours?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,199 views

Big Island Food Party!
By Laura Stec | 17 comments | 1,181 views

Be careful what you call me.
By Diana Diamond | 3 comments | 212 views


Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

Contest Details