Stanford All-America Valarie Allman unleashed a lifetime best in the discus of 190 feet, 7 inches in her outdoor track and field season opener Saturday at the Hornet Invitational at Sacramento State.
It was the second-longest by a collegian this year and the third-longest by an American. Allman finished second in the competition to professional Stephanie Brown Trafton, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, who threw 196-0.
"Being able to break into the 190's is something I'm very excited about," said Allman, junior who was fifth at the 2015 NCAA Championships. "I can't wait to build off this going into the rest of the season."
The conditions were ideal -- sunny, no wind.
"It was fantastic to be able to really focus on technique," Allman said.
Throws coach Michelle Eisenreich, Stanford's associate head coach, gave Allman technical cues to fine tune the form they've been working on. Soon, Allman's previous best of 188-7 from last year's Big Meet went down.
The throw of 58.09 meters exceeded the automatic Olympic trials qualifying standard of 57.00. But Allman already had qualified last spring with her winning throw at the Pac-12 Championships on May 17, 2015, just 16 days after the qualifying window opened.
After limited involvement during the indoor season, the full Stanford throws crew was able to compete together and produced two victories and three additions or improvements to Stanford's all-time top-10 performers' list.
Victories in the throws came from sophomore Lena Giger in the women's shot put (51-11), who was just 1/4 inch off her outdoor personal best, and senior Andrew Rondema in the men's javelin (209-5). Javelin runner-up Charles Kerr had a personal best 204-9 to strengthen his spot as No. 7 at Stanford all-time.
Sophomore Tristen Newman continued the momentum he carried from active indoor season and not only leaped into Stanford's top-10 in the men's shot put, but vaulted all the way to No. 6 with a put of 58-10 in a runner-up performance.
Stanford won eight events, with Kaitlyn Merritt capturing the women's pole vault in her collegiate outdoor debut. Merritt, the two-time California state high school champ, cleared 13-5 1/4 to take the No. 3 spot all-time at Stanford and on the school's all-time freshmen list. Garrett Starkey won the men's pole vault at 16-4 3/4.
The Cardinal dominated the sprints, with victories from sophomores Michaela Crunkleton Wilson in the women's 100 (11.77) and Gaby Gayles in the women's 200 (24.54), as well as sweeps in the 4x400 relay.
The men's all-sophomore 4x400 team of Colin Dolese, Daniel Brady, Isaiah Brandt-Sims, and Frank Kurtz ran 3:12.33 Stanford's fastest time in two years, and fastest without 2012 Olympic finalist Steven Solomon since 2011.
Brady and Dolese ran well in the 400 hurdles, with Brady at 52.65 for second and Dolese shattering his personal best by 1 1/2 seconds with a 53.13 for fourth.
The winning Cardinal women's team consisted of Missy Mongiovi, Crunkleton Wilson, Hannah Labrie-Smith, and Gayles, running 3:38.82.
Stanford's offense erupted for 10 runs on 13 hits to earn a 10-4 victory against Kansas Saturday afternoon.
The Cardinal (9-5) improved to 2-0 on the weekend against the Jayhawks (7-10), securing its second series victory of the season.
Chris Castellanos (2-1) came in as relief in the top of the first inning to pick up the win after a shaky start by Brett Hanewich. Castellanos righted the ship and held Kansas to two runs on seven hits and one walk with four strikeouts in six innings.
Seven Stanford players registered at least one hit, with five players recording multi-hit games. Matt Winaker had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.
Stanford did a majority of its damage in the fifth inning, rallying for seven runs on seven hits in 11 at-bats in the frame.
Former Stanford All-Americans and current MLS players Jordan Morris and Brandon Vincent were called into camp by U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team head coach Andi Herzog in advance of the team's home-and-away playoff against Colombia, which will determine the final berth in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The first match of the 2016 Olympic Qualifying playoff will take place on Friday, March 25 at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto MelÃƒÂƒÃ‚ÂƒÃƒÂ‚Ã‚ÂƒÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â‚ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â©ndez in Barranquilla, Colombia