Sports


Stanford's Williams has first-day lead in decathlon

 

Stanford sophomore Harrison Williams leads the decathlon at the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays after the first day of the 10-event, two-day competition Wednesday.

Competing only 17 days after taking fourth in the seven-event heptathlon at the NCAA Indoor Championships, Williams has 4,036 points. He holds a 60-point lead over second-place Ingmar Vos, a 2012 Dutch Olympian, and trails his own school-record pace by only 21 points.

Williams' main goal for this meet is to get a qualifying mark into the NCAA Outdoor Championships (June 8-11), which would allow him to train through most of the season in preparation for the Pac-12 and NCAA decathlons.

Last year, 7,302 was enough to get into NCAA's, which shouldn't be a problem for Williams, who scored more than 7,500 in each of his three decathlons during the 2015 collegiate season. His best of 7,806 was a school record and placed him fourth at the NCAA Championships. It also probably is enough to get him into the Olympic Trials. Automatic qualifying is 7,900, but there may not be enough at that standard to fill the field, and those with the next-lowest scores would be brought in.

Williams opened Wednesday's competition by winning the 100 meters in 10.72 seconds. It was a personal record for any conditions, but was aided by a 3.3 meters per second wind. He also won the 400 – the last of the five first-day events -- in 47.26. In between, he long-jumped 22-7, put the shot 42-8 3/4, and high-jumped 6-2 3/4. Thursday's events include two of his best -- the 110 high hurdles and pole vault.

Last year, Williams was second and the top collegian at the Texas Relays while making his collegiate decathlon debut. He is the only Stanford athlete competing in the meet.

Closer to home, more than 2,500 athletes -- open competitors, entrants from 110 colleges and universities, plus high schools -- will converge on Cobb Track and Angell Field on Friday and Saturday for the 41st Stanford Track and Field Invitational.

Track fans will be treated to 24 hours of competition over a 33-hour stretch. On Friday, the first event begins at 9 a.m. and the final event ends at aboout 11:30 p.m. On Saturday, it's 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The meet serves as a great qualifying opportunity for the NCAA preliminaries and, for some athletes, Olympic trials qualifying.

In the 10,000 meters, 41 of the 50 fastest NCAA men's competitors in 2015 achieved those times at this meet, and 30 of the top 50 women. In the 5,000, three of the top four NCAA men's times were achieved the Stanford Invitational, and the top six women's times were run at Stanford, either at the Stanford or Payton Jordan invites.

— Stanford Athletics

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