Sports

Stanford men's relay team end 62-year-old winless streak

 

Stanford took home six track and field titles at the Pac-12 Championships at University of Washington and the gloomy environs did not cloud the Cardinal's optimism after its men's 4x400-meter relay ended the meet with its first conference title since 1954.

The Stanford team of Harrison Williams, Frank Kurtz, Isaiah Brandt-Sims, and Jackson Shumway ended the 62-year winless string in the 4x400-mile relay.


Darian Brooks
And Stanford did it without having a single entrant in the open 400 and ran 3:08.13, with Shumway holding off Arizona anchor Miles Parish on the final turn. As Chris Miltenberg, Stanford's Director of Track and Field, told the team afterward, take encouragement from winning the events that Stanford is not "supposed" to win.

The Stanford women finished third as a team for the third consecutive year, scoring 90 points. The men were sixth with 74. In each case, Stanford increased its team scoring from last year.

Darian Brooks, competing in his hometown, became the first in conference history to win three consecutive men's triple jump titles, winning in 51-11 3/4.

Valarie Allman repeated as women's discus champ, at 188-11. Before Allman, Stanford had never had a Pac-12 champion in that event.

Two Stanford sophomores captured titles -- Elise Cranny in the 1,500 in 4:17.72, with Rebecca Mehra right behind in 4:18.38. Olivia Baker, the collegiate leader in the 800, went back to her roots to rally to victory in the 400 (53.20).

They followed the Saturday victory by freshman Mackenzie Little, who extended a Stanford streak of victories in the women's javelin to five.

The six combined titles were the most by Stanford men's and women's teams since 2005, with the same amount. Also, the combined points for Stanford's teams – 164 – was the most since 2012.

Remarkably, considering Stanford's strength in the women's 1,500, it was the Cardinal's first conference victory since Arianna Lambie won the Pac-10 title in 2007.

Baker overcame a deficit of at least 10 meters as she dug deep while USC's Kendall Ellis was unable to maintain her fast early pace. Baker reeled her in with about 20 meters to spare. Stanford hadn't had a 400 winner since Chauntae Bayne-Hackett in 2006.

Allman provided a bonus by placing second in the hammer throw. Allman has said that she competes in the hammer as a training tool and to add some spice to her training routine. Instead, she got much more, throwing 194-5, to finish behind Arizona's State's Maggie Ewen at 209-7.

The women's 4x400 also placed second. The team of Gaby Gayles, Michaela Crunkleton Wilson, Claudia Saunders, and Baker ran 3:36.19.

In the much-anticipated men's 1,500, Washington's Izaic Yorks continued his remarkable season with the Pac-12 title and time of 3:39.14.

Sean McGorty, Stanford's ace, dropped to fifth in 3:40.74. Stanford senior Justin Brinkley, who was honored with the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete award for men's track and field, was fourth with a three-second personal best of 3:40.31.

In a race that pitted the top two finishers at last year's NCAA outdoor meet, Oregon sophomore Raevyn Rogers got the best of Saunders again. Rogers ran 2:02.41 and Saunders, who pushed hard for the lead on the final lap, was fourth in 2:04.88.

— David Kiefer/Stanford Athletics

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