Cardinal have five qualify for NCAA track and field finals


Five Stanford athletes qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships through their performances Friday at the NCAA West preliminary meet.

Claudia Saunders and Olivia Baker won their sections of the women's 800 meters to qualify automatically. In the field events, Valarie Allman advanced in the women's hammer throw, freshman Mackenzie Little in the women's javelin, and Dylan Duvio in the men's pole vault.

Stanford will attempt to qualify more individuals Saturday on the final day of competition. They would join decathlete Harrison Williams, who had previously qualified.

The meet was suspended much of the day by thunderstorms, and the jumps and pole vault were moved inside. Thunderstorms had postponed Thursday's action and the meet schedule was condensed to two days, Friday and Saturday, at Rock Chalk Park.

Out of fields of 48 individuals in each event, the top 12 advanced through a myriad of heats and flights to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 8-11.

Saunders ran in the first of six heats in an event in which only the winner qualified automatically and Baker was in the third. Though in separate races, Saunders and Baker executed the same game plan: Take the lead and stay out of trouble.

Saunders, a senior seeking her third consecutive NCAA Outdoor berth, took the lead from the break, took the rail and held it. Washington's Baylee Mies tried to pass Saunders on the final turn, but Saunders refused to give up ground. Instead, Saunders outran Mires down the stretch to win in 2:05.37.

Baker did the same, taking a quick lead and leading a tight pack. On the backstretch of the final lap, Arkansas freshman Ceara Watson passed Baker. However, Baker refused to give up the rail and pushed just hard enough to prevent Watson from cutting in front of her. Finally, with 200 left, Baker released her controlled pace and kicked to the finish, winning in 2:06.58.

Little, the Pac-12 champion, extended an annual streak of Stanford women javelin NCAA qualifiers to six.

Little's top throw of 171-8 came on her third and final throw, though any of her three-throw series would have been enough. She placed fifth overall.

Allman placed 11th in the hammer by throwing 200-6 to improve upon her personal best by a foot. It also allowed her to jump Jaynie Goodbody (200-5, 2010) into second on Stanford's all-time performers' list, behind only Sarah Hopping (219-8, 2006).

Allman also was to compete in the discus, but it was postponed until Saturday.

Duvio, who was third at NCAA Outdoors last year, was second in the pole vault at a season-best 17-7 3/4. Duvio opened with a miss at 16-10, but was clean through the next two heights and did not have to jump again because he had qualified.

Among those who did not qualify were senior Kristyn Williams, who missed advancement by one place and 0.08 of a second.

She was seeking her first individual berth in an NCAA championship meet, though she still could compete on Stanford's 4x400 relay team, which attempts to qualify Saturday on the final day of competition.

Fifth-year senior high jumper Dartis Willis II also missed by one place, losing in a jump-off for the final spot.

Willis was clean through his first two jumps -- at 6-9 1/2 and 6-11 -- before missing at 7-1. However, Texas Tech's Bradley Adkins also was clean through 6-11 1/2, and won the tiebreaking duel to advance.

Another close miss came in the women's steeplechase, when junior Danielle Katz placed fifth in her heat (the top three advanced automatically) and 15th overall in 10:17.46, missing qualifying by three seconds. In the men's steeplechase, sophomore Steven Fahy also was 15th (8:57.51).

Men's golf

David Boote recorded four birdies during his final six holes Friday at Eugene Country Club to lead Stanford on the opening day of the NCAA Championships. Boote's 1-under-par 69 was the Cardinal's best score by four strokes and put him in a tie for seventh in the medalist race.

The Cardinal's 12-over 292 was good for 24th among the 30-team field. However, Stanford is only 10 shots behind first-place Arkansas and TCU, who share the lead at 2-over.

Stanford grabbed the lead through the first few holes by combining to go 3-under, but a few holes later on the front nine the squad dipped to 3-over and out of the top-10.

With Stanford starting the round on the 10th hole, Boote was 3-over through his front nine after beginning the circuit with a birdie. He hit the trifecta with birdies on his 12th, 13th and 14th holes, and sandwiched pars around a birdie on his 17th.

"I didn't hit the ball great on the front nine," Boote said. "On the back nine, my putter got hot, which was the main reason for the good finish to the round."

Boote narrowly missed a breaking uphill putt from the fringe on the final hole. He one-putted the final six holes.

Brandon Wu birdied the first hole of his NCAA debut and stayed at 1-under until consecutive bogeys on holes seven and eight. He would record one more birdie while posting a 3-over 73.

Franklin Huang and Jeffrey Swegle each went 5-over, though Swegle's came with four birdies.

Maverick McNealy (+6) saved his lone birdie for the par-5 fourth. Boote and Swegle also birdied the hole.

Women's rowing

All three boats advanced to the semifinals during the opening day of racing at the NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships Friday at Lake Natoma.

The Cardinal captured its heat in the varsity eight and placed second in the second varsity eight and varsity four during an exciting day of racing at the national regatta.

Stanford, the No. 2 seed in the varsity eight, surged out to an early two-seat advantage on Michigan after 300 meters during its varsity eight heat. The Wolverines took over the top spot, building a two-seat lead of their own at the 750-meter mark. The Cardinal held a length advantage over Yale for second place as they approached 1,000 meters.

Michigan was up by nearly three seats at the midpoint of the course, when Stanford began to make its move. The Cardinal took back water from the Wolverines, cutting the lead down to just one seat as the boats approached the final 500 meters.

Stanford surged its bow ahead during the final sprint and began to build its lead. The Cardinal won the heat by five seats with a time of 6:20.037, while Michigan placed second with a time of 6:21.885 as both boats cleared the field by open water. Both Stanford and Michigan advanced to Saturday's A/B Semifinals.

In the second varsity eight, No. 8 seed Stanford moved into second place, three-seats behind top-seeded Brown in the first 500 meters. The Cardinal grew its lead from two to four seats over third-place and No. 9 seed Wisconsin by 750 meters.

Brown held a seven-seat advantage over Stanford as the boats approached the midpoint of the course. Wisconsin made a charge, taking two seats back from Stanford, but the Cardinal made a move of its own as the boats entered the final 500 meters.

Stanford cut Brown's lead down to just two seats during the sprint. Brown (6:35.642) held off the Cardinal (6:37.571) by four seats at the finish line. Stanford, which finished second by open water over Wisconsin (6:43.091), advanced to Saturday's A/B Semifinals along with Brown.

Ninth-seeded Stanford, top-seeded California and eighth-seeded Wisconsin quickly separated themselves from the field in their varsity four heat, with the Cardinal holding the early edge. The Golden Bears surged ahead for the lead, while the Badgers took second by one seat over the Cardinal at the 250-meter mark.

Stanford made a move around the 750-meter mark, surging past Wisconsin and taking water away from California.

By 1,000 meters, Stanford was four seats back of California and held a bow-to-stern advantage over Wisconsin for second. The Golden Bears (7:19.909) captured the heat by a length over the Cardinal (7:23.281).

Stanford took second by open water over Wisconsin (7:33.323) and advanced to Saturday's A/B semifinals.

Women's soccer

Stanford completed its recruiting class of 2020 when it added Ami Kalokoh, coach Paul Ratcliffe announced recently.

Kalokoh joins fellow incoming freshmen Beattie Goad, Tierna Davidson, Cecilia Gee, Logan Karam, Carly Malatskey, Lauren Rood and Samantha Tran.

Kalokoh makes the trip up the coast from Pacific Palisades, where she attended Crossroads School and played club soccer for L.A. Premier.

She earned Olympic Development Program national titles in 2014 and 2015, and was named her high school team's Most Valuable Player.

Next year's freshman class will join a Stanford team that made its 25th NCAA Tournament appearance and 18th consecutive in 2015. The Cardinal earned one of four No. 1 seeds and extended its postseason home unbeaten streak to 29 matches.

Stanford earned its 10th Pac-12 title and went unbeaten in conference play with a 10-0-1 record. The Cardinal led the Pac-12 in goals scored with 24 in conference play and 35 overall.

Stanford tied USC for the fewest goals allowed with 11 on the season.


Stanford finished ninth, out of 18 teams, at the Sperry College Women's Nationals, which ended Friday and was hosted by San Diego State.

The U.S. Coast Guard won the regatta, with Brown placing second and Boston University in third.

The Team Race Nationals begin Saturday.

— Stanford Athletics

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