Stanford looking to track success at NCAA regional meet


Stanford's track and field teams begin competition at the three-day NCAA West Preliminary Round on Thursday at University of Texas.

Of the 48 qualifiers in each individual event, the top 12 placers in each of the nation's two regionals, the other is in Lexington, Kentucky, advance to the NCAA Championships June 7-10 in Eugene, Oregon.

Stanford is sending 32 individuals, 21 women and 11 men, plus one relay team.

Stanford sends six runners into the women's 1,500 field, led by 2016 NCAA runner-up Elise Cranny. Fifth-year senior Rebecca Mehra, who was taking aim at the victory at the Pac-12 Championships before being tripped, will run with the goal of advancing to her second NCAA Championships. Freshman Christine Aragon and redshirt freshman Catherine Pagano are in their first NCAA West Prelim meet. Aragon advanced to the semifinals in the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer before becoming the first American to medal (bronze) at the World Under-20 Championships in her event.

Grant Fisher will be running his second 5,000 of the year, after an impressive victory at the Cardinal Classic on April 22 in 13:37.77. Fisher's finishes have been impressive and the sophomore seems extremely fit, based on his 57-second final lap in the 5,000, and his 51 closer while winning the Pac-12 1,500 title two weeks ago.

Sophomore Mackenzie Little, Jenna Gray, or Victoria Smith can extend a Stanford NCAA qualifying streak in the javelin to seven years, following Eda Karesin (2011), Brianna Bain (2012-14), Smith (2015), and Little (2016). Little, the two-time Pac-12 champion. Little is the No. 1 seed.

Tai Dinger is looking to advance ie the men's 800 meters.

— David Kiefer/Stanford Athletics

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