Stanford's Ashlan Best advanced to the IAAF World Under-20 Championships final in the 400 meters, running a lifetime best 53.24 in the semifinals on Wednesday at Ratina Stadium in Tampere, Finland.
Best, representing Canada, earned the second and final automatic qualifying spot in her heat while surpassing the Stanford freshmen record of 53.28 that Olivia Baker held since 2015.
Ashlan Best/Spencer Allen
Best's 53.24 places her No. 7 on Stanford's all-time performers' list and she became the fifth Stanford woman to run 53.60 or faster this season. All are among the top 11 all-time at Stanford. Best ran the second leg on the Cardinal 4x400 relay team that advanced to the NCAA Championships and placed 13th overall, earning her first All-America honor as a second-team selection.
Best races for the 400 title on Thursday at 10:10 a.m. and will do so out of Lane 8. On Friday, she begins rounds in her specialty, the 200. Last year, Best won gold in the 200 at the Pan Am Junior Championships in Peru.
Incoming Cardinal freshman Caitlin Collier, out of Jacksonville, Fla., reached the semifinals in the 800, but did not advances, despite a fast time of 2:03.95 that matched that of U.S. teammate and NCAA outdoor champ Samantha Watson, a freshman at Texas A&M.
Collier placed fourth in the third of three heats. Only the top two in each qualified on time and Collier would have needed a 2:03.43 to reach the final. Collier and Watson tied for 10th overall.
Collier begins rounds in the 1,500 on Friday.