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Stanford track and field opens outdoor season
Fifth-year senior Valarie Allman (above) nearly set a career record in the discus throw, hitting 60.65 meters at the Stanford Invitational. (BOB DREBIN/isiphotos.com)

Stanford track and field opens outdoor season

Stanford hosted its 43rd Stanford Invitational on Friday and Saturday, earning itself a number of impressive wins both days at Cobb Track and Angell Field.

Fifth-year senior Valarie Allman, the 12th best thrower in American history and a legend for the Cardinal team, managed her second-best career discus throw of 199-0 (60.65 meters) on Saturday. After a year of redshirting, Allman is impressing the collegiate world by setting new records and goals for herself. This was the first time she was throwing for Stanford after the NCAA Championships in 2016, which was then followed by her redshirt year.

Sophomore Jaimi Salone proved the strength of the women’s discus section of the team with a 163-5 (49.82 meter) throw, hitting a personal best.

Senior Lena Giger notched an outdoor personal record with a 57-9 ½ (17.61 meters) shot put. Her performance places her second in Stanford shot put history. Giger comes into the outdoor season after a sixth-place at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Senior Tristen Newman has officially joined the ranks, now holding third place in Cardinal history with his 60-9 ¼ (18.52 meter) outdoor shot put.

Women’s javelin thrower, junior Mackenzie Little, outdid record-holder Alyssa Olin. The thrower from North Dakota State was first in the country before Little managed a 182-8 (55.67 meter) throw that put her in first. Little has won the past two Pac-12 Championships.

The 4×100 team, composed of senior Michaela Crunkleton Wilson, freshman Ashlan Best, junior Hannah Labrie-Smith and senior Gaby Gayles, won with a time of 45.89. The men’s team also won, running 41.02. The four runners were senior Isaiah Brandt-Sims, freshman Gabriel Navarro, senior Terrence Alexander and sophomore Julian Brody. Brandt-Sims also placed third in the 200.

The women’s 4×400 was also successful (3:35.96), run by Gayles, senior Olivia Baker, Best and junior Missy Mongiovi. The ‘B’ team, made up of Wilson, Labrie-Smith, senior Amber Lewis and freshman Carolyn Wilson, also managed to dominate after a seemingly impossible deficit made up by anchor Carolyn Wilson.

The men’s 4×400 (Brody, junior Lucas Ege, junior Isaac Westlund, and Navarro) also won with a time of 3:12.45. The ‘B’ squad featured seniors Harrison Williams, Christian White, Colin Dolese and Daniel Brady.

Aria Small, a freshman competing in the women’s triple jump, won the collegiate section with a career-best of 40-10 ½ (12.46 meters).

On Friday, graduate student Jaak Uudmae and senior Daryth Gayles won their respective long jumps. Junior Kaitlyn Merritt notched second and sophomore Erika Malaspina third in women’s pole vault.

The meet was packed tight with stars of both the collegiate and the international spheres. 2016 Olympic gold medalist Brianna Rollins-McNeal broke the meet record and notched the world record this year for 100 meter hurdles with a 12.62 time.

Dalilah Muhammad, gold medalist in 2016 for the 400 hurdles, also won in her event. Stanford’s Olivia Baker came in second.

Overall, the meet proved a stunning success for Cardinal athletes, who managed to net a series of personal bests along with victories. As the unofficial opening to the outdoor season, the weekend leaves a sense of hope and positivity as the team looks to take the momentum into following competitions. Up next is an away meet at rival Cal on Saturday.

 

Contact Laura Sussman at laura111 ‘at’ stanford.edu