Robert Cheserek and Trevor Dunbar, finishing first and fifth, put the Ducks on the boards with the lead after the Men’s 10,000 meters. Jim Rosa, moving up from middle of the pack to sixth, sets a PB and score for Stanford in Day 1 of the NCAA Outdoor Champs!
STANFORD RUNNERS SHARP AT NCAA’S
Rosa sixth in 10,000; Three advance in 800
EUGENE, Ore. – Jim Rosa earned Stanford’s first points of the NCAA Track and Field Championships, placing sixth in the men’s 10,000 meters at Hayward Field.
Rosa ran a personal record 28:57.51 by deftly moving up through the field, and earned first-team All-America honors by finishing among the top eight.
Rosa’s performance highlighted a strong opening day for Stanford runners. All three Stanford 800-meter runners – Claudia Saunders and Amy Weissenbach among the women and Luke Lefebure among the men — advanced to the finals through their performances in semifinal heats.
In field event finals, Stanford’s three-time Pac-12 women’s javelin champion Brianna Brain placed ninth with a top throw of 171-9, and freshman Dylan Duvio was 17th in the men’s pole vault, clearing 17-2 Â¾.
Rosa decided to run conservatively early on, a wise choice considering that a pack of five that included Oregon’s three-time NCAA champion Edward Cheserek and Texas Tech’s 2012 NCAA cross country champion Kennedy Kithuka broke out quickly.
Rosa remained near the end of the 24-runner field, even occupying last place briefly in the early laps. But as the runners began to separate, Rosa began to move up and bridge a gap between packs.
From there, he mostly rattled off consistent laps between 68 and 71 seconds. As runners grew weary, Rosa grew stronger. His final 1,600 (just short of a mile) of 4:24.73 was his fastest of the race and his time of 28:57.51 marked his first foray under 29 minutes.
Rosa’s three points were significant because it already marks an improvement for the Stanford men, who were shut out in last year’s NCAA championship meet, and five other Cardinal men are still to compete.
Stanford men and women are in position to earn points in the 800.
Saunders ran a personal record 2:02.68 – Improving on her No. 3 position on Stanford’s all-time list – and fellow sophomore Weissenbach also finished second in her 800 section to earn automatic berths in Friday’s final ().
Stanford junior Lefebure ran a lifetime best of 1:48.46 to advance to Friday’s men’s final (), qualifying on time.
Saunders, a hurdler in high school and in only her second season focusing on the 800, ran a smart race. She even appeared relaxed down the stretch of the first heat as she cruised to a lifetime best, faster than her 2:03.44 from the Payton Jordan Invitational.
Knowing that meet favorite Laura Roesler of Oregon does not like to lead, Saunders patiently remained in the pack with an eye on Roesler, even as Saunders was jostled at the bell.
When Roesler made a move to the front with 200 to go, Saunders went with her, pushing forward from fourth. Saunders simply followed Roesler to the line, remaining a step behind as Roesler clocked 2:02.60. They were the fastest of the day’s competitors.
Weissenbach ran 2:04.46 to finish second to Iowa State’s Ejiroghene Okoro (2:04.28) in the second heat. Weissenbach’s path was not as smooth. She was boxed on the inside rail for most of the race and had to keep her balance during contact in a tight pack on the final lap.
As the pack rounded the turn into the homestretch, Weissenbach tried to squeeze through on the inside, but found her path blocked. Instead, she bolted sharply into lane two and found room outside to stride out to the finish.
This will be the second con
secutive NCAA final for Weissenbach, who placed sixth last year. This marks the first individual final, indoors or outdoors, for Saunders.
With only two automatic spots available in each heat, Lefebure’s section looked formidable, with the two fastest collegians in the country, and three of the top five, in the race.
Rutto shattered the Payton Jordan Invitational record onby running 1:45.37 at Cobb Track and Angell Field.
Lefebure, a math and computational science major who carries a 3.84 cumulative grade-point average, opened with a 52.34 first lap. He moved into fourth on the backstretch of the final lap and passed a fading Eliud Rutto, the Middle Tennessee State sophomore who shattered the Payton Jordan Invitational record in May, down the stretch to capture third.
Lefebure Is assured of his first individual All-America honor. His time (1:48.46) was the fourth-fastest of the day, and bettered his previous best of 1:48.79 from the Big Meet. Not a bad rebound for Lefebure, who didn’t make the Pac-12 final.
Bain was coming off NCAA finishes of third in 2013 and second in 2012, but had been nursing an arm injury this season. Her best throw of 171-9 came on her third attempt, and was an improvement of 14-6 over her second throw. It got her into the final and the opportunity for three more attempts, but she did not improve.
Duvio cleared the opening height of 16-8 Â¾ on his second try and made 17-2 Â¾ on his first. This gave him three attempts at a personal record 17-8 1/2, but without success.
The four-day meet continueswith four Stanford athletes in action: Lucas Rowley in the men’s hammer throw trials and final ( ), Valarie Allman in the women’s discus trials and final ( ), Michael Atchoo in the men’s 1,500 semifinals ( ), and Rebecca Mehra in the women’s 1,500 semifinals (
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800 (semifinals) – 4, Luke Lefebure 1:48.46 (personal record). Lefebure advanced to Friday’s final.
10,000 (final) – 6, Jim Rosa 28:57.51.
Pole vault (final) – 17, Dylan Duvio 17-2 Â¾ (5.25m).
800 (semifinals) – 2, Claudia Saunders 2:02.68 (personal record; No. 3 Stanford all-time); 6, Amy Weissenbach 2:04.46. Saunders and Weissenbach advanced to Friday’s final.
Javelin (final) – 9, Brianna Bain 171-9 (52.35m).