Stanford Track & Field: The Distance Events

Stanford has long been known for great distance runners. Don Kardong and Duncan McDonald ran together at Stanford and the 1976 Olympics. Olympians Michael Stember, Gabe Jennings and Jonathon Riley also ran together on the Farm. But wait, don't forget Olympians Regina Jacobs, Malindi Elmore and Lauren Fleshman, and standouts Ari Lambie and Lauren Centrowitz. Here's what this year has in store.

Women:

800: School Record: Justine Fedronic, 2:03.54
Fedronic is now a senior with a best of 2:04.29, second all-time at Stanford. Add senior Joy O'Hare and three freshmen: Amy Wessenbach, 2:02.04 and this season 2:05.56i, Claudia Saunders, 2:09.80i, and Hannah Brown, 2:08.80, and we have an outstanding top end and deep group overall. Plus, there are three others at 2:10 or better. We have a real chance to score a number of points at the Pac-12 and some at the national level.

1500: School Record, Lauren Centrowitz, 4:10.23
Fedronic has run 4:29, but showed during cross country that this could come down quite a bit. Senior Kathy Kroeger has a best of 4:21, junior Jessica Tonn has 4:23, and sophomores Alli Billmeyer and Aisling Cuffe each have 4:19s. However it's two exciting freshmen who may carry the day. Cami Chapus won the California state meet two years ago and has a 4:17 PR. Cayla Hatton had a great cross country season and was one of the top two or three high school runners in the nation last year, with a 1500 best of 4:18.

Steeplechase: School Record, Lindsay Allen, 10:01.53
Emilie Amara is a fifth-year senior with a 10:11 best. Sophomore Mary Kate Anselmini has a 10:18 best, while sophomore Julia Foster has run 10:36. Freshman Rebecca Mehra has a fine 2K steeplechase time in high school.

5K: School Record, Lauren Fleshman, 15:12.71
Kroeger, 15:33, was an Olympic trial finalist. Jessica Tonn just broke 16 minutes indoors with a 15:56. Cuffe has run 16:42 but her 9:07 3k is the best on the team. Hatton at 15:50 is the second best high school woman ever. This is an extremely strong event for Stanford. Kroeger is sixth all time, and if Tonn and Hatton equal their outdoor bests for Stanford, they too would break into the top 10.

10K: School Record, Alicia Craig, 32:19.97
Hatton has run 33:17 which would be fifth all time. Georgia Griffin is a senior with a best of 33:39, eighth all time. There are a number of 5K runners who could move up too.

Men:

800: School Record, Michael Stember, 1:46.20
Two senior milers lead the way here: Andrew Berberick, 1:49.54, and Tyler Stutzman, 1:50.59. Sophomore Luke Lefebrue has run 1:49.92 and freshman Justin Brinkley, 1:51.22i. Junior Thomas Mallon ran 1:49.31 in high school but injuries have held him back.

1500: School Record, Michael Stember, 3:35.11.
*Jeff Atkinson, 3:55.16, holds the mile record. Stanford has had five outdoor four-minute milers.

Junior Michael Atchoo just set the school indoor record with a 3:57.14. Stutzman ran 3:58.85 in the same race. Senior Dylan Ferris ran a 3:40.07 several years ago, ninth all-time. Stutzman ran 3:40.53 last year, good for tenth in school history. Berberick has run a 4:00.77 mile, and we have eight others who have run between 4:05 and 4:09. With a 4:05, Harvard transfer Billy Orman was one of 2011's top high school distance runners.

Steeplechase: School Record, Ian Dobson, 8:32.09
Tim Luthin is a sophomore who ran 9:15 last year. I'm sure we will have others from our deep distance corps.

5K: School Record, Ian Dobson, 13:15.33
While we don't have a Chris Derrick, who nearly qualified for the Olympics while in college, we are solid. Junior Erik Olsen has run 13:51. The Rosa twins are now sophomores and have bests of 13:58 (Joe) and 13:59 (Jim). Freshman Tom Graham comes in as one of the best in high school last year, 14:11, and has a great 3K of 8:09. Orman will be a factor here and milers Atchoo and Stutzman are both capable of getting into the 13's. There's a lot of depth, but Stanford needs a runner to really step up.

10K: School Record, Chris Derrick, 27:31.38
Graham, Olsen and the Rosas should be very good here, though there are no track times for anyone in this event. Still, the 10K will be a strength.

Coming events: On March 29 and 30 is the Stanford Invitational, featuring many high school events and a distance carnival with America's best runners. April 20 brings the Big Meet to Stanford. April 28 is the Payton Jordon Invite, featuring great athletes from across the country. USC hosts the Pac 12 Championships May 11 and 12, with NCAA Regionals May 23-25 in Austin, Tex., and NCAA Finals June 5-8 in Eugene.


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