NCAA Track & Field Day Four Recap

On the final day of competition at Hornet Stadium in these 2007 NCAA Track & Field Championships, both the Stanford men and women finished 10th in an upset. The surge on Saturday was led by a silver so close to gold and a pair of bronze finishes.

That Last Jump

On the last jump of the competition in the women's triple jump, other than Erica McLain's final, Yvette Lewis of Hampton moved into first place, edging McLain by 2 1/4 inches.  On her last jump, McLain gave her all, but fell six inches short of the target.  Still, an awesome meet by the Stanford junior: third in the long jump and second in the Triple Jump.  I believe McLain had four of the top six or five of the top seven jumps in the event.

In the Men's 1500m, Stanford junior Russell Brown took the lead for a lap and then settled into the top three or four runners.  On the gun lap, he took off with the leaders and came oh so close to the win, finishing third, just half a second out of first place.  Russell ran 3:37.56, and teammate Garrett Heath finished seventh in 3:40.14.  For some perspective, the winning time was the eighth fastest run ever by a collegiate.  Brown's time is equal to a 3:55 mile, and Heath's time equal to a 3:57.5 mile.

Stanford had three runners in the women's 1500m, and sophomore Alica Follmar took off in the lead to start the race, with junior Lauren Centrowitz right with her.  With just over two laps to go, senior Arianna Lambie took off and opened a five-yard lead on the field.  But she ran out of stream with maybe 150 yards to go in the race and finished third.  Nevertheless, it was a PR for the Stanford great, 4:12.29.  Centrowitz just missed placing at ninth in 4:19.34, only a second off her PR.  Follmar, clearly exhausted by her leading early, finished 11th in 4:30.54.

I predicted possible top-10 finishes by our Cardinal, and that is what they did.  The women were tied for 10th, as were the men.  Four Pac-10 men's teams finished in the Top 11, and five Pac-10 women's teams.  Cal, with winners in the discus and 800m, outscored Stanford's women by three points.

A note on Cal's Alysia Johnson, who won the 800m with the second best college time ever, 1:59.21.

This was one heck of a meet, and a shame that it's the last big meet at Sacramento State for a while.  The NCAAs move to Des Moines next year.  Eugene will be in the limelight with the NCAAs in 2010, and the Olympic Trials next year.  As the Sacramento Bee pointed out in a story Friday, Oregon is paying Vin Lanana $600K a year to bring Back the Glory to Eugene.  I caught the end of an interview with Oregon's great junior distance runner, Galen Rupp.  He ended it with, "On the drive home, we'll get close to Eugene and see the sign: 'Track Capitol of the World'."

Don't forget there is more track on TV Sunday at 1PM PDT - it's from Eugene.


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