Men's Pac-10 Track and Field Title Preview

Stanford hopes to score big in the Pac 10 Championships that begin Friday in Tempe. starts its coverage with a men's preview and a review of the multi events from this past weekend.

Predicted Men's Final Score:
1. Oregon 144
2. ASU 134
3. USC 109
4. UCLA 96
5. Stanford 82
6. Arizona 75
7. Washington 71
8. Cal 56
9. WSU 52

The results from last weekend's decathlon (where Oregon led the way with 19 points) and heptathlon will count toward those final totals, but here's a quick look of what to expect in all this weekend's events:

100: USC's Rashad Ahmad is the class of the field at 10.26, but six athletes are in the 10.41 to 10.51 range. Stanford's Wopamo Osaisai is the 10.51. Ahmad to win, ASU's Duncan and Abram, 2-3, with Osaisai 5th. 14 points for ASU, four for Stanford.

Washington's Jordan Boase has the best time, 20.37. USC's Lionel Larry is an outstanding 200 (20.65, 2nd) and 400 sprinter. Osaisai's 21.41 is 0.2 behind the 10th best, so he probably won't be a factor here. Larry to win close over Boase. There are six sprinters at 21.00 or better in an outstanding field. USC with 14 points.

400: Again Washington's Boase has the best time, 44.82, ahead of USC's Larry at 45.02. Stanford's frosh Andrew Dargie is the seventh fastest at 46.53. Four runners at 45.60 or better. Larry over Boase, Dargie sixth. 12 Points USC, three for Stanford.

Before we discuss the 800/1500, I'd like to introduce you to the best Pac-10 athlete you probably have never heard of, Andrew Wheating of Oregon. The 6-5 sophomore from Vermont started running as a high school senior, and immediately posted a best of 3:53 in the 1500 (a 4:12 mile pace), and a 14:55 5K. Those are very nice high school times. But he gets to Oregon and runs 1:50 and 3:45 as a freshman. Then, this year he has run 1:47.82 and a 3:56 mile. He has become an Olympic contender in his third year of Track.

800: USC's Duane Solomon has run 1:47.33, just ahead of Wheating. Sub-1:48 in college is really outstanding. Stanford has three in the top seven, Russell Brown, 1:48.66, Michael Garcia, 1:49.18 and Garrett Heath, 1:49.70. Assuming Wheating doubles, he beats Solomon in a close race. Brown third, Garcia fourth and I don't think Heath will run this event. 13 points for Oregon, 11 for Stanford.

Wheating leads with 3:39.96, with four other runners within a second. Included in this group are Brown's, 3:40.96 and Heath's 3:40.51 (converted from his indoor sub-four minute mile). Wheating over Brown with Heath third. Oregon should place two more runners, so 16 points for Oregon and 14 for Stanford.

5K: Six athletes are between 13:50 and 13:59. Oregon sophomore AJ Acosta leads with a 13:50.20. Stanford's Hari Mix is second with 13:56.28, and I would imagine he will run the 10K Day 1, then the 5K Day 2. Acosta leads Oregon to a 1-2-3-4 with Mix fifth. And freshman Elliott Heath, Garrett's brother, seventh. Elliott has run 13:59.12. Oregon with a monster 29 points, Stanford 6.

10K: Stanford's Mix has the best time, 28:50.87. Stanford's Nef Araia has the sixth-best time. Mix (yes, the son of Tom, J) wins, Oregon 3-4, Nef fifth. Stanford 14 points, Oregon, 11.

Steeplechase: ASU's Kyle Alcorn is one of the best in the nation, and leads the Pac 10 by 13 seconds with an 8:38.52. Stanford's Chris Mocko just misses the list. Alcorn to win. Oregon 2-6 for 11 points, ASU with 14 points.

High hurdles:
Former Logan High star Kevin Craddock of UCLA leads the way at 13.46, with USC's Kai Kelley right behind with a 13.51. Bradley, Stanford's school-record holder, is fifth with a 13.78w and 13.80. Craddock beats Kelley in a very close race, Bradley fifth. 15 points for USC, four for Stanford.

Intermediate hurdles:
WSU footballer Jeshua Anderson leads with a 49.66, slightly better than Kelley's 50.19. Eight runners are at 52.00 or better. Stanford's Durell Coleman has run 54. Kelley over Anderson. WSU 12 points, USC 11.

4X100 Relay:
Arizona leads four sub-40 teams. Stanford's best is 40.59. We could improve but seventh is the best to hope for. Arizona over ASU.

4X400 Relay:
ASU has an outstanding team with a best of 3:05.85. Stanford has a fine 3:10.92, but that's only seventh-best. ASU first, Stanford seventh.

High Jump:
Five athletes over 7-2 ½, led by USC's Wijesekara Manjula Kumara at 7-3 ¾. Stanford enters Josh Hustedt if he is recovered from the decathlon, at 6-8 ½. But I'll go with Cal's Ed Wright, who has a best of 7-2 ½. Second place to Washington's Norris Frederick, who has a best of 7-3 ¼.

Pole Vault: Stanford's Graeme Hoste has the best vault at 18-4 ¾. He leads a Stanford foursome, all over 16-6 ¾. However UCLA trumps that with four vaulters over 17 feet. Hoste to win and Hustedt eighth, but UCLA 2-3-4-6. 22 points to UCLA and 11 to Stanford.

Long Jump:
Frederick Norris of Washington, the 7-3 HJer, has the best at 26-7 ¾. ASU's Matt Turner with a best of 26-1 ½ is the only other jumper over 25-4. This means that after the first two places its wide open. Hustedt has a best of 24-8 ½ and Stanford's Adrian Munabi has a best of 24-5. Norris and Turner go 1-2, with Munabi eighth.

Triple Jump:
Seven jumpers spread pretty evenly between 50-3 and 51-6. It should be wide open. Stanford enters Munabi at 49-3 ¾ and Richard Sherman at an indoor 50-4 ¾, though he has been well short of that mark outdoors. Daniel Marshall of Arizona is my predicted winner with Munabi and Sherman seventh and eighth. 15 points for Arizona and three for Stanford.

Shot Put:
Olympic contender Ryan Whiting of ASU is only a sophomore but is already at 71-3 ½. Four putters are between 61 and 65-6, so there's lots of quality athletes in this event. Whiting to win with Arizona's Lloyd and Best 2-4. 14 points for Arizona.

Three 200-foot throwers, with Stanford's Daniel Schaerer ( 197) redshirting while training for the Swiss Olympic team. Whiting of ASU the predicted winner. ASU with 12 points, UCLA to go 2-4-5-8 for 18 points.

Hammer: Another quality field, with USC's Kocsor above the pack. Oregon to go 2-4-7 and pick up 15 more points. Stanford's Davis-Hammerquist has a best of 197-11 and finishes eighth.
Javelin: Another Olympic contender, this time USC's Corey White, has a best of 267-10, leading the field by 30 feet.

The Pac-10 Championships started last weekend, with the men's heptathlon and women's decathlon. Stanford scored well in both, with the men tallying six points and the women nine in Tempe. Josh Hustedt finished third in the decathlon, while in the heptathlon, it was Lauren Stewart with a fourth-place finish and Whitney Liehr right behind in fifth place.

In the heptathlon, both Stanford women set PRs, with Liehr setting a new Stanford frosh record in the process. Her 5186 points topped Stewart's old record by 45. Not to be outdone, Stewart scored 5440, topping her previous best by 107 and moving into third place on the all-time Stanford list. Liehr's performance was good enough for seventh all-time at Stanford. Both Stewart and Liehr made provisional NCAA qualifying marks, with Stewart missing the automatic by only 60 points.

The winner was ASU's outstanding Jacquelyn Johnson, whose 542-point margin of victory set a Pac-10 record.

Also competing well for Stanford was Kara Bennett, who finished 11th, and Alexis Spiranac in 16th. Both PRed, Bennett by almost 300 points. In individual events, the pair had four PRs apiece.

In the decathlon, Hustedt took third place with 7181 points. The winner was stud Oregon sophomore Ashton Eaton with 7604 points. WSU's Ricky Moody took second with 7395 points. The scores were generally low in the decathlon, with only Eaton scoring an automatic NCAA qualifying mark. Stanford frosh Corey Dysick was 11th with 5598 points despite failing to clear a height in the PV, his best event.

In the individual events, Dysick had two PRs and Hustedt one.

Josh Hustedt had a better earlier score of 7465, 35 points short of the automatic qualifying mark, but third place in the Pac-10 should be enough to move him into the NCAAs.

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