Big Night in Seattle – Stanford University Athletics

Big Night in Seattle - Stanford University Athletics

SEATTLE – Sophomore Alyssa Jones and freshman Amy Bunnage rewrote the Stanford record book on a big night for Cardinal track and field at the Ken Shannon Last Chance Invitational on Friday.

In her first multi-event competition, Jones broke the Stanford record in the pentathlon to add to the three Cardinal records she already owns. Her score of 4,127 points in the five-event, one-day competition allowed Jones, a standout long- and high-jumper, to place second. 

Bunnage, an 18-year-old freshman, ran 15:11.68 for 5,000 meters to not only break the Stanford indoor record, but also the Australian under-20 record, including indoors and outdoors. Her time, run on Dempsey Indoor’s 307-meter flat track, was the fourth-fastest in collegiate history for all indoor tracks, including oversized tracks like this one. 

Bunnage found herself as the only collegian in a front pack of seven. Though the leaders began to pull away, Bunnage kept in contact and continued her torrid pace. She crossed the finish line by destroying teammate Lucy Jenks’ two-week-old school indoor record of 15:33.98 set on the same track. 

In her first collegiate 5,000, Bunnage broke the Aussie U20 record of 15:18.6 by Eloise Wellings that had stood since 1982 and Bunnage now is No. 15 on the Australian senior absolute 5,000 list. On the Stanford absolute 5,000 list, Bunnage is No. 3, behind only Vanessa Fraser (15:09.62, 2018) and Aisling Cuffe (15:11.13, 2014). 

Bunnage moves up to No. 3 on the season NCAA Division I list, which gets her into the NCAA Indoor Championships March 8-9 in Boston. The top 16 in individual events and top 12 in relays advance and this is the last weekend of qualifying. She went into this weekend No. 17 in the 3,000 and therefore needed a fast race on Friday. 

And one other record: Bunnage broke the Card freshmen mark of 15:43.05 by classmate Sophia Kennedy at the Husky Classic on February 9. 

Jones entered the weekend No. 5 in the long jump and tied for No. 11 in the high jump. But she could have another qualifying opportunity. Considering pentathlon marks going into this weekend, Jones’ total would slip in at No. 14. 

With her two specialty events – the long jump and high jump – included in the pentathlon, Jones had the chance to put up big points in those events, which she did. She opened with an 8.68 in the 60 hurdles, placing her No. 10 in Stanford indoor history in her debut in that event.  

The high jump was next and with her 1,029 points from a 6-0 ½…

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