Qualifiers Come into View – Stanford University Athletics

Qualifiers Come into View - Stanford University Athletics

SEATTLE – Stanford sophomore Juliette Whittaker assured herself of an individual event at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships with her performance in the 800 meters on Saturday at the Ken Shannon Last Chance Invitational.

On the final day of NCAA qualifying, Whittaker sought to give herself a better chance at being among the nation’s top 16 — the cutoff to qualify for NCAA Indoors — and did so with a time of 2:00.09 while placing second overall and first among collegians on Dempsey Indoor’s 307-meter flat track.

The time was the seventh-fastest for all-sized indoor tracks in collegiate history. Whittaker and teammate Roisin Willis own four of those top seven times. Of greater importance as far as NCAA’s are concerned, Whittaker moved up to No. 2 on the NCAA Division I season list. 

This season, Whittaker had four shots to reach NCAA’s: In the 800, mile, and 4×400 and distance medley relays. She entered the weekend No. 12 in the 800, No. 17 in the mile, No. 5 in the DMR, and not in contention in the 4×400. 

She did not attempt to run the mile at Ken Shannon and the top of the DMR list remained the same through the weekend. However, her 800 time of 2:02.67 was on the bubble, though it would have survived the weekend with a No. 14 final ranking. 

The final piece of that puzzle was the 4×400. The team of Cydney Wright, Willis, Whittaker, and Maya Valmon gave it a shot. They ran 3:31.97 for the No. 2 time in Stanford indoor history while placing second. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to get to the NCAA’s, and the Cardinal sits at No. 17, with the top 12 advancing for nationals in relays. Stanford would have needed to run faster than 3:29.94 to advance.

Whittaker was under the meet and facility records, with pro Nia Akins winning the race in 1:58.27 and taking those honors. 

The official list of those to advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships will be released Tuesday. However, seven Cardinal are in position to qualify in individual events, plus one relay.

Men in qualifying position: Garrett Brown (No. 7, pole vault) and Ky Robinson (No. 1, 3,000; No. 3, 5,000). 

Women in qualifying position: Amy Bunnage (No. 3, 5,000), Lucy Jenks (No. 15, 5,000), Alyssa Jones (No. 12, high jump; No. 7, long jump; No. 15, pentathlon), Whittaker (No. 2, 800), Willis (No. 8, 800), and the DMR (No. 5). Stanford’s team that ran the fastest DMR time was Jenks, Taylor James, Willis, and Whittaker.

If the DMR team is unchanged, Stanford would be represented by eight…

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