Friday, April 07, 2017


Stanford and Cal renew track and field rivalry

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Photo of Olivia Baker at the 2015 Big Meet by Dave Bernal/ISI Photos.

STANFORD, Calif. – Only two sports are older than track and field at Stanford, and one of them, football was not played for more than a decade in the early 1900's. Therefore, only baseball, which began in 1892, has a longer continuous tradition at Stanford.

Which brings us to the 123rd Big Meet, on Saturday at Cobb Track and Angell Field. The track and field rivalry began on April 22, 1893, at the Olympic Club Grounds in San Francisco and for years was the centerpiece of both programs.

As the sport has evolved, collegiate dual meets have largely gone by the wayside. But Stanford vs. Cal has continued. Cal leads the men's series, 69-51-2, and Stanford leads the women's, 25-12. Several times the meet has been decided by the final event. That was the case last year when the Stanford men rallied from a 15-point deficit over the final four events and shut out Cal in three of them to win, 86-77, and sweep the men's and women's competitions for the first time in four years.

In the first meet, Cal dominated what was titled, the "First Intercollegiate Field Day" by a 91-35 score, though Stanford won three events, highlighted by a sweep of the two-mile bicycle race, and placing first and third in the one-mile walk.

Stanford did not win its first "Big Meet" until 1903, snapping a winless streak that extended 10 years. Since the end of a 25-year Cal winning streak (1972-96), the men's series has been nearly even, with Stanford holding an 11-9 lead.
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Meet Information:

Big Meet
What: 123rd dual meet between Stanford and California
Where: Cobb Track and Angell Field
Events begin: Field, 2 p.m.; Running, 3:15 p.m.

Follow the action:
Live results: Click here.

All-Time Series Records:
Men: California leads, 69-51-2.
Women: Stanford leads, 25-12.
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Meet Schedule:

Field events:

2 p.m.: Women's Hammer, followed by Men's Hammer
3 p.m.: Women's Long Jump, followed by Men's Long Jump
3:30 p.m.: Women's Javelin, followed by Men's Javelin
3:30 p.m.: Women's Shot Put, followed by Men's Shot Put
3:30 p.m.: Women's Pole Vault, followed by Men's Pole Vault
3:30 p.m.: Men's High Jump, followed by Women's High Jump
4:30 p.m.: Women's Triple Jump, followed by Men's Triple Jump
4:30 p.m.: Women's Discus, followed by Men's Discus

Running events:
3:10 p.m.: National Anthem
3:15 p.m.: Women's 3,000 Steeplechase
3:30 p.m.: Men's 3,000 Steeplechase
3:45 p.m.: Women's 4 x 100 Relay
3:50 p.m.: Men's 4 x 100 Relay
3:55 p.m.: Women's 1,500
4 p.m.: Men's 1,500
4:15 p.m.: Women's 100 Hurdles
4:20 p.m.: Men's 110 Hurdles
4:25 p.m.: Women's 400
4:30 p.m.: Men's 400
4:35 p.m.: Women's 100
4:40 p.m.: Men's 100
4:50 p.m.: Women's 800
4:55 p.m.: Men's 800
5:05 p.m.: Women's 400 Hurdles
5:10 p.m.: Men's 400 Hurdles
5:15 p.m.: Women's 200
5:20 p.m.: Men's 200
5:25 p.m.: Women's 3,000
5:40 p.m.: Men's 3,000
5:50 p.m.: Women's 4 x 400 Relay
5:55 p.m.: Men's 4 x 400 Relay
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Javelin streak: Stanford's longest winning streak in any event is in the women's javelin. Stanford throwers have won the past 14 years, beginning with Erin Merriman in 2003 and 2004. Danielle Maier won four times (2005-08) and Brianna Bain was a three-time winner (2012-14) and holds the school and meet record of 183-10. Victoria Smith extended the streak to 13 in 2015 and freshman Mackenzie Little made it 14, during a season in which she would capture the Pac-12 championship. Both Smith and Little are scheduled to throw Saturday.

Final-race success: Though Cal has won its share of Big Meets in the past six years, Stanford has walked away with a measure of satisfaction, winning both the men's and women's 4x400 relays each year since 2011. The event is notable because athletes from both teams line the inside lanes over the final three laps, cheering their teammates in close proximity and forming a virtual tunnel down the homestretch.

Last year, Stanford's team of Harrison Williams, Isaiah Brandt-Sims, Daniel Brady and Jackson Shumway won by nearly seven seconds, and its time of 3:11.21 was the fastest during that six-year stretch. If the result was reversed, Cal would have won the meet, 82-81. Stanford went on to win their first conference 4x400 or mile relay title in 62 years.

However, of last year's Big Meet-winning team, Stanford's two fastest legs -- Williams and Shumway – are gone. Williams is redshirting and Shumway has graduated. Both have run sub-47 in the open 400. However, the team did not include current junior Frank Kurtz, last year's Big Meet 400 winner and a member of the Pac-12 championship quartet. Kurtz will likely anchor this year's team.

The Stanford women's 4x400 team returns two of its four from last year's winning squad – Missy Mongiovi and reigning Pac-12 400 champ Olivia Baker.

Longest men's streak: The Stanford men's answer to the Cardinal women's javelin winning streak is in the 400. The Cardinal has won the past 10, with a streak that began with Durell Coleman's victory in 2007.

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