Spencer Allen
Track & Field

Whittaker Wins NCAA Title

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BOSTON – Stanford sophomore Juliette Whittaker powered into the lead on the homestretch to win the women's 800 meters at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and give Cardinal back-to-back champions in that event.

Whittaker won her first individual national title after finishing second to teammate Roisin Willis last year. 

Whittaker ran 1:59.53, breaking Willis's meet and Stanford indoor record of 1:59.93. Whittaker now is the No. 3 performer in collegiate indoor history and the time makes it the No. 4 performance all-time. Willis, who did not make the final, is the No. 4 performer in collegiate indoors all-time. 

Two other Cardinal were in action Saturday on the final day of the two-day meet at The Track at New Balance. Ky Robinson was fifth in the men's 3,000 in 7:46.13 and Alyssa Jones was 15th in the women's high jump at 5-8 ¾ (1.75m).

The Stanford women tied for 16th with 16 points and the Cardinal men tied for 24th with 10 points. 

Whittaker and Willis are coached by J.J. Clark, Stanford's Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field and Cross Country. Clark is known especially for his expertise in the 800 and Whittaker executed her race plan perfectly. 


Juliette Whittaker. Photo by Spencer Allen.

At the starting gun, Whittaker followed LSU's Michaela Rose, the 2023 NCAA outdoor 800 champion, and broke from their lanes to the curb together. Rose bolted to a 27.92 opening lap on the 200-meter track, with Whittaker in tow in 28.14. 

"I thought she would take it out because she tends to do that," Whittaker said. "In my mind, that was OK. I'd try to hang on for as long as i could."

Rose continued to lead through 400 – 58.33 to 58.55 – and through the bell and even the final turn. However, Whittaker had closed slowly on the final lap and was half a length behind Rose at the turn and sprung outside past her with the finish line in view.

Whittaker closed with a final 200 in 30.65 to Rose's 31.14 and was beside herself with joy after crossing the finish line. 

"Coming off the turn, I'm feeling very dead," Whittaker said. "My form starts to go and I kind of look a mess. I tried to visualize my fast 50s in workouts and focus on just running fast."

Whittaker anchored Stanford to the NCAA indoor distance medley relay title, but this was unique in a different way. This is the 12th victory at NCAA Indoors for the Stanford women all-time.

For the men, Robinson earned his 12th All-America honor and finished among the top five in an NCAA championship race for the seventh time. Robinson, the reigning NCAA 5,000 and 10,000 champion outdoors, was third in the 5,000 on Friday night.

Jones followed her third-place finish in the long jump on Friday with her second event of the meet. This was her first NCAA high jump competition. 


Ky Robinson. Photo by Spencer Allen.
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NCAA Indoor Championships
At the Track at New Balance
200-meter track
Winners and Stanford results

Team leaders
– 1, Texas Tech 50.5; 2, Arkansas 41; 3, Florida 39; 4, Northern Arizona 31; 5, North Carolina 26; 24, Stanford 10.
3,000 – 1, Nico Young (NAU) 7:41.01; 5, Ky Robinson (Stanford) 7:46.13. 
Team leaders
– 1, Arkansas 65; 2, Florida 50; 3, Georgia 32; 4 (tie), Oregon and Ole Miss, each 30; 15, Stanford 16.
800 – 1, Juliette Whittaker (Stanford) 1:59.53 (school indoor record; meet record; facility record; No. 3 collegian all-time indoors; No. 4 collegiate performance all-time indoors).
High jump – 1, Rachel Glenn (Arkansas) 6-6 ¾ (2.00m); 15, Alyssa Jones (Stanford) 5-8 ¾ (1.75m).

Stanford All-Americans
First team
-- Ky Robinson (3,000, 5,000).
First team
-- Alyssa Jones (long jump), Juliette Whittaker (800).
Second team -- Zofia Dudek (DMR), Taylor James (DMR), Lucy Jenks (5,000), Alyssa Jones (high jump), Sophia Kennedy (DMR), Maya Valmon (DMR), Roisin Willis (800).