Kirby Lee/Image of Sport
Track & Field

Jones Makes NCAAs

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. Alyssa Jones became the first from Stanford to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Jones was second in the women's long jump with a wind-aided distance of 22-2 ¼ (6.76 meters) at the NCAA West Prelims on Thursday at John McConnell Field at the University of Arkansas. 

The top 12 in each event advance to the NCAA Championships, June 5-8 in Eugene, Oregon.

Jones is among 26 Stanford athletes – 19 women and seven men -- plus two women's relay teams to compete NCAA West Prelims from Wednesday through Saturday. This is one of two meets in the country, along with another in Lexington, Kentucky, that will determine the NCAA Championships fields of 24 for each event.

Jones, a sophomore competing in the third of four flights of 12, reached her longest distance on her third and final jump, which was aided by a 2.9 miles per second wind. The meet reunited Ackelia Smith of Texas and Jones, who finished 1-2 at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Championships and finished in the same order Thursday.

In first-round women's running events, three Cardinal advanced to the quarterfinals, which acts as the final round of this meet. In the 800, Juliette Whittaker and Roisin Willis each won their heats to advance. And in the 400 hurdles, Samantha Thomas had a breakthrough performance to advance as well.

Thomas, a senior, had been on a 58-59 plateau all season until she unleashed a personal best 57.40 to place third in her heat and advance as an automatic qualifier. The time strengthened her hold on No. 2 in school history behind only 2017 world champion Kori Carter.

Tess Stapleton set personal bests in two events, the 200 and long jump, though both marks cannot be counted for record purposes because they were aided by wind over 2.0 mps. 

In the long jump, Stapleton reached 20-8 1/2 (6.31m) to finish in 27th. And in the 200, she ran 23.33, which would have placed her No. 6 in school history if run in an allowable wind. She placed 35th overall. Stapleton has one event left, the 4x100 relay. 

Whittaker and Willis ran the two fastest times in the 800 first round. Whittaker cruised to victory in Heat 6 in 2:02.43. Willis earned a wire-to-wire victory in Heat 5 in 2:03.14. 

The final day of men's competition is Friday and Stanford has four competitors. Among them is Ky Robinson who will take a step to defend his NCAA outdoor title in the 5,000. 
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NCAA West Prelims
At John McDonnell Field
Stanford results


200 – First round: 35, Tess Stapleton 23.33w; Cydney Wright DNS.
400 – First round: 32, Maya Valmon 53.30; Cydney Wright DNS.
800 – First round: 1, Juliette Whittaker 2:02.43Q; 2, Roisin Willis 2:03.14Q; 31, Taylor James 2:08.21; 47, Amelia Everett 2:11.97.
1,500 – First round: 28, Julia Flynn 4:23.92; 34, Zofia Dudek 4:26.65.
10,000 – Semifinal: 26, Grace Connolly 35:08.49. 
400 hurdles – First round: 9, Samantha Thomas 57.40 (PB; No. 2 Stanford AT).
Long jump – 2, Alyssa Jones 22-2 ¼w (6.76m); 27, Tess Stapleton 20-8 1/2w (6.31m). Jones advances to NCAA Championships.
Javelin – 35, Abbey Moody 147-3 (45.02m).
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Stanford's Schedule (all times Pacific)

Stanford's Schedule (all times Pacific)


3:15 p.m.: Men's 1,500 quarterfinals – H1: Leo Young.
4 p.m.: Men's triple jump first round – F3: Kevin Yang.
6:10 p.m.: Men's 5,000 semifinals – H1: Lex Young; H2: Ky Robinson, Leo Young.

11 a.m.: Women's discus first round – F1: Brandy Atuatasi, Kaiah Fisher.
3 p.m.: Women's 4x100 relay – H2: Stanford.
3:40 p.m.: Women's 3,000 steeplechase quarterfinals – H3: Riley Stewart.
4 p.m.: Women's triple jump first round – F1: Alaysia Oakes.
5:05 p.m.: Women's 800 quarterfinals – H2: Juliette Whittaker; H3: Roisin Willis
5:25 p.m.: Women's 400 hurdles quarterfinals – H2: Samantha Thomas.
6:10 p.m.: Women's 5,000 semifinals – Amy Bunnage, Lucy Jenks, Sophia Kennedy.
6:45 p.m.: Women's 4x400 relay – H2: Stanford.