The MPSF Indoor Championships begin on Friday as top collegians from the West Coast will meet at the Dempsey Indoor in Seattle to try and earn qualifying marks for the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships. Before we get into the previews and breakdowns, let’s take a look back at some of the highlights of last year’s meet.
To take a deeper dive into the archives, check out the list of best races from the 2008-2016 editions of the meet.
Women’s 800m: Olivia Baker Gets Her Qualifying Mark With An Assist From Raevyn Rogers
Entering the MPSF Championships, Olivia Baker's best mark of 2:05.00 wasn’t going to get her into the NCAA indoor championships. The Stanford junior was looking for something around 2:04 to feel comfortable that she could make the team.
Oregon’s Raevyn Rogers went to the front of the race and Baker was able to lock in behind her. Unbeknownst to Baker, Rogers was only rabbiting the race. Rogers stepped off the track on the final curve, leaving Baker to close the remaining 100 meters. She held her form and posted a 2:03.41, comfortably qualifying for the NCAA championships. Later on in meet, Baker came back to split a 52-second leg on the 4x400m relay.
Men’s 3000: John Dressel Erases Huge Deficit To Win
The top three finishers — John Dressel, Garrett Corcoran, and Matthew Maton — all ran under 7:53 and earned their qualifying marks for the NCAA indoor championships. But even if qualifying marks weren’t on the line, this would have been a great race.
Maton of Oregon opened up a gap with 600 meters remaining. It was a bold move and it looked like it might just take him to victory. In the final lap Dressel and Corcoran noticeably cut into Maton’s lead as they chased him down the back stretch. Dressel flew down the final straightaway to take the win in 7:51.44. Garrett Corcoran also closed hard to take second in 7:52.10. Matthew Maton held on for third in 7:52.51.
Women’s 60m: Hannah Cunliffe Ties Dempsey Record
Two weeks before she became an NCAA champion, and two weeks after she set the collegiate record, Hannah Cunliffe laid down a 7.15 at the MPSF Championships. The mark tied the facility record and earned her a comfortable victory over her sprint standout teammates Arianna Washington, Deajah Stevens, and Makenzie Dunmore.
Women’s DMR: Dani Jones Outkicks Elise Cranny
In what foreshadowed her performance at the NCAA indoor championships, Colorado’s Dani Jones ran a scintillating 1600m anchor leg to bring Colorado back from third place in the final laps. Entering the meet, the bubble time was 11:02.60 for a trip to the NCAA indoor championships. Washington was in command for most of the race after a strong opening leg from Amy-Eloise Neale. The Huskies held their lead into the anchor leg as Stanford and Colorado trailed in second and third.
Entering the final 1600m leg, Washington’s Emily Hamlin had a sizable lead over Stanford’s Elise Cranny with an equally large gap back to Dani Jones of Colorado. With three laps remaining, Cranny overtook Hamlin and looked poised to take Stanford to victory. But Jones kept coming and with 150 remaining, she swept past Cranny to take the Buffaloes to victory in 10:58.69. Stanford took second in 10:59.82 as both schools earn spots in the NCAA indoor championships. Two weeks later, Jones displayed that same finishing speed as she again anchored the Buffaloes to victory in the distance medley relay and also won the 3000m.