Stanford senior Elliott Heath kicked off his 2011 indoor season with a bang on Friday at the Razorback Invitational with a phenomenal anchor leg on the Cardinal distance medley relay. Stanford trailed Arkansas by about three seconds after the third leg, leaving Heath a significant deficit to make up. But with a blazing 3:55.77 1600 meter leg, Heath caught Duncan Phillips to set a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 9:29.22. The Razorbacks finished second in 9:30.85, also a NCAA auto time.
The next day, Heath won the invitational 3000 meter run in 7:52.27, another auto standard for nationals. The University of Arizona duo of Lawi Lalang and Stephen Sambu trailed in second and third, respectively.
Heath appears to be in great shape after struggling at cross country nationals. His contribution in the DMR and individual events will boost Stanford’s hopes for a podium finish at NCAA’s. The men’s squad should also be able to count on junior Amaechi Morton, who ran a nation-leading time 400 meter time of 46.23 seconds this weekend, and distance runner Chris Derrick to score a good chunk of team points.
At the UW Invitational in Seattle, Cal sophomore Collin Jarvis set a massive personal best in the 3000 meters, running 7:59.85 to win the fastest section. Although the time isn’t an automatic qualifier, it may hold up to be enough to get him to nationals. Also in Seattle, Cory Primm, the half-mile specialist from UCLA, moved up in distance to take second in the mile with a time of 4:02.10. With the erratic pacing of Saturday’s race, it appears that Primm could be in shape to dip under four minutes for the mile in a more evenly run affair.