Local athletes head to Stanford Invite

Invite can be high-pressured meet for some with college scholarships on the line
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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The Stanford Invitational has become one of the premier track and field events not only in college but in high school. Thousands of athletes come from all over the West Coast with the hopes of distinguishing themselves against the best competition around. College athletes compete congruently with their high school counterparts, as the separate events are woven into each other, which gives area prep athletes a chance to shine in front of a bevy college coaches looking to fill the voids of future seasons. “For some of them it’s actually a very high-pressure meet,” Del Oro coach Dustin Fee said. “I remember back when I was competing there, all eyes are on you. A lot of college coaches are there for our seniors and they’re actually able to communicate with their coaches there, their possible future coaches. They want to see what they’re getting or what the possibility of what they could get.” The Eagles will bring 26 athletes to the Stanford Invite, which begins today at Stanford and wraps up Saturday. Placer will also be well represented with three individuals and one relay team. Highly-accomplished runner Brie Simmons, a senior at Del Oro, will compete in the 100 meter and 400 meter hurdles where she will look to impress the coaches at Brigham Young University, her dream school. She will also compete in the 4X100 and 4X400 relay. Teammate Casey Wheeler will look to the do the same on the boy’s side in the hurdles. Wheeler is trying to earn a spot on the Sacramento State track team next season, Fee said. Placer’s lineup is highlighted by Meghan Tucker and Shelby Crider. Tucker, a sophomore, will compete in the long jump, the event she recently set the Placer school record in with a 17 1/2-foot jump. She qualified for the 100 meters but has a slight hamstring injury and will skip the event. Crider, who won the Pioneer Valley League pole vault title last season, qualified with a vault of 11-3 at the Steve March Relays to start the season. Placer junior James Hubbard will compete in the discus throw after he threw a qualifying mark of 158.75 feet. The Hillmen will also bring their boys 4X800 relay team.