STANFORD, Calif. – Five track and field athletes signed national letters of intent with Stanford during the spring signing period this week, strengthening a recruiting class that now numbers 21.
This group includes three quartermilers, two who represented their countries at world championships, Ashlan Best and Louis Stenmark, and Carolyn Wilson, who is the third-fastest high schooler in the U.S. this year. In addition, Giana Gayles is nation’s No. 3 returning heptathlete and Virginia Miller is a two-time Junior Olympic javelin runner-up.
They join 16 who signed during the fall signing period:
Men’s signees were runners Callum Bolger (San Luis Obispo), Connor Lane (Raleigh, N.C.), DJ Principe (Johnston, R.I.), Michael Vernau (Davis), and McGorty (Fairfax, Va.). Also signed were throwers Jake Koffman (Orono, Maine) and Christensen (Mount Pleasant, S.C.), jumper/multis Jack Herkert (Verona, Wis.), and sprinter Gabriel Navarro (El Paso, Texas).
Women’s signees were runners Julia Heymach (Houston), Jess Lawson (Addison, N.Y.), Jordan Oakes (Seattle), Kaitlin Ryan (Tuckahoe, N.Y.), and Mareno (Raleigh, N.C.). Jumpers Aria Small (Mount Hermon, Mass.) and Valerie Przekop (Jamison, Pa.) signed as well.
Here are Stanford’s newest signees:
Ashlan Best (Guelph, Ontario, Canada/Centennial Collegiate Vocational Institute):
Ashlan Best was a finalist in the 200 at the World Under-20 Championships last year in Poland, placing sixth in 23.68, after running a personal best 23.61 in the opening round. She also earned her second world 4×400 bronze as part of Canada’s 4×400 team, duplicating her achievement at the 2015 World Youth Championships in Colombia. Best also ran a personal 400 best of 53.27 in the World U20 semifinals. Best, who competes for the SpeedRiver Track and Field Club, will become the fifth Canadian on the Stanford roster and should help fortify an already strong 4×400 lineup. A talented artist as well, Best anticipates majoring in human biology.
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Giana Gayles (Merritt Island, Fla./Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy):
Giana Gayles becomes the third Gayles sister to join the program, following twins Daryth and Gaby, who will be seniors next year. Giana was second in the heptathlon at the AAU Junior Olympics last summer in Humble, Texas. Her 4,862 points from that meet make her the No. 3 high school returnee in the nation this season. Gayles scored 4,648 to place fifth at the 2016 New Balance Outdoor Nationals, and captured the 100 hurdles and long jump titles at the Florida 1A championships. Gayles has best marks of 14.56 in the 100 hurdles and 19-0 ¾ in the long jump. She also is strong in the throws for a heptathlete, with a shot put of more than 36 feet.
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Virginia Miller (Vashon, Wash./Annie Wright School for Girls):
A two-time AAU Junior Olympics runner-up in the javelin, Virginia Miller brings a unique set of skills to The Farm. Miller is a three-time top-10 placer at the youth rowing nationals, is a two-time All-Emerald City League selection in basketball and holds the school record for points in a season, and is a competitive equestrian show jumper. Miller, the student body president at Annie Wright School, is coached by her father, Foss Miller, a former Washington State University record-holder in the javelin. Miller’s personal best is 141-8 (43.18 meters).
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Louis Stenmark (Mosman, New South Wales, Australia/St. Ignatius’ College, Riverview):
Louis Stenmark is an Australian runner who placed sixth at the 2015 World Youth Championships in Colombia, running the 400 in a personal best 46.29. He recently finished third in the Australian Under-20 Championships, running 48.13. Stenmark also has run a windy 21.44 in the 200 and 21.79 with legal wind. He joins two other Aussies – Anna Laman and Mackenzie Little — on the Stanford team next season.
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Carolyn Wilson (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Oaks Christian School): Carolyn Wilson is a 400 specialist who is running better than ever. She set her personal best of 53.67 – the No. 3 outdoor high school time in the country this year — at the season-opening Maurice Greene Invitational on March 18, and won the Stanford Invitational in 54.06 two weeks later. Wilson won the California Southern Section Division IV title last year, and went on to place second at the Southern Section Masters Meet and fifth in the state. Wilson also has run a 2:12.57 in the 800.