Top Teams Compete at Stanford Invitational

Sept. 24, 2003

Stanford, Ca - A large contingent of talented cross country runners throughout the United States will converge on the Stanford Golf Course for the 30th edition of the Stanford Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 27. The event is co-hosted by Palo Alto High School.

Twenty races will be held, 14 for high schools, and six for college and post-collegiate competition. The high school portion of the Stanford Invitational will be held from 9:45 a.m. through 3:05 p.m. The college events will start at 3:45 p.m. The races start and end at the second hole at the Stanford Golf Course.

2003 Stanford Cross Country Invitational
Saturday, September 27, Stanford Golf Course
Race Schedule

9:45 a.m., J.V. Girls - Divisions 3,4,5, 3000 Meters
10:05 a.m., J.V. Boys - Divisions 3,4,5, 3000 Meters
10:25 a.m. - Varsity Girls - Division 5, 5000 Meters
10:55 a.m. - Varsity Boys, Division 5, 5000 Meters
11:20 a.m. - Varsity Girls, Division 4, 5000 Meters
11:50 a.m. - Varsity Boys, Division 4, 5000 Meters
12:15 p.m. - Varsity Girls, Division 3, 5000 Meters
12:45 p.m. - Varsity Boys, Division 3, 5000 Meters
1:10 p.m. - J.V. Girls, Division 1 & 2, 3000 Meters
1:30 p.m. - J.V. Boys, Division 1 & 2, 3000 Meters
1:50 p.m. - Varsity Girls, Division 2, 5000 Meters
2:15 p.m. - Varsity Boys, Division 2, 5000 Meters
2:40 p.m. - Varsity Girls, Division 1, 5000 Meters
3:05 p.m. - Varsity Boys, Division 1, 5000 Meters

3:45 p.m. - Women, 5000 Meter Non-Scored Race
4:10 p.m. - Women, 4000 Meter Scored Race (short course)
4:30 p.m. - Men, 4000 Meter Scored Race (short course)
4:50 p.m. - Women, 6000 Meter Scored Race (long course)
5:15 p.m. - Men, 8000 Meter Scored Race (long course)
5:50 p.m. - Men, 8000 Meter Non-Scored Race

The college races will feature approximately 800 athletes from 50 teams. The men's runners will compete at 8000 and 4000 meters, while the women will race 6000 and 4000 meters. There will also be a pair of non-scored races, 8000 meters for the men and 5000 meters for the women.

The men's competition will feature several of the top teams in the nation. Stanford, which won the team title at 4000 meters at last year's Stanford Invitational, is the defending NCAA champion and returns its entire team from its championship season. The Cardinal women, a strong contender for NCAA title honors, captured both the 6000 and 4000 meter titles at the Stanford Invitational last year. Last year, the Stanford women finished second at the NCAA Championships.

The Cal Poly men's team, ranked among some of the stronger teams in the nation in 2003, will battle Stanford for the team title in the 8000 meters. Last year, the Mustangs finished second at 8000 meters with 66 points. Stanford placed third with 84 points. Cal Poly would later finish the 2002 season with a third place showing at the NCAA West Regional. Look for top performances from such schools as California, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. All three schools finished in the Top 15 at the NCAA West Regional. The men's competition will have a distinct local flavor. Expected to compete are Santa Clara, UC Davis, San Francisco State and St. Mary's.

Individually, a group of Stanford student-athletes lead a list of runners capable of winning either the long or short course competition. Grant Robison, the top returning American cross country runner in the NCAA, is the two-time Pac-10 champion in cross country. Last year at the NCAA's, Robison finished third to help propel Stanford to the NCAA team title. In track, Robison won the 1500 meters at the NCAA's, the NCAA West Regional and at the Pac-10 Championship. Other top returnees include Donald Sage, Louis Luchini, Ian Dobson and Adam Tenforde. Cal Poly is led by Sean Ricketts who finished in the Top 13 at last year's Stanford Invitational.

The women's competition will also feature top competition. Arkansas, Wisconsin, and UCLA are among the elite teams in the 6000 and 4000 meters competition. Both Arkansas and UCLA are ranked in the Top 25. Last year, the Bruins finished third in the team competition with 85 points while Wisconsin was fourth. Stanford won the competition with 50 points. Like the men's competition, several schools from the area will be competing. The list includes California, St. Mary's, Santa Clara, UC Davis and USF.

Sara Bei and Alicia Craig finished 1-2 in the 6000 meter competition last year. Craig finished first at the NCAA West Regional and third at the 2002 NCAA Cross Country Championships. In track, Craig won the NCAA and Pac-10 titles in the 10,000 meters. Bei, a junior from Santa Rosa, won the Pac-10 Cross Country championship last year. Craig and Bei will be challenged by Jenna Timinsky, who finished ninth at the NCAA West Regional last year. Wisconsin is a national power, and will be led this year by Michelle Lilienthal, who placed eleventh at the Stanford Invitational last year. Arkansas, which finished seventh at the NCAA's last year, features 2001 SEC Freshman of the Year Penny Splichal, and Eric Sigmont and Laura Jakosky.

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