Stanford To Compete In NCAA Championships Monday
Nov. 21, 2008
The 2008 NCAA Championships
The 2008 NCAA Cross Country Championships will take place Monday, Nov. 24, from Terre Haute, Ind. The Stanford men enter the meet ranked No. 3 in the nation, while the women are No. 12. The women's race will kick off the day at 9:08 am PST, while the men's race begins at 9:48 am PST. Both races will be shown live on CBS College Sports.
The women enter the meet as the three-time defending national champions and having won four of the last five titles. However, this season will several key losses due to graduation, the Cardinal do not enter the meet as the favorite. However, Stanford does return several runners with NCAA experience, including 2007 cross country All-American, Katie Harrington. In addition, Stanford has had strong results from several freshmen, most notably Laurynne Chetelat. With the team appearing to get better as the season progresses, the Cardinal remain a threat four a trophy in Terre Haute.
The men enter the NCAA's with higher national expectations, having been ranked as high as No. 2 nationally after their win in the White Race at the NCAA Pre-nationals. So far the Cardinal have only been defeated by No. 1 Oregon (Pac-10's and Regionals). The Cardinal have had a pair of runners looking for high national places. Chris Derrick has burst onto the scene as a freshman where he was the top rookie at the NCAA West Regional and is considered one of the top freshmen in the nation. Also with several top finishes is Garrett Heath, a veteran of the Stanford program who has been an elite middle-distance runner on the track, but has developed into a top cross country runner as well. Perhaps the greatest strength of the Stanford team has been it's depth with Hakon DeVries, Elliott Heath and Jacob Riley all spending time as the No. 3 runner.
The 2008 NCAA West Regional Championships
It was a successful Regional for the Cardinal with both teams qualifying for the NCAA Championships. The men earned an automatic bid after finishing as the West Region's runner-up, while the women placed third and earned an at-large bid.
The No. 3 men finished with 72 points, trailing only No. 1 Oregon who won the meet with 38 points. Chris Derrick led the way for Stanford with his fifth place finish. He was the top freshman in the region and finished with a 10,000-meter time of 28:44.31. Garrett Heath also had a top-10 finish after taking tenth with a time of 29:19.44. The Cardinal put their top five runners all in the top-25 with Hakon DeVries (13th), Elliott Heath (21st), and Jacob Riley (23rd) all finishing strong.
The No. 12 women finished third with 91 points, trailing No. 1 Washington with 25 points and No. 2 Oregon with 62 points. Stanford was led by a top-10 finish from Laurynne Chetelat who covered the 6,000-meter course in 20:17.34. Katie Harrington finished 11th with a time of 20:20.09, while Alicia Follmar (20th) and Kate Niehaus (23rd) also had top-25 finishes.
The 2008 Pac-10 Championships
The Stanford men finished second with 47 points, as No. 1 Oregon captured their second consecutive Pac-10 title with 28 points. Freshman Chris Derrick led the Cardinal as he caught Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott of Oregon in the final mile to finish third with a time of 23:38.17. Just behind Derrick was teammate Garrett Heath, who also chased down Kiptoo-Biwott to finish fourth with a time of 23:41.18. Also running well for Stanford were Jacob Riley who seventh in 23:44.29 and Hakon DeVries who finished 13th in 23:55.53. The final scoring runner for Stanford was Elliott Heath, who finished 20th with a time of 24:17.48.
The Stanford women settled for third place, ending their run of 12 consecutive Pac-10 titles. No. 1 Washington took the title with perfect 15 points, while No. 2 Oregon was the runner-up. For the third time in as many collegiate races, freshman Laurynne Chetelat led Stanford. Chetelat finished 13th with a time of 20:32.71. Also in the top-20 for Stanford was Katie Harrington who finished 19th with a time of 20:45.14. Freshman Emilie Amaro led the next group of Stanford finishers in 21st with a time of 20:47.74 just ahead of Alicia Follmar who was 22nd with a time of 20:50.94. Also under 21 minutes was Georgia Griffin who finished 25th with a time of 20:53.26. Rounding out the top-seven for Stanford were Stephanie Marcy (27th) with a time of 21:01.80 and Alexandra Gits (29th) with a time of 21:06.12.
At the NCAA Pre-National meet, the Stanford men took full advantage of racing a national caliber field. The Cardinal men, running in the White Race, took first place against an elite field that included 11 ranked teams. The men also had the top team time when the second heat, the Blue Race, was added. The outstanding performance moved the Cardinal up eight spots in the national poll from No. 10 to No. 2. The Cardinal were led by a pair of top-five performances. Senior Garrett Heath finished third with a time of 23:36.4, while freshman Chris Derrick finished fourth with a time of 23:37.0.
The Stanford women did not have the same success in the women's Blue Race. The Cardinal finished seventh with 248 points, while No. 1 Washington won the race with just 36 points. The Cardinal were led by Lauryanne Chetelat who finished 28th with a 6,000-meter time of 20:57.3. The Cardinal women saw their national ranking fall to No. 18 following the race.
2008 Doc Adams Invite
While limited squads competed Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Doc Adams Invite, hosted by UC Davis, both the Cardinal men and women came away with meet victories. The women were led by Kate Niehaus, who competing for the first time this season, when she took the individual title with a time of 21:50.5. The men were led by Chris Mocko who finished as the runner-up in the men's race with a time of 25:17.8.
The Stanford Invitational
In their first real test of the season, both Stanford cross country teams had outstanding performances in winning their home meet. The men finished with just 39 points to easily outdistance No. 19 California who had 87 points, and No. 22 Arkansas who had 103 points. The Cardinal men were led by a third place finish from freshman Chris Derrick (24:18), but also got top-10 finishes from seniors, Garrett Heath (fifth) and Hakon DeVries (eighth). The women also fared well, scoring just 43 point for a big gap back to second place UC Davis with 122 points. The women were led by freshman Laurynne Chetelat who finished fourth with a time of 21:14. Like the men, the freshman was supported by top-10 finishes from a pair of seniors, Katie Harrington (fifth) and Alicia Follmar (seventh).
The Cardinal opened their season, August 30, at the USF Invitational in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Running limited squads the men took the meet title, while the women finished fourth. Jacob Riley led the men with a second place finish with an 8,000-meter time of 25:31.30. The women ran just five runners, led by Alicia Follmar who took the individual meet title with 5,000-meter time of 17:57.90.
Stanford cross country has a new head cross country coach with the hiring of Jason Dunn over the summer of 2008. Dunn comes to Stanford from the University of Virginia where he was the ACC Coach of the Year last year. During his eight seasons at Virginia, he led eight teams (four men's and four women's) to the NCAA Championships. He takes over a Stanford women's team that has won three consecutive NCAA titles and four out of the last five and a men's team that has finished in the top-six at the NCAA Championships 13 out of the last 14 seasons.
Returning Women's All-Americans
Stanford returns four All-Americans from either cross country or track. Katie Harrington returns for her final season after being a 2007 cross country All-American for her 40th place finish at the NCAA Championships. Alexandra Gits returns after a stellar freshman season that saw her earn her first All-America honor after placing third in the 10,000 meters at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track Championships. Alicia Follmar earned a pair of All-America honors during the 2008 indoor season when she finished tenth in the mile and was a member of the distance medley relay team that finished third. Finally, Lindsay Flacks returns for her final season on The Farm after being a cross country All-American in 2006 when she finished 56th at the NCAA Championships.
Returning Men's All-Americans
The Cardinal also return four All-Americans on the men's side. They are led by seven-time All-American on the track, Garrett Heath. He is coming off a track season where he was an All-American twice indoors, once outdoors, and a semifinalist in the 1,500 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Also returning is two-time All-American, Hakon DeVries, who earned his second All-America honor last season as a member of the distance medley relay team that finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Jacob Evans also returns after earning his first All-America honor as a member of the same distance medley relay team. Finally, Hari Mix is back for his final year on The Farm. He earned his All-American honor during the 2007 track season in the 5,000 meters.