Cross Country Sweeps Stanford Invitational

Sept. 26, 2009

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    Stanford. Calif. - Playing host to the Stanford Invitational, the Stanford cross country team took home a pair of team titles. Running in severe heat on the Stanford Golf Course, the Cardinal were not challenged in either race.

    The Stanford men ran in a pack for most of the race, earning a perfect 15 points by taking the top five places. Chris Derrick controlled the race, urging his teammates to stay packed together for the entire eight kilometers. By the final straightaway, only Brendan Gregg, Benjamin Johnson and Jacob Riley remained with Derrick and the foursome crossed the line at 23:54.

    Derrick was given the top spot, earning the Stanford Invitational individual title. Johnson was second, Riley third and Gregg fourth. Miles Unterreiner completed the perfect score, placing fifth in 24:10. Unterreiner ran with the pack most of the race, before falling off the pace. However, he stayed clear on the top non-Stanford runner, Robbie Knorr of Baylor, to give Stanford the sweep.

    Rounding out the top seven for Stanford were Justin Marpole-Bird who placed seventh in 24:19 and Elliott Heath who was 12th in 24:32.

    The women also looked strong, showing off their youth in cruising to the meet title with 24 points. California placed second with 100 points, while Loyola Marymount was third with 143.

    The Cardinal were led by freshman Kathy Kroeger, who placed third with a 6,000-meter time of 20:35. Kroeger, who was running in her first collegiate race trailed only a single collegiate runner, Jessica Pixler of Seattle Pacific.

    Just behind Kroeger was the veteran of the women's team, Kate Niehaus in fourth. Niehaus finished with a time of 20:39 in her final Stanford Invitational.

    Also with top-10 finishes for Stanford were Alex Dunne, Alexandra Gits and Stephanie Marcy. The freshman Dunne placed sixth with a time of 20:44 despite struggling with the heat in the final straightaway. Gits was seventh with a time of 20:50 in her return from an injury plagued 2008-09 season. Marcy completed the Stanford scoring by placing ninth with a time of 20:53.

    The rest of the Stanford top seven were Georgia Griffin in 12th-place and Madeleine O'Meara in 16th. Griffin crossed the line with a time of 21:04, while O'Meara was at 21:14.

    The cross country teams will next compete at the UC Davis Doc Adams Invitational, Saturday, Oct. 5. The teams will likely run limited squads next week, saving their `A' teams for the NCAA Pre-Nationals on Oct. 17, from Terre Haute, Ind.

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