Cross Country Heads To Eugene For Regionals

Nov. 11, 2009

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    The NCAA West Regional
    The No. 1 ranked men's team and No. 14 women will travel to Eugene, Ore., for the West Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 14, hosted by Oregon. The men's race will go off at 9:45 am, while the women will race beginning at 10:45 am. The Springfield Country Club hosted the Pac-10 Championships last season and the West Regional in 2007. The men will cover a 10,000-meter course for the first time after running 8,000 meters so far this season. The women will race a 6,000-meter course, the same distance they have raced most of the season and will race at nationals.

    Follow The Meet
    Results will be available at NCAA.org and GoDucks.com at the conclusion of the meet. Oregon will also be hosting a live blog of the meet that will be available on GoDucks.com.

    The Field
    The West Region appears to be the strongest region in the country with five ranked teams, including three in the top seven. No. 1 Stanford leads the field after dominating the Pac-10 meet, but will receive stiff challenges from No. 3 Oregon, the defending national champion and No. 7 Portland, the WCC Champion. No. 13 Arizona State and No. 17 Washington will also be a factor as will Cal Poly and UCLA, who are among the teams receiving votes, but just out of the national poll. Pac-10 Champion Chris Derrick leads a group of outstanding individuals that includes Brandon Bethke of Arizona State, Elliott Heath, Luke Puskedra of Oregon and WCC Champion David Kinsella of Portland.

    The women's field should also be among the best in the nation, led by Pac-10 Champion and No. 1 ranked Washington. No. 5 Oregon and No. 14 Stanford should also contend for the regional title. No. 16 Arizona State, No. 24 Arizona and No. 27 California round out the six ranked teams from the West Region. Pac-10 Champion Nicole Blood of Oregon will look to add a regional title for what should be a wide open individual race. Kendra Schaaf or Washington, defending champion Alex Kosinski and freshman Jordan Hasay of Oregon, Alexandra Gits and WCC Champion Stephanie Wilson of Santa Clara will also be in the mix.

    Last Year At Regionals
    Last year, the Cardinal hosted the NCAA West Regional at the Stanford Golf Course. The men's team finished second to No. 1 Oregon, while the women finished third in a race won by No. 1 Washington. The Cardinal men finished with 72 points, while Oregon had 38. Galen Rupp of the Ducks won the individual title with Chris Derrick leading the Cardinal with a fifth-place finish. The Stanford women finished with 91 points, trailing Washington with 25 and Oregon with 62. Alex Kosinski of Oregon won the individual title, while Kate Niehaus is the Stanford's top returning runner after placing 23rd last year.

    Class Of The West Region
    The Cardinal has won a total of 24 West Regional titles between the men and women. The Stanford ladies own 14 of the titles, including a run of nine consecutive from 1999-07. The men have won the other 10, which happened consecutively from 1995-2004.

    Stanford Men Win The Pac-10 Title
    The No. 1 Stanford men continued their dominance this season by taking the Pac-10 championship in convincing fashion. The Cardinal captured the 12th conference championship in team history. Stanford scored 28 points, to unseat Oregon as the Pac-10 Champion. The Ducks finished second with 45 points, a year after winning both the Pac-10 and NCAA titles. Stanford was led by Chris Derrick who captured the individual title in record time. The Stanford sophomore covered the 8,000-meter course in a time of 22:35.41 to break the record of 2008 U.S. Olympian Galen Rupp of Oregon by nearly 20 seconds. Elliott Heath, Jacob Riley and Justin Marpole-Bird each had top-10 finishes as well.

    Stanford Women Place Fourth At Pac-10's
    The Stanford women finished fourth in the conference, just one point behind third-place Arizona State. The Cardinal were running without two of their top runners, Kathy Kroeger and Kate Niehaus. In addition, freshman Alex Dunne could not finish the race after pulling up just 500 yards short of the finish. No. 1 Washington won their second consecutive conference title with 35 points, while the Oregon had 42. The Sun Devils finished third with 110, just one point ahead of Stanford with 111. Alex Gits led Stanford with her 10th-place finish, while Stephanie Marcy placed 11th and Madeleine O'Meara placed 18th.



    Elliott Heath


    Stanford Men Win Pre-Nats
    The Stanford men showed they will be a team to be reckoned with in 2009 after dominating the ISU Pre-National White Race from Terre Haute, Ind. Stanford scored just 47 points to easily defeat second place Colorado who had 130. Chris Derrick led the Cardinal with the individual title, while Elliott Heath placed third. Derrick had the fastest time of the day and established himself as a contender for the individual NCAA title. Justion Marpole-Bird also had a breakthrough race, finishing 10th overall. The Cardinal had the fastest team time of the day when factoring in the Blue Race as well.

    Women Fifth At Pre-Nats
    The Stanford women also ran well at Pre-Nationals, placing fifth in the Blue Race. The Cardinal women had a trio of finishers right next to each other with Alexandra Gits, Stephanie Marcy and Alex Dunne finishing 15-17th. Stanford finished with 206 points in a race won by Colorado with 94.

    Cardinal Sweep Stanford Invite
    Playing host to the Stanford Invitational, the Stanford cross country team took home a pair of team titles. 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. Derrick took the title, while Brendan Gregg, Benjamin Johnson and Jacob Riley finished with him all earning identical times of 23:54. The women finished with 24 points and were led by Kathy Kroeger who placed third overall. Kroeger completed the 6,000-meter course in 20:35. 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.

    For Starters
    The Cardinal opened their season, September 4, at the Nevada Twighlight Invitational. Running under the lights with limited squads the men took the meet title, while the women finished second. Benjamin Johnson led the men with the individual title, covering the 6,000-meter time of 19:58. Madeline Duhon led the women with her fourth-place finish, coving the 4,000-meter course in a time of 15:40.

    Jason Dunn Returns For His Second Season
    Jason Dunn returns for his second season at Stanford. He made an immediate impact in 2008, leading the men's team to a third place national finish and a young women's team to an eighth place finish. During the indoor track season, Dunn was named the West Region's assistant coach of the year for both the men and the women. Combined in cross country and track and field, the distance runners totaled 14 All-America honors for the season under the guidance of Dunn. He will again be assisted by David Vidal who enters his fourth season. They also welcome two recently graduated All-American runners, Hakon DeVries and Garrett Heath, as volunteer assistant coaches.

    Top Returning Women
    The women return a pair of runners who were part of the championship teams of the past for Stanford. Kate Niehaus was a member of both the 2006 and 2007 NCAA championship teams, while Alex Gits was a scoring member of the 2007 team. Gits is a returning All-American, having placed third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 10,000 meters in 2008. Niehaus has also been an NCAA qualifier in track, having competed in the 5,000 meters last spring. Returning from the NCAA team last year are Niehaus, Stephanie Marcy, Georgia Griffin and Emilie Amaro. Amaro was also an NCAA qualifier in track in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

    Top Returning Men
    The Cardinal returns one of the top runners in the nation in Chris Derrick. Derrick earned four All-America honors during his freshman season, which included a seventh-place national finish in cross country. Derrick is listed as a potential NCAA Champion in 2009, having earned international experience at the World Junior Cross Country Championships and setting an American Junior record in the 5,000 meters in 2009. He will be joined by returning All-Americans Elliott Heath and Jacob Riley, who were also scoring members of the 2008 cross country team that placed third nationally. Heath earned his All-America honors in the 3,000 meters indoors and the 5,000 meters outdoors. Riley who is a returning All-Pac-10 runner in cross country earned his All-America honor during outdoor track in the 10,000 meters. Also returning from the 2008 team that earned a NCAA trophy is Brendan Gregg.

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