Stanford Cross Country Prepares For NCAA Pre-Nationals

Oct. 15, 2008

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    NCAA Pre-Nationals
    The annual Pre-National meet is a gathering of the top cross country teams from around the nation. It takes place this Saturday, Oct. 18 from Terre Haute, Ind. and allows teams the opportunity to preview the NCAA course while competing against the teams that will be in competition for the 31 spots at the NCAA Championships. Due to the large volume of teams entered for the meet, there are two separate races for both the men and women.

    The Stanford women have drawn the first race of the morning, the 6,000-meter Blue Race that begins at 9:00 a.m. The race includes 41 teams and features 13 teams ranked in the top-30 by the USTFCCCA. The No. 6 Cardinal will be joined by top-10 teams, No. 1 Washington, No. 4 Minnesota and No. 9 Michigan State.

    The men have drawn the second of the two seeded races, the 8,000-meter White Race that begins at 10:50 a.m. It includes 40 teams and features 11 teams ranked in the top-30, including No. 3 Colorado and No. 7 Iona. The Cardinal are the third highest ranked team in the race at No. 10 in the nation.

    Bronco Invitational
    Also this weekend is the Bronco Invitational from Baylands Park in Santa Clara, Calif. Stanford will not be sending full teams, but will be sending several redshirts who will be competing unattached. The Bronco should provide solid west coast competition for the young Cardinal runners who are looking to gain collegiate experience.

    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).

    For Starters
    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.

    New Leader
    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.

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