Stanford Men Third, Women Eighth At NCAA Championships
Nov. 24, 2008
Terre Haute, Ind. - The Stanford cross country teams put together a pair of fast races in the bitter cold at the NCAA Championships with the men earning a trip back to the podium after their third-place finish, while the women placed eighth.
The men's third-place finish was their best since the historic 2003 team that won the national title with just 24 points. This year, Oregon won the national title with 93 points, followed by Iona with 147 points and the Cardinal with 227.
'The men were very pleased to be back on the awards stand after a disappointing finish last year,' said head coach Jason Dunn. 'I feel like this is a big step in getting the program back where it should be.'
Freshman Chris Derrick again showed why he has garnered so much attention in his first few months on The Farm by finishing seventh overall with a time of 29:29.4. Derrick earned his first All-America honor of his young career and finished as the second-fastest freshman in the nation.
Also earning an All-America honor for Stanford was Garrett Heath, which was the eighth of his career, but his first in cross country. The middle distance star on the track stepped up all season with improvement on the cross country course. On Monday, Heath finished 33rd with a time of 30:08.3.
Finishing 55th overall with a time of 30:31.4 was Jacob Riley. After redshirting last season, Riley has burst onto the scene in his first year of cross country and is a big part of the future going forward for the Cardinal.
2008 Olympian Galen Rupp of Oregon took the individual title with a time of 29:03.2. Rupp outdueled Samuel Chelanga of Liberty who took the race out with a blistering pace, but eventually slowed in the final straightaway to settle for a runner-up finish with a time of 29:08.0.
The Stanford women used a pack of runners bunched closely together to finish eighth with 299 points. Washington took the national title with just 79 points, followed by Oregon who finished with 131 points.
'I thought the women ran really well,' said Dunn. 'They had a split of only 14 seconds from 1-5, if they could have started just a little bit better they might have been in position to get a trophy.'
Senior Alicia Follmar led the way for Stanford with a 57th place finish, covering the 6,000-meter course in 20:53.5. The veteran of previous NCAA Championship teams from Stanford completed her cross country career with her best race of the season.
Just behind Follmar in 68th place was freshman Laurynne Chetelat with a time of 20:57.1. Chetelat completed a brilliant freshman season in which she had been Stanford's top finisher in every other race that she ran.
In 74th place with a time of 21:00.0 was Kate Niehaus. The Stanford junior came on strong late in the season after battling through injuries early in the campaign.
A pair of freshmen rounded out the top-seven as they gained valuable experience going forward. Georgia Griffin finished 138th with a time of 21:30.0 and Emilie Amaro finished 191st with a time of 21:53.5.
Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech captured an unprecedented third straight NCAA title, covering the course in a time of 19:28.1.
The NCAA Championships marks the end of the cross country season, however the Cardinal will now prepare for the indoor track season, which begins on January 16, when the Cardinal travel to Seattle, Wash. for the UW Indoor Preview.
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