Men's Cross Country Dominates Pre-Nationals

Oct. 17, 2009

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    Terre Haute, Ind. - The No.1 men's cross country team made a statement that it will be a team to be reckoned with this season by winning the Pre-National White race in dominating fashion. The No. 6 Stanford women also performed well, placing fifth in Blue Race.

    The Stanford men scored just 47 points, while second-place Colorado had 130. The Cardinal also had a faster team time than the Blue race champion, Oregon.

    Chris Derrick led the Stanford men by capturing the individual title. Derrick covered the 8,000-meter course in 23:27.1, which was the fastest time in either race. The Stanford sophomore came from behind after Samuel Chelanga on Liberty set a blistering pace through the first 5k. Despite being 12 seconds behind at the 5k, Derrick closed fast to win by seven seconds.

    Also with a top finish was Elliott Heath who placed third overall. Heath covered the course in a time of 23:39.6 after running with Derrick for the first 5k.

    The other top-10 finish came from Justin Marpole-Bird who placed 10th. Marpole-Bird finished with a time of 23:57.9 in a breakthrough performance for him in cross country.

    Rounding out the scorers for Stanford were Jacob Riley in 11th with a time of 24:00.8 and Brendan Gregg in 22nd with a time of 24:10.0.

    Also competing were Miles Unterreiner and Benjamin Johnson. Unterreiner finished 48th with a time of 24:31.3 and Johnson placed 72nd with a time of 24:48.2.

    The Stanford women scored 206 points to place fifth in the Blue Race. Colorado won the race with 94 points, led by individual champion Jenny Barringer.

    The Cardinal were led by Alexandra Gits who placed 15th with a time of 21:01.8. Gits missed most of last season with injuries, but is a veteran of the 2007 NCAA championship team.

    Just behind Gits were her teammates Stephanie Marcy and Alex Dunne in 16th and 17th place. Marcy finished with a time of 21:04.0, while Dunne stopped the clock at 21:05.3.

    The other scoring runners were Maddie O'Meara in 74th place and Georgia Griffin in 84th. O'Meara finished with a time of 21:53.0, while Griffin was at 21:56.2.

    Also competing were Emma Miller-Bedell and Victoria Pennings. Miller-Bedell finished 133rd with a time of 22:25.6, while Pennings was 208th with a time of 23:24.4.

    The Cardinal were without both Kathy Kroeger and Kate Niehaus. Kroeger was the top Stanford runner at the Stanford Invitational, while Niehaus is the team's most experienced runner.

    Stanford will not compete again until the Pac-10 Championships on Friday, Oct. 30, from Long Beach, Calif. The Cardinal will look to dethrone Oregon on the men's side and Washington on the women's side as Pac-10 champions.

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