Stanford men defend, Oregon women take 2018 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships
STANFORD, Calif. – The host and No. 4 nationally ranked STANFORD men captured their second straight title, while the No. 4 OREGON women claimed their first team crown in four years at the 2018 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships at Stanford Golf Course on Friday. Stanford senior Grant Fisher and COLORADO senior Dani Jones thrillingly defended their men’s and women’s individual titles by 0.4 and 0.6 seconds, respectively – the first time in event history with repeat men's and women's winners.
Fisher, who was also recognized as the Pac-12 Men’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year, passed Washington sophomore Talon Hull with 200 meters left in the eight-kilometer race and held off a pack of 12 runners separated by less than eight seconds to repeat as individual champion and lead the Cardinal’s defense of its team title. Stanford went 1-3-4 for the second consecutive year with junior Alex Ostberg in third and sophomore Alek Parsons in fourth en route to 44 points. It marked just the sixth time in the 50-year history of the men’s team race that a host school hoisted the league trophy.
No. 7 Washington – anchored by Hull and ninth-place junior Tanner Anderson – backed up its highest USTFCCCA ranking in program history with 62 points and a runner-up team finish for its best Championships showing since 1994. No. 8 Colorado also landed a pair of top-10 racers to come in third with 82 points, followed by No. 11 Oregon in fourth with 93 and No. 29 WASHINGTON STATE in fifth with 123.
Oregon ended Colorado’s three-year reign in the six-kilometer women’s race and captured its first Conference crown since 2014 and 10th all-time in the event’s 33-year history, second only to Stanford’s 15. Jones fought off Oregon senior Jessica Hull over the final 200 meters for the narrow individual win, but Hull led a quartet of Ducks in the top-8 and all five scorers in the top-12 en route to 32 points and a 16-point victory over the top-ranked Buffaloes.
CU added a pair of top-10 showings from senior Makena Morley (seventh) and junior Tabor Scholl (ninth) alongside Jones to finish second in the team standings with 48 points. No. 6 Stanford came in third on its home course with 81 points, highlighted by top-5 finishes from senior Elise Cranny (third), the Pac-12 Women’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and junior Fiona O’Keeffe (fifth). No. 16 WASHINGTON took fourth with 123 points, UCLA placed fifth with 158 and OREGON STATE recorded its best-ever finish in the Conference meet in sixth with 173.
Pac-12 teams, including its 10 nationally ranked programs, now set their sights on NCAA Regional competition on Friday, Nov. 9, with the West Regional hosted by Sacramento State at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, Calif., and Mountain Regional hosted by BYU at East Bay Golf Course in Provo, Utah.
The 2018 NCAA Championships will take place in Madison, Wisc., on Saturday, Nov. 17, the Pac-12 seeking to add to its national-best total of 28 combined team crowns and 28 combined individual titles.
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