SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Stanford swept the men's and women's team titles at the NCAA West Regional cross country championships on Friday and advanced to nationals, marking the 28th consecutive season that both Stanford's men's and women's teams advanced to the NCAA Championships.
Stanford's Julia Heymach won the women's race, covering the 6-kilometer (3.73-mile) course at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in 20:01.1. An Olympic Trials 1,500-meter finalist who opened her cross country season at the Pac-12 Championships on Oct. 29, Heymach never before finished higher than fourth in a cross country race in her collegiate career.
Stanford scored 42 points by placing four runners in the top nine. Behind Heymach were Zofia Dudek (seventh, 20:10.4), Lucy Jenks (eighth, 20:10.7), Christina Aragon (ninth, 20:11.5), and Audrey Suarez (17th, 20:24.9).
Julia Heymach. Photo by Spencer Allen/SportsImageWire.com.
The Stanford men edged Washington, 61-66, for first. Charles Hicks was among five still in the race in the late stages, only for Washington's Kieran Lumb edged Hicks for the victory in the 10-kilometer (6.21-mile race), 29:28.5 to 29:29.5.
The difference in the men's race was Stanford's No. 5 and No. 6 runners, Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau and DJ Principe, in 21st and 22nd. Both finished ahead of Washington's No. 4 runner and six and five places ahead of the Huskies' No. 5.
In the Pac-12 Championships, Hicks outkicked Oregon's Cooper Teare to the finish to win. In this race, each was among five within a half-second of the lead with a half-mile to go. Though Hicks edged Teare again, Lumb pushed past Oregon's Aaron Bienenfeld and held off Hicks for the victory.
Charles Hicks. Photo by Chuck Aragon.
The Stanford women earned their 17th regional championship and the men their 16th. This was the 10th time Stanford swept both team titles in the same season and first since 2016, when the regionals last were held at Haggin Oaks.
The Stanford women are back-to-back champions, having won in 2019 and with no regional race last season because of the pandemic. Heymach and 2019 winner Ella Donaghu have given Stanford two consecutive individual champions as well.
Heymach's previous high cross country finish was fourth in the COVID-delayed Pac-12 Championships on March 5. She was 25th at this season's Pac-12 Championships in Salt Lake City in her season debut. In between was an incredible track season in which Heymach won the Pac-12 5,000 title in her first race at that distance, was sixth in the NCAA 5,000, and sixth at the Olympic Trials 1,500 in the fourth-fastest time in collegiate history, a school record 4:04.84.
This is Stanford's 10th individual women's regional title and Heymach is Stanford's seventh different winner. Alicia Craig won three times and Arianna Lambie twice.
The Stanford women began conservatively, holding fifth place after one mile, and third after 1.5. By 2.5, the Cardinal held the lead for good.
Heymach mirrored that approach, staying in the back in the front pack through 1.5 miles before finding herself locked in a duel with Oregon's Alessia Zarbo for the front at 2.5. Heymach built a five-second lead with a half-mile to go, but was forced to hold off San Francisco's Ruby Smee at the finish line, with only 0.5 between them.
The NCAA Championships will be held Nov. 20 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahasee, Florida.
Devin Hart, Ky Robinson, Cole Sprout, Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau, DJ Principe, Charles Hicks. Photo by Spencer Allen/SportsImageWire.com.
* * *
NCAA West Regionals
At Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, Sacramento
Men (10K, 6.21 miles)
Team leaders (top two teams auto advance to NCAA's): 1, Stanford 61; 2, Washington 66; 3, Portland 94; 4, Oregon 100; 5, Gonzaga 107; 6, Boise State 115; 7, Washington State 244; 8, Portland State 295; 9, Santa Clara 372; 10, UC Santa Barbara 375.
Winner and Stanford: 1, Kieran Lamb (Washington) 29:28.5; 2, Charles Hicks (Stanford) 29:29.5; 7, Ky Robinson (Stanford) 29:41.8; 12, Devin Hart (Stanford) 29:59.3; 19, Cole Sprout (Stanford) 30:12.3; 21, Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau (Stanford) 30:16.9; 22, DJ Principe (Stanford) 30:17.5; 63, Liam Anderson (Stanford) 31:11.4.
Women (6K, 3.73 miles)
Team leaders (top two teams auto advance to NCAA's): 1, Stanford 42; 2, Washington 84; 3, Oregon 100; 4, Gonzaga 148; 5, Portland 161; 6, San Francisco 202; 7, Oregon State 206; 8, Boise State 214; 9, UC Davis 259; 10, Cal State Fullerton 281.
Winner and Stanford: 1, Julia Heymach (Stanford) 20:01.1; 7, Zofia Dudek (Stanford) 20:10.4; 8, Lucy Jenks (Stanford) 20:10.7; 9, Christina Aragon (Stanford) 20:11.5; 17, Audrey Suarez (Stanford) 20:24.9; 33, Grace Connolly (Stanford) 20:40.4; 43, Lily Flynn (Stanford) 20:51.0.