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Hicks Wins Euro U23 Title

Dec 12, 2021

SWORDS, Ireland – Stanford's Charles Hicks is the European under-23 cross country champion.

Hicks, racing for Great Britain, earned that title Sunday, winning the championship race by four seconds on the 8-kilometer (4.97-mile) Sport Ireland course outside Dublin. Hicks ran 24:29.

The reigning Pac-12 champion was born and raised in London until moving to Jacksonville, Florida, at age 12. He was fifth in the Euro U20 race two years ago. Since then, Hicks, a junior academically and a freshman in eligibility, has broken the European and United Kingdom U20 record in the 10,000 meters on the track, and placed fourth in the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Here is a review of Sunday's race from Britain's AthleticsWeekly.com:  

Hicks appeared to be control as he moved ahead of home favorite Darragh McElhinney at the halfway mark. The Irishman fought back, however, and the two were locked in battle entering the final lap. Again, Hicks looked the likely winner but an injection of pace from Luxembourg's Ruben Querinjean changed everything and it became a flat out charge for the line.

The Briton held his nerve, however, and ultimately was there first in 24:29, four seconds ahead of McElhinney, while Querinjean was a further three seconds back.
Ireland were still able to celebrate team gold, however, while Britain took silver and France bronze.

"It is an unbelievable feeling," said Hicks. "I am beyond amazed. I'm incredibly proud of myself, my coaches and my teammates, and my teammates in Stanford. We've put a lot of work in the last couple of years to get here.

"It was such a hard-fought race and I think that contributes to this amazing feeling. There wasn't a single meter there where I wasn't fighting. To win means the world to me."

 

Charles Hicks. Photo by David Hicks.

 
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SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Seven future Cardinal were among the 80 total competitors at the Eastbay (formerly FootLocker) national high school cross country championships Saturday at Balboa Park's Morley Field. 

Among that group, the two with the highest finishes were in the boys' field, with Gavin Sherry placing third and Zane Bergen fourth. Sherry, from Conard High School in West Hartford, Conn., covered the 5K (3.1-mile) course in 15:17.3, with Bergen, of Niwot (Colo.) High, next in 15:20.2.

Five future Cardinal were among the girls' field of 40. Riley Stewart of Cherry Creek High in Greenwood Village, Colo., was fifth in 17:30.3 and the top Stanford finisher.

Caroline Wells of Winter Springs (Fla.) was 10th (17:38.4), Ava Parekh of the Latin School of Chicago was 18th (17:57.6), Julia Flynn of Traverse City (Mich.) Central was 24th (18:13.5), and Juliette Whittaker of Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, Md., was 28th (18:19.8).
 
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Stanford alum Brendan Gregg '11 won the California International Marathon on December 4, in a personal record 2:11.21.
Gregg, a three-time Olympian and two-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, won by 31 seconds and was racing near his boyhood home of Davis. 

"I love coming back here," Gregg said to Sacramento's ABC10. "I've done other marathons, but I always want to come back and do it at home at the people's marathon."
 
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A number of Stanford alums competed in the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Apalachee Regional Park. Among them were six men and one woman in the open divisions. 

In the 10K (6.21-mile) men's race, sub-4 miler Tai Dinger '16 was the top former Cardinal, placing sixth in 30:52.7. Alex Ostberg '19 was eighth in 30:54.1, Tokyo Olympic marathoner Jake Riley '11 was 42nd in 32:06.1, Stanford graduate student Miles Smith was 53rd in 32:24.3, Steven Grolle '18 was 127th in 34:22.1, and triathlete Kevin Bishop '16 was 186th in 35:38.0.

In the 6K (3.73-mile) women's race, half-miler Olivia Baker '18 was 84th in 22:42.3.