Honor Roll No. 8: Chris Derrick

Over summer, we are releasing the 10 winners of The Bootleg honor roll award, one by one. Our previously announced award winners are gymnast Alex Buscaglia, softball's Ashley Hansen, runner Elliot Heath, swimmer Austin Staab, volleyball's Alix Klineman, soccer's Christen Press and football's Andrew Luck. Our eighth announced member of The Bootleg's 2011 Honor Roll is runner Chris Derrick

In a June 3rd article we released the 30 finalists for The Bootleg Honor Roll award for the 2010/2011 school-year.

The criteria are as follows:

Each academic year, The Bootleg's Honor Roll will recognize the top ten Stanford student- athletes who have performed at an exceptional level, with athletic accomplishments that are both extraordinary and inspirational. While achieving athletic success, these athletes should also have displayed uncommon leadership, sportsmanship and respect towards their fellow teammates and opponents. Finally, these honorees' performances and actions should also demonstrate their love for their particular sport as well as their school pride, the famed "Spirit of Stanford."

You can infer an athlete's personality from his position. Sprinters are the wide receivers of track, some would say flashy, others would say prima donnas. Middle-distance runners are the quarterbacks of track, natural leaders, good at each and every sport growing up, those guys women swooned for and men envied.

Distance runners, meanwhile, are the offensive linemen of track. The 100-meter guys get all the publicity, but the distance runner's job is as tough, if not tougher. The prototypical distance runner, meanwhile, "does well in school, less well with girls," as a recent Running Times column jokes. He is quiet and cerebral, not a celebrity, but a good person.

We don't know him personally, but if we can judge him from his event, then Chris Derrick is as cerebral and committed as they come. The evidence certainly points that way:

He was fifth at NCAA cross-country finals this past fall, pacing Stanford to a fourth-place overall finish. The performance was all the more impressive given that it occurred whilst Derrick's teammates fell apart, with only Jacob Riley (sixth) joining Derrick in the top 40.

A rising senior, Derrick will look to cap his career with a cross-country championship this fall. He's come close, taking seventh and third in previous NCAA cross-country finals, good for three of his 10 All-American awards. The other All-American nods have come on the track, where, this past spring, Derrick took first in the conference and fourth nationally in both the 5K and 10K.

Amidst all the running, Derrick maintains a 3.84 GPA as an economics major, making him a shoe-in for several academic awards. This past school year, for example, the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named Derrick their cross-country Scholar Athlete of the Year. The award was Stanford's first since Neftalem Araia in 2006, and Derrick has now made the group's All-Academic team in each of his three years running for Stanford. Derrick didn't let up on the books during track season either, after which he was named a first-team Academic All-American.

For your brains and your brawn, congratulations Chris Derrick for being the eighth announced member of our Honor Roll.

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