Stanford XC 2010 preview

Stanford begins its cross country season Sept. 3 in Reno, building toward the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. November 22. Last season, the men entered No. 1 but finished 10th, while the women finished 16th.

THE MEN:

It was a very disappointing season finish last year, as the men were favored to be the national champions, but finished poorly. Stanford won the Pac-10, beating Oregon 28-45 (15 is perfect, finishing 1 through 5) to win their 12th Pac-10 title. In the West Regional, Stanford won and their first three runners finished 1, 2, and 3. They beat Oregon 27-109. But at the championship, Oklahoma State edged Oregon and Stanford was well back.

However, it's a new season and Stanford will probably be ranked No. 1 when the rankings come out soon. Flotrack has already ranked Stanford No. 1. Oklahoma State and Oregon continue to be strong rivals to Stanford for the title.

Chris Derrick is a junior and our top returning runner. Chris was first at the Pac-10 meet, first in the Western Regional and third at the NCAA. In track, he is one of our top 5K runners ever, and has run a 1500 meters that equals a four-minute mile. Chris will be a strong favorite to again be top three in the country.

Elliot Health is a senior and was third at the Pac-10, second at the Western Regional and a disappointing 37th at the NCAA. Elliot has run the equivalent of a sub four-minute mile and is not far behind Derrick in the 5K.

Jake Riley is a fourth-year junior and was sixth at the Pac-10, did not run at the Western Regional and was 54th at the NCAA. Jake also placed in both the 5K and 10K outdoors at the NCAA meet.

JT Sullivan is a fourth-year junior who placed in the NCAA Steeplechase. I look for Sullivan to move into the top seven.

Miles Unterreiner is a third-year sophomore who was 11th at the Pac-10, 13th at the Western Regional and 117th at the NCAA. Miles ran a 4:03 mile last indoor track season.

Brendan Gregg is a senior who was 12th at the Pac-10, 10th at the Western Regional and well back at the NCAA. I'll stop saying the disappointing NCAA soon.

Ben Johnson is a third-year sophomore who was 19th at the Pac-10, 27th at the Western Regional and well back at the NCAA.

The above include six of the top seven runners last season, losing only Justin Marpole-Bird, third in the Western Regional, who graduated. Justin is a big loss but with six of the top seven back, Stanford can be very optimistic as it gears towards the national title.

Two others who may vie for the top seven positions (by the way, the top five are the scorers for each team) are the Valdes twins, second-year sophomores, Thomas Porter, also a second-year sophomore and Kevin Havel, a third-year junior.

My guess is all the frosh will be redshirted, which is not unusual and given the tremendous depth, pretty easy to forecast. Graham Brazell may be the exception. He is a year out of high school and took last year of school off, but made the national junior team in the 10K. Stanford has six incoming frosh that have run a 4:11 or better mile. The future is as bright as the present.

THE WOMEN:

Last season the women were fourth at the Pac-10 Meet, third in the Western Regional and 16th at the NCAA Meet. Last year Stanford was very young, as they lost only two of their top-seven runners, and were bothered by injuries. Hopefully they will be healthy this season, and they will be more mature.

It's very hard to tell at this point who will be the top runners, so I'll just group them. The top four will be:

Stephanie Marcy placed in the NCAA 10K last spring. Marcy was 11th in the Pac-10, ninth, and the second Stanford runner, at the Western Regional, and 53rd, and the top Stanford runner, at NCAAs. Marcy is a fourth-year junior.

Sophomore Kathy Kroeger was a placer at the NCAA outdoor 5K, recovering from injuries from early in her frosh year. Kroeger could not run at the Pac-10 race, was 19th at the Western Region and was 63rd at the NCAA, the second-fastest Stanford runner.

Sophomore Alex Dunne could not run at the Pac-10, was 15th, the second Stanford runner, at the Western Regional and 73rd, the third Stanford runner at the NCAA.

Senior Alex Gits was the top Stanford runner at the Pac-10, finishing 11th. She could not run at the Western Regional and could not finish at the NCAA. Gits' PR on the track in the 10K is the best of all the Stanford runners and, as a frosh, was an All-American in both cross country and track.

Seven more runners will vie for the remaining three slots on the team.

Junior Georgia Griffin was 32nd and the fourth Stanford runner at the Pac-10, 34th and again the fourth Stanford runner at the Western Regional and finished as the fifth Stanford runner at the NCAA. Griffin should have the lead for the remaining slots.

Madeline Duhon is a fourth-year junior and better known as the top Stanford miler.

Clair Collison is a junior and was the sixth Stanford runner at the Pac-10.

Emma Miller-Bedell is a third-year sophomore. She was the seventh Stanford runner at the Pac-10.

Emile Amaro is a third-year sophomore who missed all last year due to injuries. As a frosh, Amaro completed for Stanford in all three of the big meets. She also was our top Steeplechaser in Track.

The only two frosh who probably won't be redshirted are Jessica Tonn and Anna Dailey. Tonn is a many time Arizona state champion in the 1600, 3200, mile and cross country.

Anna Dailey was the state champion in Washington in the 3200, and runner-up in the 1600.

There are four outstanding runners for Stanford coming into the season with strong potential for at least seven to join them.

The Stanford women incoming frosh were ranked as the third-best class and the men fifth-best by Flotrack.

The Stanford men are hoping to make amends for last year, and win the big one. The women could be very good, maybe top five.


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