Thursday, September 29, 2016

Runners Converge on Stanford

Runners Converge on Stanford

More than 3,000 compete at Stanford Invitational
Runners Converge on Stanford
STANFORD, Calif. – The 43rd annual Stanford Invitational cross country meet will be held Saturday at Stanford Golf Course, beginning at 9 a.m. The meet provides a glimpse of the Stanford teams that are regarded as national contenders and serves as a showcase for some of the best high school runners in the state and beyond.
The college races begin at 9:50 a.m. and are sandwiched among 12 high school races – six each for boys and girls covering five enrollment divisions and seeded races. There will by 37 colleges competing. Overall, there will be more than 3,000 runners.
Location: Stanford Golf Course Distances: College Men, 8K (4.97 miles); College Women, 6K (3.73 miles); High School, 5K (3.11 miles).

Scoring: Though there is one men's race and one women's race, the scoring in each will be divided between NCAA Division I schools and non-Division I schools. In other words, all the schools will not be scored together.
Entrance: Near the Stanford Red Barn (and No. 2 fairway) at the end of Electioneer Road, at the intersection Fremont Road, just off Campus Drive.
Parking: Free public parking is available at the lot off Searsville Road. Another option is the parking garage on Stock Farm Road, near the intersection of Campus Drive, and at Parking Structure 5, which is on Oak Road and intersects with Stock Farm Road.
Cost:$10 for adults; $5 for youths/seniors/faculty/alums. There are no advanced sales.
Bring: Water, sunscreen, a hat, something to sit on, and find a good spot in the shade. Though the high temperature is forecast to be in the 70s, it can feel very warm on the course, so take precautions.
Entries/Results link: Click here
Meet Schedule:
9 a.m.HS boysDiv. IV5K
9:25 a.m.HS girlsDiv. IV5K
9:50 a.m.College womenWomen 6K
10:30 a.m.College menMen8K
11 a.m.HS boysDiv. I5K
11:30 a.m.HS girlsDiv. I5K
NoonHS boysSeeded5K
12:30 p.m.HS girlsSeeded5K
1 p.m.HS boysDiv. II5K
1:30 p.m.HS girlsDiv. II5K
2 p.m.HS boysDiv. III5K
2:30 p.m.HS girlsDiv. III5K
3 p.m.HS boysDiv. V5K
3:30 p.m.HS girlsDiv. V5K

Women's Preview: Stanford is ranked No. 6 in the country and will race All-Americas Elise Cranny and Vanessa Fraser among a strong lineup that features four with NCAA Cross Country Championships experience. Cranny is the reigning Pac-12 1,500 champion and was the NCAA runner-up in that event. She also was the 2014 Pac-12 cross country runner-up before missing last season with an injury. She boasts a 5,000 best of 15:49.27 as well as a school-record 4:09.54 in the 1,500. Fraser, out of nearby Scotts Valley High, is a four-time All-America with a 5,000 best of 15:41.64. She was Stanford's No. 1 runner at the NCAA Championships last year, placing 40th on a team that placed 14th.

Among Stanford's other runners: Los Gatos High alum Danielle Katz is No. 4 on the school's all-time steeplechase list (10:11.11), Abbie McNulty has a 16:40.00 best in the 5,000, Anna Laman was a Pac-12 800 finalist last year and is two years removed from reaching the World Junior Championships 1,500 final while competing for Australia, and Maddy Berkson was an NCAA West Region qualifier in the 1,500 with a best of 4:24.39.

Among Stanford's No. 1-ranked freshman class, Hannah DeBalsi will make her collegiate debut. DeBalsi, out of Wesport, Connecticut, was the 2014 New Balance Outdoor Nationals two-mile champion in 9:55.05, making her the No. 5 high school two-miler of all-time, and was second at the 2013 Foot Locker national cross country championships. She is the only of Stanford's five-member freshman class who will race Saturday. Also making her collegiate cross country debut is sophomore Catherine Pagano, a former New Jersey prep star who was limited to one indoor track race during the past academic year because of injury.

Fresno State senior Annemarie Schwanz joined Cranny in the NCAA 1,500 final and will take her on again. Schwanz, the reigning Mountain West Conference 1,500 champ has a best of 4:14.89 in that event and was seventh in the NCAA race. Schwanz recently was third at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle.

Another top competitor is Tulane's Emma Newton, who won the LSU Invitational two weeks ago. She leads a Green Wave team that is ranked No. 8 in the South Central Region. Also ranked regionally are Cal Poly at No. 9 in the West and UC Santa Barbara at No. 15.

Men's Preview: No. 11 Stanford most likely will be led by Blair Hurlock and Patrick Perrier, a pair of juniors looking to make their mark. Stanford will be saving most of its team for the Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 14, including aces Sean McGorty and Grant Fisher. Hurlock raced in this meet while competing for De La Salle High in Concord and went on to finish eighth at the 2013 Foot Locker national championships. After injuries the past two years, he is looking to establish himself as a postseason option for the Cardinal. Perrier was a Pac-12 1,500-meter finalist last year with a best of 3:44.22 in that event. He and Hurlock raced in hot, humid, and hilly conditions last week for Stanford at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational.

Two other Cardinal to watch are Tom Coyle and Tai Dinger. Coyle, a senior, is a sub-4 miler, having run 3:59.32 indoors at the 2015 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. He ran the leadoff leg (1,200 meters) on Stanford's fourth-place distance medley relay team at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships to earn first-team All-America honors. Dinger, a junior, was a 2013 Foot Locker national cross country finalist while at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. and emerged as Stanford's top 800 runner last spring, reaching the Pac-12 final, and has a best of 1:49.73.

Though Stanford will redshirt its No. 1-ranked freshman class, three of the four will race unattached. This will be a chance to see Isaac Cortes, who pulled off the rare 800-1,600 double at the California state meet, as well as Alek Parsons, third in the Nike Cross Nationals, and Thomas Ratcliffe, a 4:01 miler out of Concord, Massachusetts.

Stanford is among five teams ranked among the Division I West Region top 15. The others are No. 10 Cal Poly, No. 13 Saint Mary's, No. 14 San Jose State, and No. 15 Santa Clara. Gabe Arias-Sheridan of Saint Mary's won the recent five-team Speedway Duals at Golden Gate Park.

High School Preview: Click here for Albert Caruana's meet preview for Milesplit.

Meet History: The Stanford men have won 20 of the past 21 years, and the Cardinal women have a 12-year winning streak. The meet began in 1974 with a men's race, and the women's race began in 1977. Among the men's winners have been two-time U.S. cross country champion Chris Derrick and Olympians such as Ryan Hall, Gabe Jennings, Meb Keflezighi, and Ian Dobson. Past women's winners have included Regina Jacobs, Ceci Hopp, Sara Bei, and Amy Yoder.

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