Fraser Leads Card Surge
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Vanessa Fraser led a flurry of four Stanford finishers within 19 seconds, as the Cardinal women finished sixth at the Pre-National Invitational cross country meet on Saturday.
Racing on the 6-kilometer (3.73-mile) LaVern Gibson Course that will be used at the NCAA Championships on Nov. 19, Fraser placed 24th in 20:39.7 and was followed by Danielle Katz in 29th (20:45.9), Christina Aragon in 41st (20:53.6), and Ella Donaghu in 47th (20:58.5). No. 5 runner Abbie McNulty was 88th (21:20.0).
Stanford scored 229 points, placing just behind Arkansas with 225. No. 1 Colorado, led by winner Erin Clark, won with 93 points with Oregon second with 154.
Stanford raced without ace Elise Cranny, the 2014 Pac-12 runner-up, who "tweaked" her foot on Friday during the pre-meet shakeout, said coach Elizabeth DeBole. She added that Cranny was held out as a "precaution."
The race marked the collegiate debut of two big-time recruits, Christina Aragon and Ella Donaghu – two of the seven fastest 1,500-meter high school runners of all time. However, without Cranny, Stanford still has yet to race its top seven together. The next opportunity is at the Pac-12 Championships on Oct. 28 in Tucson, Arizona.
When Katz raced at Pre-Nats last year in Louisville, Kentucky, she was Stanford's No. 6 runner. Since then, she has emerged as one of the Cardinal's best, as a solid No. 3 behind Cranny and Fraser.
Overall, DeBole felt good about her team's performance.
"It was really positive," she said.
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Women (Blue race)
At LaVern Gibson Championship Course (6K; 3.73 miles)
Team leaders – 1, Colorado 93; 2, Oregon 154; 3, Michigan 179; 4, Portland 196; 5, Arkansas 225; 6, Stanford 229.
Individual leaders and Stanford competitors – 1, Erin Finn (Michigan) 19:44.7; 2, Erin Clark (Colorado) 20:08.4; 3, Peyton Bilo (Cal Poly) 20:11.5; 4, Karissa Schweizer (Missouri) 20:14.0; 5, Elinor Purrier (New Hampshire) 20:15.4; 24, Vanessa Fraser (Stanford) 20:39.7; 29, Danielle Katz (Stanford) 20:45.9; 41, Christina Aragon (Stanford) 20:53.6; 47, Ella Donaghu (Stanford) 20:58.5; 88, Abbie McNulty (Stanford) 21:20.0; 113, Hannah DeBalsi (Stanford) 21:35.8; 122, Julia Maxwell (Stanford) 21:38.4.