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Cross country gears up for NCAA West Regionals
Junior Grant Fisher (above) helped Stanford win the Pac-12 Championships after taking first place over Colorado's Joe Klecker.(JOHN P. LOZANO/isiphotos.com)

Cross country gears up for NCAA West Regionals

Stanford’s No. 4 men’s and No. 7 women’s cross country teams will compete at the NCAA West Regionals championships Friday morning in Seattle, Washington.

The men’s and women’s team placed first in last year’s West Regionals championships, marking the first time Stanford swept both titles since 2004. Both teams are coming off of impressive performances at Pac-12 Championships two weeks ago.

Led by a first-place finish from junior Grant Fisher, the men’s team took home their 13th Pac-12 crown as it broke Colorado’s six-year winning streak. Fisher recorded his first Pac-12 cross-country title as he surged past Colorado’s Joe Klecker in the final meters of the race. The men finished with three in the top four, including senior Steven Fahy in third and junior Alex Ostberg in fourth. Stanford’s fourth through seventh runners finished six seconds apart between 15th and 21st place.

Returning five of the seven runners that competed in last year’s race, the men’s team enters as the highest ranked team. Friday’s field will feature several other ranked teams, including No. 6 Portland, No. 10 UCLA and No. 13 Oregon. UCLA and Oregon both competed at Pac-12 Championships where they finished in third and fourth, respectively.

The women’s team finished third, slightly behind runner-up Oregon, as Colorado won the Pac-12 title. Fifth-year senior Vanessa Fraser led the Cardinal women in fourth place, followed closely by sophomore Fiona O’Keeffe in seventh. The women’s third, fourth and fifth runners finished nine seconds apart between 16th and 25th place.

The women’s team returns five of the six runners that represented Stanford in last year’s race. Like the men’s team, the Cardinal women will face a tough field that includes No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 San Francisco, No. 10 Boise State and No. 16 Washington.

Although Oregon is ranked ahead of the Cardinal women by four places, both teams tied for second at Pac-12 Championships. When matching up the top five runners from both teams, Oregon won three of the five matchups, giving them the runner-up position. Stanford settled for third, but Friday’s race will look to be a rematch between both programs.

Although the Cardinal men and women look to have a strong performance this weekend, both teams are ultimately preparing for NCAA Championships next weekend. The women’s 6k race will start at 10:30 a.m. on the Jefferson Park Golf Course, followed by the men’s 10k race at 11:30 a.m.

 

Contact Alejandro Salinas at asalinas ‘at’ stanford.edu.