After a third-place finish from the men and a second-place finish from the women at Friday’s NCAA West Regionals, both Stanford cross country teams will represent the Cardinal at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, this Saturday, Nov. 18.
In the men’s race, senior Steven Fahy led the Cardinal with a third-place finish and a time of 29:40.3 on the 10k course. Pac-12 Champion Grant Fisher ran a more conservative race, finishing second for Stanford and 11th overall, recording a time of 29:47.7. Stanford’s top five runners finished ahead of every other team’s fifth runner, including Portland and Washington, who placed first and second, respectively.
Since only the top two teams from each NCAA regionals race automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships, the Pac-12 champions waited until Saturday to receive an at-large berth along with 12 other teams.
The women’s team was led by a sixth-place finish from sophomore Fiona O’Keefe, who clocked in at 19:31.7 for the 6k course. O’Keefe was followed short behind by fifth-year senior Vanessa Fraser, who finished eighth at 19:40.2. Like the men, the women crossed all five scorers before any other team’s fifth runner. With a score of 76 points, the Cardinal placed second to San Francisco’s 59 points. Both teams automatically qualified for Saturday’s championship.
In last year’s NCAA Championship, the women placed fifth while the men finished runner-up to Northern Arizona. After his fifth-place performance in last year’s race, Fisher will be one of the top returners this Saturday. The women’s 6k race is scheduled to start at 10:45 a.m. followed by the men’s 10k race at 11:45 a.m at the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.
Contact Alejandro Salinas at asalinas ‘at’ stanford.edu.