Stanford’s No. 4 ranked men’s and No. 3 ranked women’s cross country teams swept the competition this past weekend at the 44th Stanford Invitational on Saturday. After a year hiatus, the invitational welcomed nearly 4,000 runners to the Stanford Golf Course, home of this year’s course. In a meet that comprised high school and collegiate races, Stanford’s men’s and women’s team placed atop ranked NCAA competition.
Fifth-year senior Elise Cranny repeated as the invitational winner after also finishing first in 2016. Traversing the 6-kilometer course in 20:32, Cranny led the No. 3 Stanford women to a 62-69 win over second place Adams State, ranked first in NCAA Division II. No. 16 Washington placed third, scoring 90.
On the men’s side, the No. 4 Stanford men placed five in the top nine, led by Alex Parsons’ third place performance of 23:58. Scoring just 26 points on the 8-kilometer course, the men’s team finished first above ranked competition that included second place finisher No. 23 UCLA (53) and third place Division II No. 1 Adams State (75).
Cranny, an 11-time All-American, two-time Academic All-American and two-time Pac-12 Champion, has won both of her races this season. This fall marks the veteran’s final season to represent the Cardinal.
“Coach Milt has always talked about being in the present,” said Cranny. “That’s something I’ve been working on — not thinking about the future. I’m just trying to be in the moment.”
Cranny led the women’s race along with junior Fiona O’Keeffe and Washington’s Katie Rainsberger.
“We were dictating the pace without pushing it,” said Cranny, who pulled away from the field over the last kilometer to pick up her second Stanford Invitational win.
In a match up that came down to the line, Rainsberger (20:39) finished second, out-striding O’Keeffe (20:41) in the final stretch. Sophomore Jessica Lawson (21:10) finished seventh to round out three runners in the top seven for the Cardinal.
Freshman Rebecca Story, a 12-time Tennessee individual state champion and one of the top recruits nationally in the class of 2022, made her collegiate debut for the Cardinal finishing as the Cardinal’s fourth runner and 22nd overall in the race. Sophomores Jordan Oakes and Julia Heymach finished 32nd and 35th, respectively.
“The meet wasn’t too big, but there was enough competition, and we got a good competitive effort out of it,” women’s coach Elizabeth DeBole said. “It was just a really good start.”
On the men’s side, senior Robert Brandt, running unattached from UCLA, won the race in 23:45. Brandt and Adams State’s Sydney Gidabuday (23:55) led the race from the beginning and finished first and second, respectively.
During the race, a chase pack developed a few meters behind the leaders that included the Cardinal’s top five. With 2-kilometers left in the race, Stanford had five runners in the top nine, which they maintained to the finish. In the final stretch, Parsons pulled away from his teammate Ostberg to finish third. Ostberg, a top returner from last year’s team, placed fifth with sophomore Callum Bolger a few meters behind in sixth place.
Bolger was the only freshman on the NCAA lineup last year. This year, he is joined by sophomore DJ Principe who placed eighth (24:17) in the field. Graduate student Tai Dinger rounded out the Cardinal top five as he placed ninth (24:19), tallying the Cardinal’s score to 62 points, just seven points lower than Adams State’s second place performance.
“To see DJ and Callum get tough after being separated … they kept plugging and kept competing, and that to me was probably the most valuable thing I took from the whole day,” said Chris Miltenberg, the men’s head coach and Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field.
The Cardinal will have two weeks of training before traveling to Wisconsin for Pre-Nationals on the NCAA championship course in Madison, Wisconsin. The Cardinal will return to the farm to host the Pac-12 Championships on Oct. 26 on the Stanford Golf Course.
Contact Alejandro Salinas at asalinas ‘at’ stanford.edu