It has been a long run, but the Stanford men's cross-country team has finally reached the top and is ranked No. 1 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Poll. The Cardinal had begun the season at No. 3 but, after sweeping the Stanford Invitational, moved up to take the top spot on Tuesday.
A year ago, Stanford finished third at the NCAA Championships. With much of that talent returning, the Cardinal had good reason to have championship aspirations in 2009. Sophomore standout Chris Derrick leads the squad that also has returning All-Americans Elliott Heath and Jacob Riley.
Oregon is the defending national champion and began the season at No. 1, but fell to No. 7 in this week's poll after placing just third at the Oregon Dellinger Invitational last weekend.
On the women's side, Stanford climbed to No. 6 after also winning the Stanford Invitational. Washington remains No. 1 after taking home the NCAA title last season and winning the Notre Dame Invitational in its first meet of 2009.
Both the Stanford teams will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 17, at the NCAA Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind. The men won their race last year and will look to repeat that feat, in order to hang on to their top national ranking.
Stanford shot a second-round score of 301 Tuesday, the lowest round of the day, to move into second place at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational, hosted by the University of Washington at the Sahalee Country Club in Redmond, Wash.
The Cardinal picked up 10 on first place California, and remains 10 strokes off the pace.
Freshman Sally Watson led Stanford with an even par 72 today to move into a tie for fifth place, three strokes behind individual leader Pia Halberg of Cal. Watson birdied 17 and 18.
Freshman Kristina Wong shot a 75 and is currently in 10th place.
Junior Greg Hirshman advanced to the third round of the qualifying singles draw at the D'Novo/ITA All-American Championships on Tuesday afternoon with a 6-4, 7-6 (8) victory over NC State's Jaime Pulgar.
Hirshman now faces No. 11 seed John Peers of Middle Tennessee State on Wednesday in the third round.
Meanwhile, Stanford's lone doubles team competing in the qualifying draw was eliminated on Tuesday in the first round. The duo of freshman Matt Kandath and senior Richard Wire, seeded No. 3, dropped an 8-2 decision to Mississippi State's team of George Coupland and Artem Ilyushin.
The Stanford women's tennis team kicked off its season Tuesday afternoon on the opening day of competition at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships.
Senior Lindsay Burdette and junior Carolyn McVeigh were the lone Cardinal entrants in the qualifying draw. Burdette dropped a hard-fought 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision to Clemson's Keri Wong in the opening round before later falling 7-5, 6-1 to Georgia's Nadia Gilchrist in a consolation match.
McVeigh upset second-seeded Noemi Scharle of Florida State 6-1, 2-6, 7-5, but was turned away in the second round by Vanderbilt's Catherine Newman 6-2, 6-2.
McVeigh and freshman Mallory Burdette appeared in the qualifying doubles draw, but suffered an 8-5 first round loss to Clemson's Nelly Ciolkowski and Keri Wong.