No. 1 Stanford men stumble to fourth place

Derrick, Riley run fifth, sixth as individuals

Chris Derrick and Jake Riley finished fifth and sixth in the individual race but the top-ranked Stanford men's cross-country team could not overcome the depth of second-ranked Oklahoma State, which successfully defended its NCAA title Monday at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind.

Liberty's Sam Chelanga became a two-time national champion, completing the 10,000 meter race in 29:22.2. Derrick raced 29:44.7 and Riley finished in 29:45.0.

The championships were held in gale force winds, with gusts that exceeded 30 miles an hour, creating slower times and tighter packs.

Stanford finished fourth as a team with 237 points. Oklahoma State won the title with 73 points, followed by Florida State and Wisconsin.

"We went into the meet in the position to compete for the title," Stanford coach Jason Dunn said. "We just didn't get it done. Chris and Jake did a great job running up front."

Elliott Heath also ran in that pack, but was unable to hold the pace for the full 10,000 meters. The senior fell to 42nd with a time of 30:35.5.

Stanford, which won the Pac-10 championship and finished second in the NCAA West Regional, ran 10th at the national meet last year. Derrick was third.

Derrick and Riley remained in front of the second pack, but three Oklahoma State runners finished close behind.

"You need five to run well on the day," Dunn said. "Today we just didn't have that. It is very disappointing."

Villanova won the women's race with 120 points and Wildcats' senior Sheila Reid won the individual title over the 6,000 meter race, running a 20:06.9.

Florida State finished second and Texas Tech was third. The Cardinal women placed 13th with 402 points.

A month after the closest Pac-10 meet in history, the Pac-10 teams were all closely bunch again with Arizona and Oregon placing directly in front of Stanford in 11th and 12th, while Washington was not far behind in 16th. The four teams were separated by just 41 points.

"It was a tough race for the Pac-10 overall," said Dunn. "There were four really good teams that beat up on each other all season and today everyone just struggled a little bit."

The Cardinal had some unfortunate luck with Kathy Kroeger being unable to finish the race because of injury.

Kroeger was the Pac-10 runnerup and had been Stanford's No. 1 runner at every meet this year. Her absence cost Stanford a spot in the top 10.

In Kroeger's absence, Stephanie Marcy stepped up to assume the duties of the No. 1 runner. Marcy was the No. 1 at last year's NCAA meet where she finished 53rd and continued her consistency, placing 55th in a time of 21:02.4.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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