Stanford grads Sara Hall and Lindsay Allen finished fifth and sixth, respectively in the women's 3,000 steeplechase Sunday at the USA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, OR.
"The race went differently than I thought," Allen told Flotrack. "When we went out slow I was excited but then the momentum got going and I hung in until I broke a little and then regrouped."
Hall completed the race in 9:52.52 while Allen recorded a time of 9:56.65.
At Stanford, Hall was a three-time NCAA runner-up in track and field and 7-time All-American. She finished third overall at the 2003 NCAA Cross Country Championship, leading the Cardinal to the team title.
"I felt awkward because I have never run a steeple prelim before," Hall said. "The hurdle component was different for me. I'm thankful that I've had no setbacks or injuries this year."
Hall and Allen are both likely to compete at the USA 5,000 championships in Providence, R.I. September 18. Hall placed second to hometown favorite and American record holder Molly Huddle last year.
Allen placed eighth at the USA 10,000 championships last year in Boston. Huddle also won that race.
The National track and field championships will be held in Wichita, Kansas beginning July 26.
The IAAF World Championships are scheduled for Aug. 27-Sept. 4 in Daegu, Korea.
Stanford senior Chris Derrick finished seventh in the 5,000 earlier in the meet. It was his first USA final.
"I was taking it all in," Derrick said. "I have to go back and get fast, get better. For the last two months my training hasn't been great. There's been a lot of recovering in there."
Derrick is looking forward to his final collegiate cross country season this fall.
"I want to get into nasty shape and have fun," he said. "I want to enjoy all of it."
Cardinal grad Lauren Fleshman, eighth in the 5,000, has her eyes set on the future.
"I go into every race now open for the possibility of excellence," she said. "It's all about 2012. For me that's the end point of my career in my mind. Everything leads toward that."
Fleshman has battled through a series of injuries over the past few years but maintains a positive frame of mind.
"You might as well go in feeling good about yourself," she said. "I'm healthy. I'm just not exactly at race shape. I have to ride the roller coaster. Not every year can be perfect."