Sports

Derrick second in the nation; Stanford men are fifth

 

Senior Chris Derrick completed his college cross- country career with a second-place finish at the NCAA Championship on the Lavern Gibson Championship Course on Monday in Terre Haute, Ind.

Derrick raced the 10,000-meter course in 28:57.5 to match the best finish by a Stanford runner in school history. The Cardinal was fifth as a team with 207 points. Nationally No. 1-ranked Wisconsin won the team title with 97 points.

Stanford finished third, 10th, fourth and fifth during Derrick's career. He earned his fourth cross-country All-American honor and 11th overall while becoming one of only a handful of NCAA runners to have four top-10 finishes during his career.

Jake Riley, who finished 18th in 29:45, also earned All-American honors.

The Stanford women finished 10th with 332 points. Georgetown won the team championship with 162 points. The Cardinal finished 13th last season and were in 13th place halfway through Monday's race.

Kathy Kroeger and Stephanie Marcy earned All-America honors to pace the Cardinal women.

Ryan Hall, in 2003, and Neftalem Araia, in 2006, also finished second at the NCAA championship for the Stanford men.

The Cardinal finished just behind BYU (203) and just ahead of Oklahoma (213). Stanford ran to its fourth straight top-10 finish under head coach Jason Dunn and its third top-five finish in four years.

Both Derrick and Riley went out with the lead pack, but the race was blown open early when Arizona freshman Lawi Lalang surged to the lead and strung out the chase pack.

Derrick stayed patient and slowly worked his way back to the lead as the runners that tried to stay with Lalang fell off the pace. Lalang cruised to a dominating performance, finishing in 28:44.1. Derrick worked his way through the chase pack and finished strong as he took second in relatively comfortable fashion.

Sophomore Andrew Berberick, who placed 55th, was a pleasant surprise for Stanford. He did not run the regional meet and was a late addition to the national squad. Berberick ran the best race of his young career to finish as Stanford's No. 3 runner. He crossed the line at 30:25.1 and was the 10th-best underclassmen in the race.

Also running well was senior Brendan Gregg, who closed his career with a 65th-place national finish. The result was the best of Gregg's career as he has returned from injury this season in fine form. Gregg covered the course in 30:30.7.

Rounding out the top five was Erik Olson, who was 127th in 31:00.6. Olson improved on his time and place from his freshman season as he was the Cardinal No. 5 runner at the NCAA meet for the second-straight year.

Also competing were J.T. Sullivan and freshman Joe Rosa. Sullivan finished his Stanford career with a 144th-place finish as he covered the course in 31:09.5. Rosa, who had a sensational regional meet, struggled in his first NCAA meet, and finished 154th with a time of 31:13.6.

The Cardinal women earned their first top-10 finish since 2008 as the Pac-12 placed four teams among the top 11. Washington placed second, eight points back of the Hoyas, while Oregon placed fifth and Colorado was 11th.

Sheila Reid of Villanova repeated as the individual champion, edging Jordan Hasay of Oregon at the line.

Kroeger completed a sensational season with her 21st-place finish. Able to stay healthy for a full cross-country season, the junior showed her No. 1 runner talent. Kroeger covered the 6,000 meters in 20:09.8 to earn her first All-America honor in cross country and third overall of her career.

Kroeger and Marcy, who finished 32nd, gave the Stanford women its first All-Americans in cross country in four years.

Marcy, a four-time All-American on the track, earned her first All-America honor in cross country. She crossed the line with a time of 20:22.6.

Freshman Aisling Cuffe placed 74th and was the third freshman overall. She covered the distance in 20:49.6. She was the national cross-country runner of the year her senior year of high school.

Rounding out the top five were sophomore Jessica Tonn and junior newcomer Claire Durkin. Tonn placed 111th as the Cardinal No. 4 runner, while Durkin was 192nd. Tonn finished with a time of 21:07.8 in her second NCAA meet, while Durkin, the 2007 high school state champion and Gatorade Player of the Year in Ohio, ran 21:47.8 in her debut.

Completing the top seven were a pair of freshmen, Alli Billmeyer and Mary Kate Anselmini. Billmeyer was 236th in 22:23.1, while Anselmini was 249th in 22:57.7 as the young Cardinal gained experience for future seasons.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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