Stanford track teams take high rankings into indoor season


The Stanford men's and women's track and field teams were ranked highly in the NCAA Preseason Indoor rankings, released Tuesday by the USTFCCCA, the collegiate coaches' association.

The Cardinal men are ranked No. 7 and the women are No. 11. In 2014, the women finished seventh and the men 12th at the NCAA indoor nationals.

Stanford's season begins Jan. 17 with the UW Indoor Preview at the University of Washington's Dempsey Indoor facility, which also is the site of the MPSF championships Feb. 27-28. The season concludes with the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 13-14 in Fayetteville, Ark.

The Cardinal returns three of its four members -- Marco Bertolotti, Luke Lefebure, and Steven Solomon -- of its defending NCAA champion distance medley relay. Also, Stanford returns three members of its NCAA runner-up women's DMR team -– Claudia Saunders, Amy Weissenbach, and Kristyn Williams.

In addition, three individual first-team indoor All-Americans return: Aisling Cuffe in the women's 3,000 and 5,000 meters, Erik Olson in the men's 3,000, and Joe Rosa in the men's 5,000. Cuffe is the top returnee in the 5,000, placing second last year.

The Cardinal men's squad will include its entire top seven, including five All-Americans, from its NCAA runner-up cross-country team. Among them is NCAA West Region cross country champ Maksim Korolev, a graduate transfer from Harvard who will be competing on the track for the first time for Stanford. Plus, Jim Rosa, a 2014 first-team outdoor All-America in the 10,000, returns after redshirting the 2014 indoor track and cross country seasons.

Another addition is Darian Brooks, the 2014 Pac-12 triple jump champion who redshirted last year's indoor season.

Among the women, freshmen Elise Cranny and Olivia Baker will make their Stanford track debut. Cranny was fourth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships outdoors in the 1,500 and Baker, a top recruit in the 400 and 800, won a gold medal in the 4x400 at the same meet.

Jessica Tonn, ninth at the 2014 USATF Championships in the 5,000 and the defending Pac-12 10,000 champion, will be back on the boards after redshirting indoors last season.

At last year's indoor nationals, Saunders and Weissenbach chose to bypass the individual 800 to shoot for first in the DMR. Both were NCAA outdoor finalists last year, with Saunders placing second to since-graduated Laura Roesler of Oregon. Each is a big potential scorer this year indoors.

— Stanford Athletics

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