Stanford's Maksim Korolev followed up his Pan American Cup cross country title by being named Athlete of the Week by USA Track and Field.
In his first race for the U.S. national team, Korolev won the 10K (6.2-mile) race in Barranquilla, Colombia, on Sunday in 28:21. Korolev kicked past the field with a late surge to earn a 10-second victory over runner-up Gilberto Silvestre Lopes of Brazil and thereby earn the distinction as the champion of the Western Hemisphere.
Korolev second active Stanford runner in as many years to win an international cross country competition. Last year, Sean McGorty, now a sophomore, won the NACAC junior championship in Trinidad.
A graduate student in management science and engineering, Korolev placed fourth at the NCAA Championships in November and will compete in the outdoor track and field season for Stanford. Korolev had qualified for the U.S. team through his sixth-place performance at the U.S. Championships on Feb. 7 in Boulder, Colorado.
Korolev next races for the U.S. at the IAAF World Championships in Guiyang, China, on March 28.
Stanford put up two second-place showings on the first day of the Pac-12 Championships Wednesday evening at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. California won both events of the night, the 200-yard medley relay and 800-yard freestyle relay, to stand in first place.
"I'm really pleased with our session tonight," said head coach Greg Meehan. "We had some great splits on our relays; Jane Hu and Sarah Haase in particular were awesome on the medley."
Stanford, the No. 3-ranked dual-meet team in the nation, opened the meet with a 1:35.30 in the 200 medley, as freshman Ally Howe from Sacred Heart Prep, junior human biology major Sarah Haase, freshman Janet Hu and sophomore Lia Neal combined for an NCAA 'A'cut. The time would have been a meet record; however California clocked a 1:35.25 to finish first.
The top-ranked Bears followed with an NCAA record of 6:50.18 in the 800 free. Stanford's best group, sophomore Nicole Stafford, Neal, sophomore Grace Carlson and freshman Simone Manuel, easily touched the wall in second place at 7:00.84.
"Our 200 medley time for us this time of year is fantastic," added Meehan. "We came back with a solid second-place finish in the 800. We look forward to getting the ball rolling tomorrow morning with lots of individual swims."
The Cardinal trails Cal, 128-112, in the overall standings. Arizona is in third at 104 and USC sits fourth with 100 points.
Stanford is looking for its second Pac-12 title in the past three years, while Cal is seeking back-to-back championships.