Current, ex-Stanford runners help USA teams in cross country


Stanford's Maksim Korolev finished 57th at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on Saturday morning in Guiyang, China.

Chris Derrick '12, a 14-time All-America For the Cardinal and three-time U.S. champion, was 24th (36:45), leading the U.S. to a seventh-place finish.

Korolev, a Stanford graduate student in management science and engineering, covered the 12-kilometer (7.46 miles) course in 38:27. He was the fifth of six Americans.

Sara Bei Hall ('05) led the U.S. women with a 20th-place finish, a personal best. She was 26th in 2006 over a 4K distance when the event had two distances for each gender. Hall covered the 8K (4.97-mile) course in 28:19.

In both races, the team title came down to the winner of the Kenya-Ethiopia rivalry. In both, it was Ethiopia, barely. The men's race finished in a 20-20 tie, but Ethiopia won on a tiebreaker – its fourth and final scorer was seventh, to Kenya's 12th.

For the women, it was Ethiopia winning, 17-19. The U.S. women were fifth (128 points) and the men seventh (131).

Hall moved up steadily. After the first of the four 2K loops, Hall was 56th, but moved up to 37th by the midway point, then 25th going into the final loop. Hall, who ran the Los Angeles Marathon just two weeks ago, was remarkably consistent over the first 6K. Her 2K splits were 6:59, 7:02, and 7:03, before finishing with a 7:15.

Korolev and Derrick each were consistently around their finishing group throughout the race. Korolev's 2K times slowed throughout the race. He opened in 6:02, but each of his six loops were slower, with the final loop in 6:45.

Derrick opened with a 5:52 and also was progressively slower, finishing with a 6:24 final loop. However, in each case, their overall placing was never more than eight spots different than it had been after any of their completed loops.

Korolev won the NCAA West Region cross country title and was fourth at the NCAA Championships last fall in cross country, and will return to compete in track outdoors for the Cardinal. He was an All-America at Harvard, and graduated from there in 2014, but had a fifth season of eligibility remaining in both cross country and outdoor track and arrived at Stanford for the 2015-16 academic year.

The Harrisonville, Missouri, native earned the sixth and final qualifying spot for the American team through his performance at the U.S. Championships in Boulder, Colorado, on Feb. 7. He first represented the U.S. national team at the Pan Am Cup on Feb. 22, winning the race in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Korolev became the first active Stanford men's runner at worlds since Ian Dobson '05 was 61st in the 12K race in 2005 in France. Tony Sandoval '76 (20th) and Roy Kissin '79 (139th) also ran at worlds while at Stanford, in 1976 in Wales.

The highest world finish by any Stanford runner, man or woman, was second by Canada's Alison Wiley '86 in 1983 over a 4.4K distance in Gateshead, England. Derrick's 10th place in 2013 is the best finish by a Stanford male.

— Stanford Athletics

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