Sports

Stanford men run to an NCAA berth in regional cross country

 

The Stanford men finished second at the NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships on Friday in Seattle, earning an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships.

The Cardinal women were fourth (121 points) and will require an at-large berth to advance. The fields for the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky., will be announced Sunday.

The top two teams in each of nine regionals around the country qualified automatically. Thirteen more advance at-large to create a pair of 31-team fields. Stanford is seeking to advance both teams to the NCAA's for the 22nd consecutive year.

In the men's race, Stanford scored 83 points to trail only Washington's 63. Oregon, paced by winner Edward Cheserek, was third with 99. Two-time defending NCAA champion Cheserek ran 30:43.2 over 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) at Jefferson Park Golf Course to win. Stanford placed three runners among the top eight.

Sean McGorty, the Pac-12 runner-up behind Cheserek, ran in the lead pack much of the way, but faded after Cheserek broke free late in the race. Still, McGorty worked together with teammates Jim and Joe Rosa to finish solidly.

Jim Rosa, Stanford's No. 5 runner in his season debut at the Pac-12 Championships on Oct. 30, was the Cardinal's No. 1 on Friday, leading a group of three that finished within one second of each other. Jim Rosa ran 31:14.9, McGorty ran 31:15.1, and Jim's twin brother Joe Rosa ran 31:15.3.

At the NCAA Championships at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Stanford is expected to have two of its top runners available who were rested Friday, freshman Grant Fisher and junior Jack Keelan.

The Stanford women were a distant 41 points behind Boise State for the second automatic qualifying spot. Oregon (79) won and Washington was (105). Stanford ran without two-time Pac-12 champion Aisling Cuffe, who sat out as an injury precaution, but is expected to race at nationals.

Instead, Sophie Chase led the Cardinal. It was the first time in her career that the junior has finished as Stanford's No. 1. Chase covered the 8K (3.73-mile) course in 21:04.6 to place 15th, with sophomore Julia Maxwell next for the Cardinal in 18th (21:06.4). It was Maxwell's highest-ever team placing as well.

The Cardinal benefited from balance. All seven finished within 24 seconds of each other and were separated by 24 places. The individual winner was Boise State freshman Allie Ostrander, who ran 20:10.9.

Media outlets project the Stanford women to advance based on season points accumulated against qualifying teams in an at-large qualifying system. The Cardinal is seeking its 23rd consecutive NCAA team berth.

— Stanford Athletics

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