Nov. 8, 2012
SEATTLE - Stanford seeks its 15th women’s team title and 13th men’s when it competes in the NCAA West Regional on Friday at the Jefferson Park Golf Course.
What: NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships
Where: Jefferson Park Golf Course (Seattle, Wash.)
When: Friday (Women, noon; Men, 1:15 p.m.)
Distance: Women, 6,000 meters (3.73 miles); Men, 10,000 (6.2 miles)
The meet, one of nine regionals around the country Friday, acts as a qualifier for the NCAA Championships Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky. Neither Stanford team has finished lower than third since 1994 and both have qualified every year in that span.
The West Region consists of California, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and portions of Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona. The top two teams in each race automatically advance. In addition, 13 teams will receive at-large berths in each of the men’s and women’s divisions.
Individual runners can also qualify for NCAAs if they are among the top four finishers in the region not on an advancing team, while also finishing in the top 25 overall in the race.
The Stanford men were first and the women third last year. The Cardinal men, ranked No. 3 in the nation, are ranked No. 1 in the region. The Cardinal women, No. 5 in the nation, are ranked No. 3 in the region.
In the women’s competition, senior Kathy Kroeger enters the 6,000-meter race (3.73 miles, noon) coming off her Pac-12 individual championship on Oct. 27 in Santa Clarita. Her highest placing in this meet was fifth in 2010 in Springfield, Ore., but she’s expected to contend with two-time champion Jordan Hasay of Oregon for first.
Among the men, Stanford is coming off a second-place finish at the Pac-12 meet, with Joe Rosa leading the way in sixth. However, with Pac-12 champion Colorado competing in the Mountain Region, Stanford comes in as the favorite to win its third title in four years, over the 10,000-meter course (6.2 miles, 1:15 p.m.).
The following is a closer look at the meet:
Results: Can be found at www.gostanford.com or http://rtspt.com/events/ncaa/d1westxc12/
Men’s Preview: Stanford is a heavy favorite entering the meet with a No. 3 national ranking, with Portland next at No. 9 and Oregon at No. 11. Stanford has six runners with NCAA regional experience, including Miles Unterreiner, who has competed the past three years and has a high placing of 13th (2009), the highest of any returning Cardinal. With Arizona’s Lawi Lalang in the field – he is the defending regional and NCAA champion, and the reigning Pac-12 champ – Stanford may be hard-pressed to win its first individual title since Chris Derrick won in 2009.
In Stanford’s Favor: Stanford has a strong history in this meet. The Cardinal won every title from 1995-2004 and has recent titles in 2009 and 2011. Stanford’s depth and experience will be hard to overcome, and the Cardinal has not lost to any team in this field. Expect Stanford to advance to nationals for the 19th consecutive season.
Women’s Preview: The same teams that battled for the Pac-12 title on Nov. 27 will do so again for the regional crown. Oregon, Arizona, Stanford, and Washington are ranked Nos. 3-5, and No. 7, respectively, in the nation. Oregon senior Jordan Hasay is a two-time champ, but she was outkicked by Stanford’s Kathy Kroeger for the Pac-12 title on Oct. 27. They figure to join Arizona’s Elvin Kibet, who was passed by Hasay and Kroeger down the stretch of the Pac-12 race, as the prime contenders.
In Stanford’s Favor: Stanford owned this meet, winning every team title from 1999-2007. Since then, the Cardinal has finished third in each of the past four years, but received NCAA at-large bids each time. Kathy Kroeger will be looking to become the first Stanford individual winner since Teresa McWalters in 2007. Stanford has four of its top six back from last season.
Last Year: The Stanford men edged Portland, 50-53, to win the title. Stanford’s Chris Derrick was runner-up to Arizona’s Lawi Lalang, who won by 16 seconds at Stanford Golf Course (28:34 to 28:50). Stanford’s women finished third and were led by Kathy Kroeger, who finished seventh.
Pac-12 Champion: Kathy Kroeger’s stunning finish earned the senior her first conference championship, on Oct. 27 at Robinson Ranch Golf Club in Santa Clarita, Calif. Kroeger led a chase pack that trailed the leaders from Oregon by more than 10 seconds for much of the race. But in the final 800 meters, Kroeger followed Oregon’s Jordan Hasay as they ran down the new leader, Arizona’s Elvin Kibet. Then, down the final stretch, Kroeger overtook Hasay to win by four seconds, in 20:06. After runner-up finishes the previous two seasons, Kroeger was finally the Pac-12 champion.
Stanford’s Regional History:
• Stanford teams have won a combined 26 team titles.
• Since 1994, Stanford teams have won a combined 24 of a possible 36 conference titles.
• Only twice times in the past 18 years has Stanford failed to win a team title.
• The women have won 12 titles in the past 18 years, including a stretch of nine consecutive, from 1999-2007.
• The men have won 12 titles in the past 17 years, including a stretch of 10 consecutive, from 1995-2004.
The Coach: This is the first NCAA West Regional meet for Chris Miltenberg, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field and head cross country coach. Miltenberg came from Georgetown where he was the associate head coach for track and field and the head women's cross-country coach. He led the Hoyas to the 2011 NCAA title in women's cross country and was named the USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year.
The Course: The races will be run on a golf course at the Jefferson Park Golf Course in Seattle. The men’s 10K course consists of five 2K loops. The women’s course has three 2K loops.