Feb. 5, 2011
San Diego, Calif. - Stanford freshman Erik Olson captured the U.S. Junior Cross Country title on Saturday morning at Mission Bay Park. The Novato, Calif., native finished the 8,000-meter course with a time of 24:48 to win in convincing fashion.
Olson ran a 4:56 per mile pace to outdistance second-place Maxwell Straneva by nine seconds. With the U.S. Junior title, Olson is eligible to compete for the United States at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain on March 20.
Olson was one of Stanford's top-7 runners throughout his freshman season, an impressive feat considering the depth and experience of the team. He was the top freshman at the Pac-10 Championships, placing 11th overall.
Also competing at the U.S. Cross County Championships for Stanford was Kate Niehaus in the open women's race. Niehaus placed 18th overall, covering the 8,000-meter course in 29:13. Niehaus did not compete for Stanford last fall because she has exhausted her eligibility in cross country, but due to a medical redshirt will return this spring to compete outdoors to finish her Stanford career.