Former Stanford standout David Vidal enters his fifth season on The Farm as an assistant track and field coach working with the distance program. A 2006 graduate, Vidal ranks among the best steeplechasers in Stanford history.
"David's loyalty and devotion to the program continues to showcase itself," said Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field Edrick Floreal. "He possesses tremendous ability as a coach. Having worked with Peter (Tegen), Vin (Lanana) and now Jason (Dunn); he has collected enough information now to make him one of the best young coaches in the country, if not the world."
Since being hired, Vidal has been the assistant for 63 All-Americans and 12 Pac-10 champions from the Stanford distance program.
"David's experience as a student-athlete at Stanford as well as his enthusiasm for the sport make him an invaluable member of our coaching staff," said Dunn. "Our athletes and myself are very fortunate to have him on board."
This past cross-country season Vidal worked with a pair of Pac-10 Championships teams with the Cardinal men dominating the race with a 1-2-3 finish and the Cardinal women winning the closest race in conference history. Vidal work with the men's trio of Chris Derrick, Elliott Heath and Jake Riley who had 1-2-3 finishes at both the NCAA Pre-National meet and the Pac-10 Championships. On the women's side Kathy Kroeger was the Pac-10 runner-up and Stanford Invitational champion. At the national meet, the men's team returned to the podium with a fourth-place trophy, while the women were 13th despite Kroeger needing to drop out with an injury.
The 2010 track season saw Cardinal distance runners earned a total of 10 All-America honors from 1,500 to 10,000 meters. Riley led the Cardinal with three All-America honors, while Derrick earned the sixth of his short career. Of the seven athletes that earned the 10 honors, all seven will return to the Stanford cross-country teams this fall.
During the 2009 cross-country season, Vidal assisted with a men's team that was ranked No. 1 in the nation for most of the season. The Cardinal won the Pac-10 and West Region titles, while Chris Derrick took the individual title in each. Derrick and Elliott Heath both earned All-America honors at the NCAA Cross Country Championships with Derrick placing third overall. The women's team placed third at the Pac-10 and West Regional Championships, while also advancing to the NCAA's.
During the 2009 track season, Vidal's presence was felt by eight athletes who won a total of 12 All-America honors. Garrett Heath finished as the national runner-up in the 1,500 meters, while Chris Derrick (three times), Elliott Heath (twice) and Lauren Centrowitz all had top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships in distances between 1,500 and 5,000 meters. Centrowitz also won the Pac-10 title in the 5,000, while Derrick broke the American Junior Record in the 5K.
In 2008, he assisted the men's cross country team to third place at the NCAA Championships and the women to an eighth-place finish. Both squads were young with many athletes that Vidal recruited. Derrick finished seventh overall to capture his first All-America honor, while Garrett Heath earned his first All-America honor in cross country after finishing 33rd.
During the 2008 track season, Vidal assisted a group of distance runners that combined to earn 10 All-America honors. During the indoor season both the men's and women's distance medley teams placed in the top four at the NCAA Championships. In addition Arianna Lambie (3,000 meters), Centrowitz (3,000 meters), Alicia Follmar (mile) and Heath (mile) earned All-America status in individual events. During the outdoor season Heath again was named All-American after finishing sixth in the 1,500 meters. On the women's side, Lindsay Allen (3,000-meter steeplechase), Alex Gits (10,000 meters) and Teresa McWalters (5,000 meters) all were honored as All-Americans. In the summer following the collegiate season, Heath went to become a semifinalist at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, while Lambie finished fifth in the 5,000 meters.
In his second season as an assistant coach, the women's cross-country squad captured its third straight NCAA cross country title, and fifth in program history. The women swept every postseason race, including winning its 12th consecutive Pac-10 title, and ninth consecutive West Regional.
In Vidal's first track season, Stanford won the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championship in the distance medley relay. Russell Brown and Heath doubled back from the DMR, finishing second and fourth in the mile while Lambie finished in the top three in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. Lambie's time in the 5,000 was an indoor school record. In the 2007 outdoor season, Vidal assisted in three Pac-10 championships with Brown and Lambie in the 1,500 meters and McWalters in the 10,000 meters. Lambie led a 1-2-3 sweep in the Pac-10 1,500 meters with Follmar and Centrowitz second and third. At 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Brown and Lambie both placed third in the 1,500 meters to contribute to a total of six All-America performances. Lambie went on to finish fifth in the 5,000 meters at the U.S. Outdoor Championships while Brown and Heath both made the final in the 1,500 meters. That summer, Vidal traveled to Europe with Brown and Heath where the two ran personal bests in the 800 meters and under 3:40.00 in the 1,500 meters, establishing themselves as elite middle distance runners.
During his first season as assistant coach, the Cardinal women won their second consecutive NCAA title, in addition to capturing the 2006 Pac-10 and West Regional titles. The men's team turned in runner-up finishes at the 2006 Pac-10 and West Regional Championship and finished the season on the podium with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championship.
As assistant coach, Vidal recruited nationally heralded classes on both the men's and women's sides in each of his first two years on staff. Along with recruiting, Vidal is responsible for any issue that pertains to the Stanford cross country team and the middle distance and distance runners in track. Besides working closely with the athletes, he works year-round to improve the Stanford cross country and track and field programs in every way necessary.
Vidal came to Stanford as a student-athlete in 2001 and ran five years for the Cardinal. Known as a positive leader and consistent competitor, Vidal helped Stanford to a pair of Pac-10 cross country championships, two NCAA West Regional titles and top finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. He was also the 2005 cross-country team co-captain.
In track, Vidal was the 2005 Big Meet Champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase before earning runner-up honors in the event at the Pac-10 Championships. He also finished ninth in the steeplechase at the 2005 U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Vidal's steeplechase time of 8:43.07 at the 2005 Pac 10 Championship ranks him fifth all-time at Stanford.
A native of Kalispell, Mont., Vidal still holds the high school 1,600-meter state record. He graduated from Stanford in 2006 with a degree in human biology. He was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic track and field selection and a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic cross country selection during his time on The Farm.