TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Stanford’s men’s and women’s teams will compete at the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, on the same course where the NCAA Championships will be held, on Nov. 23.
The meet is among the strongest of any invitational in the country. The men’s Blue Race features 11 teams ranked among the USTFCCCA Top 30. The women’s race includes 13 ranked teams.
What: Indiana State Pre-National Invitational
Where: LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, Terre Haute, Ind.
When: Saturday: Men (8K), 8 a.m. PT; Women (6K), 8:40 a.m. PT
Follow: Click here for meet information, entries, and results links.
Regional importance: With regional championships about a month away and only conference championships remaining for a number of squads, this weekend is a prime opportunity to earn some important head-to-head victories for at-large consideration. The top two teams from each region will move on to the NCAA Championships with 13 more selected at-large. Pre-Nationals will serve as a chance for teams on the bubble (No. 3 and No. 4) in their regions to bolster their cases should regionals not go their way.
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Race Overview: Stanford is ranked No. 29 and is rated 11th among the 52 teams in the 8-kilometer Blue Race. The field includes three of the nation’s top four teams, including No. 1 Oklahoma State and No. 2 Colorado. Defending NCAA individual champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech will attempt to remain undefeated as a collegian.
Stanford breakdown: The Cardinal will run its full team, with Tyler Stutzman competing after missing the Stanford Invitational with a minor injury and now with freshman Sean McGorty making his Cardinal debut. Joe Rosa, last season’s No. 1 runner, and Thomas Graham, who ran in the world junior cross country championships last spring, remain out with injury and illness, respectively, though they have returned to training.
Michael Atchoo, sr.: 2013 NCAA indoor mile finalist.
Justin Brinkley, so.: 2013 junior national 1,500-meter champion.
Sean McGorty, fr.: Runner-up at 2012 FootLocker high school national championships.
Erik Olson, sr.: Won the Stanford Invitational on Sept. 28.
Jim Rosa, jr.: Stanford’s No. 1 at season-opening USF Invite.
Tyler Stutzman, sr.: 2013 indoor mile and outdoor 1,500 All-America.
Garrett Sweatt, so.: Has a 5,000 best of 14:10.86.
The Season So Far: Stanford has competed in two meets – the USF and Stanford invitationals – and won both over regional competition. Erik Olson edged Stanford teammate Jim Rosa to win the individual race at the Stanford Invitational on Sept. 28, in the team’s most recent competition. This is Stanford’s first meet on a national scale.
Stanford’s Pre-Nationals History: Stanford’s most recent appearance was in 2010 when Chris Derrick led a 1-2-3 Stanford sweep of the Blue Race and paced the Cardinal to the team victory, with 43 points. Current senior Erik Olson ran No. 7 for Stanford, finishing 53rd (24:28.5). It was the second Pre-Nats victory in a row for Derrick and Stanford’s third consecutive team triumph.
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Race overview: Stanford is ranked No. 11 in the country and rated fourth among the 51-team Blue Race field. No. 2 Florida State is the top-rated team in a field that includes the past two NCAA championship teams, Georgetown (then coached by Stanford’s Chris Miltenberg) in 2011 and Oregon in 2012. Colorado’s Shalaya Kipp, a 2012 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, will make her season debut and is regarded among the favorites.
Stanford breakdown: Like the men, Stanford has competed in two meets and won both, the USF and Stanford invitationals, against largely regional competition. This will be the Cardinal’s strongest team of the season and a step closer to its postseason lineup, with freshman Sophie Chase making her collegiate debut and Justine Fedronic, third in the 800 at the 2013 NCAA track championships, will make her season debut after a late track season in Europe.
Cami Chapus, so.: Miler was Stanford’s No. 4 at Stanford Invite.
Sophie Chase, fr.: Three-time FootLocker finalist makes Stanford debut.
Aisling Cuffe, jr.: 21st at 2012 NCAA’s to become No. 1 Stanford runner.
Justine Fedronic, sr.: School-record holder in 800 (2:00.97).
Megan Lacy, so.: 2013 junior national runner-up in 5,000.
Molly McNamara, jr.: Middle-distance specialist ran on 2011 Pac-12 team.
Rebecca Mehra, so.: Ran in top seven at 2012 Pac-12’s, regionals.
Tate Murray, sr.: After injuries, now rounding into best shape.
Jessica Tonn, sr.: Won Stanford Invitational on Sept. 28.
Season so far: Stanford has each of its first two meets, the USF and Stanford invitationals. Aisling Cuffe and Jessica Tonn ran side by side to lead Stanford to five of the top six places at the USF meet at Golden Gate Park. They did the same at Stanford, placing 1-2, with Tonn winning.
Stanford’s Pre-Nationals History: Stanford won the first five editions of this race, taking the Blue Race title from 2002-2007 (there was no race in 2003). The Cardinal has one individual winner, Alicia Craig in 2004 (20:20.4 for 6K) and runners-up Craig in 2002, Arianna Lambie in 2006 and Teresa McWalters in 2007. The last time Stanford ran in this meet was 2010, placing third as a team in the White Race. Current senior Jessica Tonn was 19th (20:53.7).
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The Coach: Chris Miltenberg is in his second season as Stanford’s Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field and head men's and women's cross-country coach. In his first year, the Cardinal women placed third in the nation and the men won the NCAA West Regionals. Also, Kathy Kroeger won the Pac-12 individual women’s title. Miltenberg arrived from Georgetown, where he coached the Hoya women to the 2011 NCAA cross-country title.