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SACRAMENTO – Big performances at the West Regionals on Friday lifted both the Stanford men’s and women’s cross-country teams into the NCAA Championships.
The men won their fourth title in five years with a late charge and the women were a stunning second after entering the meet as a bubble team for an NCAA at-large spot. The top two teams in each of the nation’s nine regional meets earned automatic bids to the nationals on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind., and Stanford extends its NCAA championship appearance streaks to 21 for the women and 20 for the men.
The Cardinal men were fourth with a mile to go on the 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) course at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, but rallied past leader Oregon down the stretch by placing three among top six. Stanford (53 points), outran the No. 4-ranked Ducks (64) and No. 10 Portland (92).
Stanford junior Jim Rosa (29:43) followed Oregon’s Edward Cheserek (29:35) across the finish line in a repeat of their Pac-12 championship finish on Nov. 2. Rosa was followed by teammates Erik Olson ( third, 29:48), Michael Atchoo (sixth, 29:54), freshman Sean McGorty ( 12th, 29:57) and Garrett Sweatt (31st , 30:35) among the scorers for the No. 6-ranked Cardinal.
The Stanford women, ranked as the fifth-best team in the region, were aggressive and held their position throughout the race. Pac-12 champion Aisling Cuffe was third and Jessica Tonn sixth, but the Cardinal needed strong performances from its Nos. 3-5 runners for a chance to advance. Stanford got them as Megan Lacy (20th, 20:09), Cami Chapus (26th, 20:16), and Molly McNamara (39th, 20:33) each finished in the top 40.
Perhaps surprising given its ninth-place at Pre-Nationals and fifth at Pac-12’s, Stanford finished only 10 points from No. 1-ranked and Pac-12 champion Arizona (84 points to 94). The Cardinal earned substantial victories over Oregon (120), USF (140), and Washington (162) – each of which entered the meet ranked above the Cardinal.
Cuffe clocked 19:15 over the 6-kilometer (3.73-mile) course and Tonn finished in 19:31. It was the highest finish for each in this meet. Cuffe trailed only Boise State’s Emma Bates (19:11), who edged Cuffe by one second to win the Pre-Nationals on Oct. 19, and Arizona State’s Shelby Houlihan (19:14).
This is the 20th consecutive season Stanford sends both its men’s and women’s teams to nationals.
Here are some results:
MEN (10K, 6.2 miles)
Team leaders: 1, Stanford 53; 2, Oregon 64; 3, Portland 92; 4, Boise State 117; 5, Arizona State 184; 6, UCLA 187; 7, Cal Poly 191; 8, Washington State 269; 9, Washington 277; 10, UC Santa Barbara 287.
Individual winner and Stanford finishers: 1, Edward Cheserek (Oregon) 29:35. Stanford: 2, Jim Rosa 29:43; 3, Erik Olson 29:43; 6, Michael Atchoo 29:54; 12, Sean McGorty 29:57; 31, Garrett Sweatt 30:35; 48, Tyler Stutzman 30:49; 79, Marco Bertolotti 31:34.
WOMEN (6K, 3.73 miles)
Team leaders: 1, Arizona 84; 2, Stanford 94; 3, Oregon 120; 4, USF 140; 5, Washington 497; 6, Arizona State 175; 7, UC Davis 221; 8, Cal Poly 259; 9, Portland 284; 10, Boise State 300.
Individual winner and Stanford finishers: 1, Emma Bates (Boise State) 19:11. Stanford: 3, Aisling Cuffe 19:15; 6, Jessica Tonn 19:31; 20, Megan Lacy 20:09; 26, Cami Chapus 20:16; 39, Molly McNamara 20:33; 209, Danielle Katz 23:15.
Click here for full results.