|| Vin Lananna
There is perhaps no single coach in the United
States with a greater impact on young American
distance runners than Vin Lananna. His legacy
stretches from coast to coast, with both male and
female athletes, from the conference level to the international arena. For the past nine seasons, Lananna
has crafted a cross country empire at Stanford
University, one that fields a national championship
contender every season.
The tradition of cross country excellence began
many years ago for the Cardinal, headed by the likes
of Marshall Clark, Dink Templeton, Franklin Johnson, Jack
Weiershauer, Payton Jordan and Brooks Johnson.
And since Lananna's arrival on The Farm in 1992, the
Stanford program has taken another step towards
dominance. Consider for a moment the progression
of success over the last nine seasons. In 1992, he
guilded Cardinal senior Gary Stolz to a runnerup finish
at the NCAA meet, while senior Louise Watson
was named Pac-10 Athlete of the Year. The following
season, the Stanford women's team won the Pac-10
conference crown for the first time in eight years. In
1994, just three years into Lananna's tenure at
Stanford, the Cardinal made a big splash in the
national team races. Both the men's and women's
squads managed to squeeze into the top ten at the
NCAA Meet, finishing sixth and seventh respectively.
Two years later, the Cardinal made NCAA history in
winning both the men and women's NCAA titles, the
first time that had been accomplished since 1985.
Stanford and Vin Lananna are synonymous with
excellence in collegiate cross country. After winning
both NCAA titles in 1996, the men's team repeated
the feat in 1997, while the women's team finished second.
Three years ago, the Cardinal again stood high
on the podium with a runnerup finish for the men
and a third place trophy for the women. In fact, since
1996 no Stanford men's or women's cross country
team has finished lower than fourth place at the
NCAA Championships. In addition, Stanford's
women's team has won five straight conference
championships (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000). The
Cardinal men's team has won the Pac-10 title four of
the last five years (1996, 1997, 1998, 2000). Both of
Lananna's teams are to a point where success at the
highest level is expected every season. Still, the desire
to build on this very successful program is what drives
the Stanford head coach from day to day.
Stanford's success in cross country is equaled only
by its success on the track. Since Lananna's arrival,
the Cardinal has moved up among the nation's elite.
In 2000, Stanford's men's team rose to the top of the
podium with a dramatic victory at the NCAA
Outdoor Track & Field Championships, defeating
eight-time national champion Arkansas. Last year, the
Cardinal added another trophy with a fourth place
finish. In addition, the 2001 Stanford women's track
and field team finished eighth at NCAA's for its highest
placing since finishing fourth in 1992. Prior to
the 2000 NCAA title winning effort, the men's team boasted four NCAA runnerup finishes in indoor and
outdoor track from 1998 to 1999, while the women
cracked the top ten nationally in 1997 and 2001. Each
squad is well rounded and capable of scoring points
on the NCAA level in all events.
The success on the Pac-10 level has also been dramatic.
In 2001, Stanford's men's team captured its
first conference championship in 75 years with 142
points, the third straight year that the team tallied
100 or more points. The Cardinal men finished a
strong second at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships. In
2001, the Cardinal women finished third for a second
straight season with 120.5 points. The women have
scored more than 100 points the past three seasons.
In addition to his duties as Director of Track &
Field/Cross Country at Stanford, Lananna is a seasoned
national and international coach. In cross
country, he served as the United States Head Coach
for the World Championships in 1990 and 1996.
Lananna also led the East team to a track & field title
at the 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival, and was an assistant
coach for Team USA at the 1999 World Track &
Field Championships. Recently, Lananna has played
an integral role in the development of the Nike Farm
Team, a post collegiate middle distance and distance
running club based at Stanford. Eleven members of
the Farm Team competed at the USATF National
Championships in 2001.
Prior to his arrival at Stanford, Lananna directed
the men's and women's cross country/track and field
programs at Dartmouth. In 12 seasons with the Big
Green, Lananna's team appeared at the NCAA Cross
Country Championships every year - including two
straight runnerup finishes for the men's team in 1986
Lananna began his coaching career at C.W. Post
College in Long Island, New York, after graduating
from the school in 1975. As a student at Post,
Lananna obtained a bachelor's degree in history and
psychology, and a masters degree in education. He
was captain of the cross country team.
Lananna and his wife
Elizabeth have two sons, Brian and Scott. The
Lananna's reside at Stanford.