Despite sitting part of their strongest runners, Stanford men’s and women’s cross country equally succeeded in Oregon this Friday, both claiming second place in the Bill Dellinger invitational.
This race was Stanford’s proper season opener, a week after the Cardinal competed in the USD Invitational in San Diego, which was treated as a workout.
On the women’s side, strong all-around performance led by fifth-year senior Vanessa Fraser and sophomore Fiona O’Keefe earned the No. 5 Cardinal the runner-up position with 66 points. Stanford trailed only No. 2 Oregon, while placing ahead of other ranked opponents such as No. 19 BYU (78 points) and No. 11 Washington (95 points).
Senior Abbie McNulty boasted a strong 10th-place finish, right behind Fraser (fifth) and O’Keefe (ninth), beating her personal best time on a 6K by one minute and 27.8 seconds.
Three of the five other Cardinal women – freshmen Jessica Lawson, Jordan Oakes and Julia Heymach – made their collegiate debuts, placing 23rd, 25th and 26th, respectively.
The men’s team showcased a similar depth as it collected 73 points to finish behind No. 6 BYU (17 points) but ahead of No. 8 Oregon (75) and No.18 Portland (186).
Junior Alex Ostberg finished first among Stanford runners, taking sixth place overall in 23:48.8. Coming off his first sub-14 in the 5K in June, Ostberg’s performance mirrors that of McNulty for the women’s team.
Finishing on Ostberg’s tail, Callum Bolger claimed 14th place with a time of 23:56.6. Also making their debut with the Cardinal, fellow freshmen Connor Lane and Michael Vernau placed 36th and 37th, respectively.
Such team depth will be extremely impactful for the Cardinal later this season, especially since it will give coaches Chris Miltenberg (men) and Elizabeth DeBole (women) the opportunity to sit some runners during the NCAA qualifiers in prevision of the championship race.
The Cardinal now gears up for the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 13, where they will look to run a full squad.
Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.