Men’s, women’s cross country to challenge conference at Pac-12 Championships

March 4, 2021, 9:39 p.m.

After having just two competitions on their regular season schedules, the men’s and women’s cross country teams head north for the Pac-12 Championships in Washington on Friday.

In the pair of meets Stanford has appeared in thus far 𑁋 the FSU Winter Classic and UNLV Battle Born Challenge 𑁋 both teams showcased their new and returning talent. On the women’s side, senior Ella Donaghu has dominated, winning both 6k races while freshman Zofia Dudek followed closely behind. 

Dudek finished third at the FSU Winter Classic, just over two seconds behind Donaghu and 0.1 seconds behind the separating second place. In Las Vegas, a 19:48.9 run by Dudek helped the Cardinal log a 1-2 finish as Donaghu crossed the finish line in 19:44.0. 

Following the season opener, Donaghu was named NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week 𑁋 an accolade she repeated after her second impressive performance of the season. 

Seniors Julia Heymach and Jessica Lawson have operated as the No. 3 and No. 4 runners for Stanford; Heymach came in at 10th in Florida and 13th in Las Vegas, while Lawson crossed the line in 32nd in the first meet and 21st in the second. With freshman Grace Connelly rounding out the Cardinal’s top five at the FSU Winter Classic and freshman Lucy Jenks doing the same at the Battle Born Challenge, Stanford women finished second as a team in both meets. 

Donaghu finished second on the women’s side at the 2019 Pac-12 Championships. 

The men’s team charged to a first place team victory in Florida, with freshman Cole Sprout leading the Cardinal’s efforts and finishing in fifth place. Sophomore Charles Hicks finished on Sprout’s heels in sixth, and fifth year Alek Parsons, senior DJ Principe and sophomore Devin Hart rounded out Stanford’s top five en route to a 67-point team performance. 

If the team’s second competition revealed anything, it is that the men’s squad boasts a top five who all have potential to lead the pack. Hicks took the role of No. 1 runner in the second meet with a 22:579 finish in the 8k race, while Sprout, Hart, Pricipe and Parsons cruised in in places nine through 12, all finishing within 30 seconds of each other. Though the Cardinal men’s efforts were not quite enough to edge out the first place team, No. 2 Northern Arizona, they do hint at a dominant Stanford showing on Friday. 

The women’s 6k race will be first in Washington, and the start is set for 11 a.m. PT. The men’s 8k will follow at 12 p.m. PT.

Savanna Stewart is a managing editor in the Sports section. She is a junior from Twin Bridges, Montana studying Political Science and Communication and enjoys running and playing basketball. Contact her at sstewart 'at'

Login or create an account