This past Saturday, No. 2 Stanford men’s and No. 8 women’s cross country teams competed in the Bronco Invitational hosted by Santa Clara University. On the men’s side, senior Evan Burke, sophomore John Lester and fifth-year Miles Zoltak were scheduled to compete. For the women, eight runners were on the start list, two of which were standout freshmen scheduled to make their collegiate debut: Juliette Whittaker, the national high school record holder in the 800 meters, and Roisin Willis, two-time world U20 gold medalist.
Starting with the men’s 8K course, which began at 8:45 a.m. PT, Burke — named a USTFCCCA All-Academic in 2022 — crossed the finish line with a time of 23:42.6, beating out his 8K season best from last year by 28.8 seconds and earning him a fifth-place finish in the men’s race. Coming in after him was Lester, who finished with a time of 24:46.8 and placed 76th overall.
Following the conclusion of that race, only five Cardinal women stepped up to the starting line for the women’s 6K race — graduate student Anna Yovkach, sophomores Tori Starcher and Imogen Gardiner and freshmen Ellie Deligianni and Willis. Gardiner, who finished first out of the five, ran in with a time of 20:54.4, earning her a 29th-place finish. All finishing within a minute later, Deligianni, Starcher, Willis and Yovkach came in right after, running 21.31.6, 21:14.0, 20:59.6 and 22:06.1, respectively. This collective effort earned the women a tenth-place finish overall as a team.
Stanford’s next race will be at the Pac-12 Conference Championships on Oct. 28 hosted by USC in Riverside, Calif. The men are looking to improve on their second-place finish from last year and the women their fifth-place finish.