Stanford gains cross country transfer from Harvard | News | Palo Alto Online |


Stanford gains cross country transfer from Harvard

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Courtney Smith, a two-time All-America distance runner at Harvard, will run for Stanford, beginning this fall.

Smith is a senior from West Chester, Pennsylvania, and majoring in chemistry. She has one season of cross country eligibility remaining and two in both indoor and outdoor track. Smith will strengthen a Cardinal cross country team that placed fifth at the NCAA championships last season.

In the 2016 calendar year, Smith won two Ivy League titles – in cross country and the indoor distance medley relay – earned first-team All-America honors with an eighth-place finish in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships, and was 35th in the NCAA Cross Country Championships. That earned her another All-America honor by placing in the top 40.

Competing at the 2016 Stanford Invitational, Smith ran a personal record of 32:08.32 in the 10,000, earning passage to the U.S. Olympic trials, where she was 22nd.

She owns a 5,000 best of 15:46.44, which she ran indoors at the 2016 Husky Classic in Seattle. Her 3,000 best is 9:17.10, from the 2016 Ivy League indoor championships. Smith did not compete during the 2016 track season, giving her an extra year of eligibility.

The Stanford women's team now has five runners who have achieved All-America status in cross country – fifth-year senior Vanessa Fraser, senior Elise Cranny, sophomores Fiona O'Keeffe and Christina Aragon, and Smith. On the track, Stanford now has four under 15:50 in the 5,000: Fraser (15:25.48), Smith (15:46.44), O'Keeffe (15:46.93), and Cranny (15:49.27).

The Cardinal cross country team reports on Sept. 3. After a week on campus, the team spends training camp in San Diego and opens its season at the University of San Diego Invitational on Sept. 16 at Mission Bay. The Pac-12 Championships are Oct. 27 in Springfield, Oregon, and the NCAA's are Nov. 18 in Louisville, Kentucky.

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