Stanford cross country teams open season in top five | News | Palo Alto Online |


Stanford cross country teams open season in top five

Stanford has five cross-country All-Americans on the squad. Photo courtesy of Spencer Allen/

The preseason polls are out and Stanford's men and women each are ranked among the top five in the USTFCCCA cross country rankings.

Last year, the Cardinal men were second at the NCAA Championships and the women were fifth. The teams fill those same spots in the rankings.

Sam Wharton
The Stanford men received three first-place votes, but the top three teams at NCAA's hold the same spots with Northern Arizona at No. 1 and Syracuse at No. 3.

The Stanford men return five from its NCAA lineup, losing Sean McGorty and Garrett Sweatt. However, the Cardinal returns Grant Fisher, the reigning NCAA outdoor 5,000-meter champ and a fifth-place NCAA cross country placer last year as a sophomore.

Sam Wharton is the only other cross country All-America off last year's podium squad, though Jack Keelan earned indoor track All-America honors last year.

Steeplechaser Steven Fahy and 2016 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Thomas Ratcliffe also return from the 2016 NCAA team.

The Cardinal women are in a position to surprise. Stanford has five cross-country All-Americans on the squad.

Seniors Elise Cranny and Vanessa Fraser look to contend for the individual title and sophomores Fiona O'Keeffe and Christina Aragon are coming off top-40 NCAA finishes as freshmen.

A bonus is the addition of Harvard transfer Courtney Smith, who placed 35th in the meet last year.

A strong recruiting class and sophomore Ella Donaghue, a team scorer last year, create a flexible team with great depth. In fact, Stanford now has four – Cranny, Fraser, Smith, and O'Keeffe -- under 15:50 in the 5,000.

In the West Region rankings, the Stanford men and women are each ranked No. 2.

— Stanford Athletics

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