With the 55th edition of this meet concluding the Pac-12’s rich history in the sport, Stanford leaves with the greatest men’s and women’s cross country programs in conference history. The men were tied with Oregon in victories going into the meet and the women, with 17 titles, already led by a substantial margin.
Robinson covered the 8-kilometer (4.97-mile) course in 22:40.2 and was hardly threatened while doing so. It was the first Pac-12 title in either track or cross country for the senior who is the reigning NCAA outdoor track champion at 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
Ky Robinson. Photo by Howard Lao.
Stanford has struggled this season and dropped to No. 25 in the national rankings, but coach Ricardo Santos challenged his men and they responded with three among the top nine. It was the performance of Robert DiDonato in ninth that may have been the difference in the victory. He had been Stanford’s No. 8 runner in the two major invitationals, at Virginia and Wisconsin.
Cole Sprout matched his third place of last year to help Stanford score 41 points, to 50 for runner-up Washington. Following double victories by Grant Fisher and Charles Hicks, Robinson gave Stanford its fifth individual title in seven years, and 12th overall.
Bunnage clocked 19:09.7 over the 6K (3.73-mile) women’s course to win by five seconds. She became Stanford’s first winner since Fiona O’Keeffe led a 1-2-3 Stanford sweep in 2019.
Amy Bunnage. Photo by Howard Lao.
The team race came down to the wire. Stanford had led at each stage of the race. Ultimately, Washington edged the Cardinal, 58-60, preventing Stanford from a sweep of every team and individual victory.
The race quickly separated with Bunnage part of a four-runner leading pack. Oregon State’s Grace Fetherstonhaugh made a move with perhaps two kilometers to go, but Bunnage responded to stay on her heels. The it was Bunnage’s turn, moving decisively into the lead and maintaining her advantage over the final 800 meters.