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PAC-10 Is One Mightily Stacked 8-Team Cross Country Conference

Oregon - Stanford Team And Individual Battles May Be Epic

By: LetsRun.com's Employee #1 And Coaching Guru JK
October 26, 2009

The men's PAC-10 cross-country meet should be a real barnburner. Oregon, so unflappable in 2008-2009 en route to establishing the program as the best all-around team in the country, is suddenly an underdog at their favorite game of distance running on varied terrain. Featuring incredible talent so deep that All-Americans or healthy Olympians may not make their top 7, Oregon nonetheless is looking up at a Stanford team that probably have even surprised themselves with their fitness this fall.

Cross Country: 37th IAAF World Championships-Team USA Both teams are, surprisingly, led by true sophomores in future US mega-stars Chris Derrick from The Farm and Luke Puskedra from TrackTownUSA, IncĀ© (pictured in Amman, right). In Terre Haute, Derrick took down the man Galen Rupp worked for years to bring down, Liberty's Sam Chelanga. Puskedra is showing precocious redshirt senior poise by picking up momentum after an early season stinker to win his section at Pre-Nats. Derrick and Puskedra are likely going to wage as epic of a battle as their respective teams do when the whole shebang goes down in downtown L.A. on October 30.

In 2008, Oregon, led by a stunning 22:55 performance by then-Duck now-Nike Rupp and 23:32 runner-up performance by Puskedra, scored a super-low 28 points in a handy victory over a very good Stanford team which scored 48. Derrick managed 3rd in 23:38 and his teammates Garrett Heath and Jake Riley were not far behind. A 2008 PAC-10 recap can be found here.

LetsRun.com Men's Predictions
The men's race is really too close to call. We think people are too high on Stanford and too low on Oregon (and way too low on Oklahoma State), but we're going to go with the young guys from Stanford by a hair. Individually, we're predicting Derrick will defeat Puskedra, narrowly. Derrick has had Puskedra's number for the last 7 months. He defeated him at US Cross. Derrick ran better at World Cross by 30 seconds. Derrick ran a better 5,000m than Puskedra ran for 10,000m. Derrick got 3rd at NCAAs in the 5,000m, Puskedra was 11th in the 10,000m. Derrick ran faster at Pre-Nats (23:27 to 23:40). Derrick, Derrick, Derrick. The signs point to a Derrick win.

The signs point to his teammates outdueling the less-spectacular (though still spectacular) Duck All-American lineup of Mercado twins, Kenny Klotz, AJ Nation, a less than race-ready Andrew Wheating and boy wonder Matthew Centrowitz, Jr. Hard to say that team is a conference underdog, but they are. Stanford's 4th man in Terre Haute ran 24:00. Oregon's 4th man, miler Centrowitz, ran 24:22. The gap will certainly be tighter in Los Angeles, but we still think Stanford gets the win.

LRC Pac 10 Men's Poll
*Full LRC Polls here
1. Stanford (21) 189
2. Oregon (3) 171
3. Washington 133
4. Arizona State 97
5. California 86
6. Washington State 73
7. UCLA 62
8. Arizona 53

LetsRun.com voters certainly are going with Stanford as they are getting 21 first place votes to Oregon's 3 in the latest conference voting.

Stanford's Elliot Heath, Jake Riley, Justin Marpole-Bird, Brendan Gregg, Miles Unterreiner and Ben Johnson (all underclassmen with 2010 XC eligibility, we might add), are simply stronger right now. But if we look to last year, things get murkier ...

Momentum Could Shift, And It Could Shift Quickly
Stanford's top 5 (all 24:10 or better) in Terre Haute were dauntingly good. But the drop-off to freshmen Johnson and Unterreiner is a little worrying for the Cardinal. One slip-up and they will be at the mercy of a deeper Oregon team. So how consistent are Marpole-Bird and Gregg and Heath? Well, Marpole-Bird was 73rd at Conference last year. Heath and Gregg were 112th and 198th at NCAAs. Uh oh. If there's a pressure-packed slip-up, Stanford goes down hard to multi-time All-Americans from Eugene. Oregon certainly can't afford any slip-ups of their own, but should be buoyed by hope that their 6th and 7th may displace a stumbling Stanford #5 and propel Oregon to an "upset."

Stanford has been running fast all year. Their momentum could falter. Oregon got beat up at home early and then went to Terre Haute and found out they're pretty good. The Ducks have momentum and nothing to lose. Stanford could fall victim to a sleeping giant.

Women's Race And Brandon Bethke
Brandon Bethke of Arizona State deserves mention as a potential frontrunner in the men's race. The Wisconsin Badger transfer is running very well in '09. On the women's side, all eyes will be on mighty mouse Jordan Hasay of Oregon and, oh yes, the dominant #1 team in the country, the Washington Huskies.

U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials - Day Six The question that every running fan wants to know is how Jordan Hasay stacks up to Kendra Schaff, Christine Babcock and Katie Follet, the tyrannical trio from up north. The answer from early in the season was, "perhaps Hasay needs more time to develop." But Hasay apparently developed in a hurry as she ran very well in Terre Haute (19:33). The times for Schaff, Follett and Babcock in the other section? 19:29, 19:37 and 19:38. Hasay could be in the mix for the win, which will be both interesting and cute at the same time.

Can Washington Women Lose The Meet?
No. Not possible. End of discussion.

Average Men's Teams

Very Good Men's Teams
#16 Arizona State
#12 Washington
#26 Washington State

NCAA Podium Good Men's Teams
#2 Oregon
#1 Stanford

PAC-10 Men's Stats Courtesy Of JK

Arizona (2008 - 7th)   In 2009 - 27th Pre-Nationals Blue

Fitzpatrick, Dylan (49th PAC-10 2008, 30th returner)
Hassan, Abdi (30th PAC-10 2008, 18th returner)
Ige, Mohamud (25th PAC-10 2008, 14th returner)
Jani, Kevin (freshman - 1:53)
MacArthur, Brian (58th PAC-10 2008, 37th returner)
Mara, Jordan
McLeod, Rory (freshman - 4:17)
Ramirez, Noe (freshman - 4:15, 9:06)
Zazueta, Victor (35th PAC-10 2008, 23rd returner)

Arizona State (2008- 8th)   In 2009 - 5th Notre Dame, 6th Pre-Nationals White

Barbosa, Nectaly (66th PAC-10 2008, 43rd returner)
Bethke, Brandon (Wisconsin transfer - 3:59 mile, 7:51 3,000, 98th NCAA 2007, 198th NCAA 2006)
Boughton, Matt (freshman - 9:17)
Eckelman, Collin (74th PAC-10 2008, 48th returner)
Engelhardt, Ben (51st PAC-10 2008, 31st returner)
Hatcher, Dylan (52nd PAC-10 2008, 32nd returner)
Lovell, Daniel (62nd PAC-10 2008, 40th returner)
McHenry, Mason (freshman - 1:52, 4:15)
Milloy, Patrick (28th PAC-10 2008, 16th returner)

California (2008 - tie 3rd)   In 2009 - 2nd Stanford, 18th Pre-Nationals Blue

Attarian, James (RS freshman - FL finalist)
Beach, Nate (75th PAC-10 2008, 49th returner)
Brewer, James (England - 1:47, 3:37 1,500, 3:54 mile)
Chevee, Maxime (56th PAC-10 2008, 35th returner)
Coe, Michael (21st PAC-10 2008, 10th returner, 51st NCAA 2008)
Hunt, Rylan (freshman - 4:18 mile)
Jarvis, Collin (freshman - 4:12 mile, 8:53)
Karlsson, Kari (31st PAC-10 2008, 19th returner, 164th NCAA 2008)
Miller, Matt Hansdavid (65th PAC-10 2008, 42nd returner, 248th NCAA 2008)
Petersen, Matt (freshman - 9:01)
Poizat, Renaud (freshman - )
Schmidt, Cody (freshman - 9:07)
Sodaro, Steve (36th PAC-10 2008, 24th returner, 203rd NCAA 2008)
Vizcaino, Chris (Iona transfer - 193rd NCAA 2008)

Oregon (2008 - 1st)   In 2009 - 3rd Dellinger, 1st Pre-Nationals Blue

Acosta, A.J. (12th PAC-10 2007, 146th NCAA 2007)
Centrowitz, Matt (11th PAC-10 2008, 5th returner, 45th NCAA 2008)
DeJarnette, Ben (freshman - 4:14, 9:06)
Dettman, Eric
Dettman, Matt
Fleet, Mac (freshman - 1:50, 4:02 mile)
Greer, Elijah (freshman - 1:47, 4:08 mile)
Hunt, Mitchell (freshman - 9:21 2 mile)
Klotz, Kenny (23rd PAC-10 2008, 12th returner, 66th NCAA 2008, 37th NCAA 2007 - All-American, 186th NCAA 2006)
Jantzer, Elliott (freshman - 3:57 1,500, 8:33 3,000)
McNamara, Jordan
Mercado, Danny (17th PAC-10 2008, 8th returner, 41st NCAA 2007 - All-American)
Mercado, Diego (54th NCAA 2008, 30th NCAA 2007 - All American, 49th NCAA 2006 - All-American)
Puskedra, Luke (2nd PAC-10 2008, top returner, 5th NCAA 2008 - All-American)
Stoutenburgh, Isaac
Thomas, Jon
Wheating, Andrew (9th PAC-10 2008, 4th returner, 75th NCAA 2008)

Stanford (2008 - 2nd)   In 2009 - 1st Stanford, 1st Pre-Nationals White

Appel, Evan (freshman - 4:15, 9:07, FL All-American)
Berberick, Andrew (freshman - 1:52, 4:14, 8:33 3,000, FL finalist)
Chapin, Ramsey (freshman - 1:53, 3:54 1,500)
Derrick, Chris (3rd PAC-10 2008, 2nd returner, 7th NCAA 2008 - All American)
Ferris, Dylan (RS freshman - 1:49, 4:06)
Gregg, Brendan (24th PAC-10 2008, 13th returner, 198th NCAA 2008)
Havel, Kevin (freshman - 4:14, 8:59, FL All-American)
Heath, Elliott (20th PAC-10 2008, 9th returner, 112th NCAA 2008)
Johnson, Benjamin (RS freshman - 9:07 steeplechase, FL All-American, 3rd NTN)
Marpole-Bird, Justin (73rd PAC-10 2008, 47th returner)
Porter, Thomas (freshman - 4:10, 8:59 2 mile, 15:01, FL All-American)
Riley, Jake (7th PAC-10 2008, 3rd returner, 55th NCAA 2008)
Stutzman, Tyler (freshman - 1:52, 4:07, 9:03)
Sullivan, J.T. (48th PAC-10 2008, 29th returner)
Sullivan, Riley (RS freshman - 4:12, 8:56, FL finalist)
Unterreiner, Miles
Valdes, Ryan (freshman - 1:53, 4:12)
Valdes, Tyler (freshman - 1:54, 4:09, 9:14)

UCLA (2008 - 5th)   In 2009 -11th Notre Dame, 23rd Pre-Nationals White

Abdulla, Mohamed (RS freshman - 4:12 mile, 9:08 2 mile)
Anzures, Marco (29th PAC-10 2008, 17th returner, 237th NCAA 2008)
Crabill, Alex (53rd PAC-10 2008, 33rd returner, 224th NCAA 2008)
Knight, Dylan
Knight, Spencer
Matthews, Jake
McDonald, David (64th PAC-10 2008, 41st returner)
Morikawa, Kent (32nd PAC-10 2008, 20th returner, 165th NCAA 2008)
Mwangi, Martin
Norton, Steven (RS freshman - 1:53, 4:17)
Patterson, Marlon (22nd PAC-10 2008, 11th returner, 209th NCAA 2008)
Primm, Cory
Reichl, Jun (68th PAC-10 2008, 45th returner)
Sullivan, Kevin (38th PAC-10 2008, 25th returner)
Torres, Zack (freshman - 4:13, 9:02, FL All-American)

Washington (2008 - tie 3rd)   In 2009 - 1st Notre Dame, 5th Pre-Nationals Blue

Ahl, Chris (44th PAC-10 2008, 28th returner, 234th NCAA 2008)
Bromka, Alec (54th PAC-10 2008, 34th returner, 236th NCAA 2008)
Bywater, Joey
Cameron, James (freshman - 4:10 mile, 9:09, FL finalist)
Confer, Brendon (freshman - 1:53)
Gilna, Gareth (freshman - 4:12)
Miller, Mike (freshman - 1:54, 4:15)
Quackenbush, Cameron
Schmitt, Jake (16th PAC-10 2008, 7th returner, 58th NCAA 2008)
Spady, Kelly (15th PAC-10 2008, 6th returner, 86th NCAA 2008)
Swarthout, Jordan (33rd PAC-10 2008, 21st returner, 108th NCAA 2008)
Tully-Doyle, Colton (34th PAC-10 2008, 22nd returner, 154th NCAA 2008)
Wester, Rob
Whitley, Brad (freshman - 1:52)
Williams, Charlie

Washington State (2008 - 6th)   In 2009 - 5th Griak, 7th Pre-Nationals Blue

Ahlbeck, Sam (39th PAC-10 2008, 26th returner)
Englund, Justin (57th PAC-10 2008, 36th returner)
Geib, Dan
Hickerson, David (59th PAC-10 2008, 38th returner)
Kimpel, Andrew
Lafler, Jonathan (61st PAC-10 2008, 39th returner)
Lemenager, Luke (72nd PAC-10 2008, 46th returner)
Miller, Peter (67th PAC-10 2008, 44th returner)
Moeller, Mark (26th PAC-10 2008, 15th returner)
Smargiassi, Dominic (41st PAC-10 2008, 27th returner)
Taylor, Jayson (RS freshman - 9:24)

Women's Pac 10 Polls:

Pac 10 Women's Poll
*Full LRC Polls here
(3 teams in the top 10 in the country

1. Washington (13) 130
2. Oregon 115
3. Stanford 106
4. Arizona State 82
5. Arizona 65
6. California 65
7. UCLA 47
8. Washington State 42
9. Oregon State 33
10. USC 30




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