Sports Briefs

Sarna RenfroNO LONELY RUNNER  In 1996, the women’s and men’s cross-country teams rose to a rare pinnacle ­ both won NCAA championships. This year, they almost did it again. The men once more are national champions, beating Arkansas 53-56 (lowest score wins). The women came in second to Brigham Young, losing the crown by only two points, 100-102. Senior Nathan Nutter and freshman Julia Stamps were their teams’ leaders. Other top men runners were twins Brad and Brent Hauser, Jason Balkman and Jonathan Riley. Among the women: Sally Glynn, Mary Cobb, Sarna Renfro (pictured) and Ann Ramsey. Both teams earlier had repeated as Pac-10 and regional champions for the second year. Since Coach Vin Lananna came to Stanford in 1992, his teams consistently have been in the top ranks. The cliche of the lonely long-distance runner isn’t true, according to Lananna. “It’s the ultimate team sport,” he says. Proving his point, there was an incredible coincidence in November’s Pac-10 meet. In both the men’s 8000-meter and women’s 5000-meter runs there was only a 19-second differential between the first and fourth Stanford finishers. And at the regionals, both teams’ top four runners again finished within seconds of each other. Each team is allowed seven entrants, but only the top five count in the scoring. The first-place runner scores one point, the second earns two and so on. “The fifth finisher can make a big difference,” says Lananna. “If she finishes 100th, our score would be 110. And our sixth and seventh runners are important, too, because even though they don’t count, they displace opponents.”

HOME OF CHAMPIONS  Recently published Stanford: Home of Champions, a book by Gary Migdol, media relations director for athletics and assistant athletic director, covers the first century of the university’s high-quality athletic program: the treasured moments, the unforgettable events and the storied legends year-by-year from Stanford’s founding; Stanford Olympians and letter athletes; and “America’s Time Capsule,” a list of memorable national events. The book includes stories about legendary figures from football coaches Pop Warner and Bill Walsh to the Vow Boys, to golfing phenom Tiger Woods and “the world’s greatest athlete,” Ernie

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