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Maksim Korolev. Photo by Tri Nguyen.
Korolev Takes on the World
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 03/24/2015
GUIYANG, China – Stanford’s Maksim Korolev said he is in the best shape of his life as he prepares for the biggest race of his life – the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on Saturday.

What: IAAF World Cross Country Championships
Where: Guiyang, China
    Women (8K) -- 10:15 p.m. PT Friday
    Men (12K) – 11:10 p.m. PT Friday
Results: Click here

Korolev earned the sixth and final qualifying spot for the American team through his performance at the U.S. Championships in Boulder, Colorado, on Feb. 7. He first represented the U.S. national team at the Pan Am Cup on Feb. 22, winning the race in Barranquilla, Colombia.

“I'm probably in the best shape of my life, so I'm excited to see what I can do,” Korolev said before leaving Sunday for China. “I think I can get a few of the Americans that got me at USAs and I'd like to get top 15 overall. Otherwise, it'll be fun just to compete on Team USA again.”

A top-15 finish is an automatic qualifier for the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Beijing on Aug. 22-30. The men race 12 kilometers (7.46 miles) and the women 8K (4.97 miles).

Korolev is among three current or former Stanford runners competing, including Chris Derrick ’12 and Sara Bei Hall ’05.

Derrick, a 14-time All-America at Stanford, has won three consecutive U.S. titles, the first to do so since the late Pat Porter won eight straight from 1982-89. Derrick earned a resounding 30-second victory at nationals and is regarded among the favorites at worlds. This is his second world cross country championship, having placed 10th in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in 2013, to help the U.S. team to a silver medal.

Hall was fifth at nationals and advances to worlds for the second time and first since 2006, when she placed 26th over 4K in Fukuoka, Japan. Complicating matters for Hall is that she ran the Los Angeles Marathon on March 15, finishing in 21st place.

Korolev, a graduate student in management science and engineering, becomes the first active Stanford men’s runner at worlds since Ian Dobson ‘05 was 61st in the 12K race in 2005 in France. Tony Sandoval ’76 (20th) and Roy Kissin ’79 (139th) also accomplished the feat, in 1976 in Wales.

The highest world finish by any Stanford runner was second by Canada’s Alison Wiley ’86 in 1983 over a 4.4K distance in Gateshead, England. Derrick’s 10th place in 2013 is the best finish by a Stanford male.

Many consider the World Cross Country Championships to be the most difficult races to win, even more difficult than the Olympic Games. At most major championships, the world's best distance runners are separated into a few races of different distances. Not so in cross country, where the best race the best. Winner take all.



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