Stanford: Rebuilding The Machine


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The Machine: It’s a mindset, it’s an identity, it’s a representation of history, but ultimately, it’s Stanford cross country at its best. The Machine began as a concept, but has taken on an evolving identity within the Stanford men’s cross country team. To understand The Machine, it’s important to know its history. 

The concept started to take shape with famed coach Vin Lananna's 1994 squad which was in search of one word to describe the ultimate team goal: a unit made strong with interchangeable parts. The NCAA titles didn’t come right away, but soon The Machine’s wheels began to turn. 

In 1996, Stanford won the program’s first ever NCAA cross country title. The team repeated its victory in 1997 and finished runner-up to Arkansas the following year in 1998. In 2001, the Cardinal returned to the podium with a runner-up finish and in 2002, the team secured another victory. The ultimate crown took place in 2003, when Stanford won the NCAA championships with 24 points, the second-best winning score in championship history. 

In total, Stanford men's cross country has created 12 Olympians, 35 All-Americans, and 71 All-America honors.

This year’s team, like every new generation of athletes, has its own unique identity. But the tradition of a unit made strong by its interchangeable parts remains an integral component to the Stanford program. Watch how head coach Chris Miltenberg and the current Cardinal squad embark on the mission to win the 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championships.