Colorado Runner Riley Stewart Commits To Stanford

* Riley Stewart, the Cherry Creek senior, at the 2020 Colorado State Track & Field Championships

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On Thursday, Cherry Creek's (CO) Riley Stewart committed to Stanford and became the latest top distance runner the women's program will add to its Class of 2026 roster. 

Stewart's pledge joins Caroline Wells of Winter Springs (FL), Gavin Sherry and Callum Sherry of Conard (CT), Zane Bergen of Niwot (CO) and Ava Parekh of Chicago Latin (IL). All have made their commitments to the Stanford Cardinal within the last month.

Stewart, a two-way athlete in both cross country and track and field, enters her senior season with personal bests of 2:08.22 in the 800m, 4:44.13 in the 1,600m, 4:40.66 for the mile, 10:31.45 for the 3,200m, and 10:27.96 for the two-mile. In cross country, she owns a 5K best of 16:43.70. 

The two-time Colorado 5A Cross Country champion has competed well at the national level. In 2020, Stewart finished third at the AAU National Cross Country Championships and second at the XC Town USA Meet of Champions, helped Cherry Creek to the team title -- and MileSplit50 No. 1 ranking -- last season.

At Foot Locker Nationals, she finished 17th as a sophomore and 21st as a freshman. Stewart even competed at Team Nationals, where she crossed the finish line 37th and 31st in 2019 and 2018, respectively. 

* Riley Stewart shares her thought on her junior season and what she's looking forward to in the 2022 season

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After a strong cross country season last year, Stewart lined up at the adidas Indoor Nationals and finished sixth in the mile with a 4:51.10. That momentum carried into the spring season, where she endured one of the most challenging triples at the Colorado 5A Outdoor Track and Field Championships. 

She claimed individual titles in the 800m, 1,600m and 3,200m. 

Earlier in the year, she left her mark on history in the 1,600m. At the Stutler Twilight, Stewart became the fastest girl in the 1,600m in Colorado when she clocked a 4:44.13.

She broke Katie Rainsberger's five-year-old state record of 4:44.31. 

* Riley Stewart after her 3,200m win at the Colorado 5A State Track and Field Championships last season

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Stewart has an opportunity in 2021 to bring home her third straight individual cross country state championship title, and could potentially add another at the national level as well. 

So far this cross country season, she leads Colorado in the 5K with a 16:43.70 at the Nike Portland XC, which came at the end of September. The Colorado record for 5K was set back in 1990, when Melody Fairchild ran a 16:36.00 at the Pueblo Central Invitational. This record is in jeopardy with Stewart's season underway. 

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