Washington Cross Country Preps for West Regional.

Nov. 8, 2000

SEATTLE--The Washington men's and women's cross country teams will take the final steps toward Ames, Iowa, and the NCAA Championships with convincing performances at the West Regional Championships in Fresno, Calif., Saturday.

The ninth-ranked women's team will be vying for one of the regions' two automatic qualifying positions against Pac-10 competition Stanford, Arizona and Arizona State all also ranked in the top 10 nationally among others.

The Husky men will aim to top last year's eighth-place finish and to solidify their bid as at least an at-large team for the NCAAs, in a race which will boasts three top-25 competitors, all from the Pac-10 conference.

Coach Greg Metcalf said the women's team, which placed second in the West Region last year, and the men's team, eighth in 1999, have had a week without competition and full of good practice, and are ready to make a bid for the NCAAs.

'From the Pac-10s until now, we have had a great week of training and preparation,' Metcalf said. 'I liked what I saw last week, their attitudes and energy are great. The women have beat some quality teams during the regular season so they have a little room for error. They are just trying to go there and qualify. The men are in a little different situation, they have beat some good teams, but not really great teams that will likely compete in the NCAAs. We have to place in the top four at worst, the top three to have a better shot at an at-large bid, but anything can happen on any given day. We (both men and women) have always ran well in Fresno, Calif. These teams have the desire to go to the NCAAs, it is just a matter of going out there Saturday, believing we can do it, and doing it.'

*Where They Stand

The women's team was ranked ninth in the NCAA coaches' poll released Oct. 30, behind Pac-10 competition Stanford, Arizona State and Arizona. The women are currently ranked fourth among West Region teams. The Husky men remain fifth-ranked in the West region.

*Where They Were

Last season, the Washington women finished second at the West Regional behind Stanford. The men's team placed eighth at last year's meet in Portland, Ore.

Competing for the Dawgs:

On the women's side, there are some changes in the lineup for the NCAA West Regional Championships. Sophomore Gillian Palmer will take the weekend off to rest with tendonitis, while senior Melinda Campbell will return to the Husky lineup after a few weeks off due to injury. Sophomore Emily Mullen will take the place of junior Susan Werner in the Washington top seven. Werner will be the Huskies' alternate at the West Regional.

The seven competitors for the Washington women will be seniors Cami Matson, Jen Schindler, Kara Syrdal, Melinda Campbell and Liza English, along with sophomores Kate Bradshaw and Emily Mullen.

On the men's side, senior Geoff Perry, juniors Jason Fayant, Mike Hill and Morgan Thompson, sophomore John Russell, and red-shirt freshmen Eric Garner and Ben Koss will make the trek to Fresno for the West Regional meet. True freshman Matt Topping will be the alternate for the Washington men.

The Qualifying Process: The Road to Ames

The top two teams from each of the nine regionals qualify automatically for the NCAA Championships in Ames, Iowa, Nov. 20. In addition to these 18 automatic qualifying teams, the NCAA will select 13 'at-large' teams on Monday, Nov. 13 based on regular-season wins against other automatic and potential-qualifying teams. A total of 38 individuals from non-qualifying teams also advance to the NCAA finale. The top four individuals from each region qualify for the NCAAs while two at-large individuals are selected nationally. A total of 256 athletes of each gender will compete at the NCAA Championships.

1999 West Regional Revisited

Men's Team Results: 1. Stanford, 40. 2. Arizona, 74. 3. Arizona State, 92. 4. Oregon, 96. 5. Cal Poly-SLO, 139. 6. Portland, 161. 7. California,165. 8. Washington, 206. 9. UC Irvine, 234. 10. UCLA, 244. 11. UC Santa Barbara, 323. 12. Fresno State, 345. 13. Fullerton State, 393. 14. Boise State, 415. 15. Saint Mary's, 463. 16. Eastern Washington, 515. 17. Sacramento State, 527. 18. Portland State, 536. 19. San Jose State, 542. 20. Santa Clara, 555. 21. Loyola Marymount, 676.

Individual Winner: Steve Fein, Oregon, 30:30.

Top Husky finisher: 27. Jason Fayant, 31:43.

Women's Team Results: 1. Stanford, 29. 2. Washington, 63. 3. Arizona State, 86. 4. UCLA, 139. 5. Oregon, 158. 6. Arizona, 166. 7. UC Irvine, 246. 8. Boise State, 277. 9. Washington State, 281. 10. Cal Poly-SLO, 315. 11. Idaho, 335. 12. Portland, 344. 13(tie). UC Santa Barbara and Eastern Washington, 366. 15. San Jose State, 381. 16. UNLV, 396. 17. Portland State, 410. 18. San Diego State, 435. 19. Hawaii, 532. 20. Fresno State, 617. 21. Sacramento State, 676. 22. Pepperdine, 688. 23. San Diego, 692. 24. Fullerton State, 702. 25. Santa Clara, 718. 26. Loyola Marymount, 755. 27. San Francisco, 797. 28. Saint Mary's, 866.

Individual Winner: Julia Stamps, Stanford, 16:50.

Top Husky finisher: 7. Jen Schindler, 17:20.

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