Michigan, Texas A&M Highlight Fields at Sundodger Invitational

Sept. 20, 2002

The Event: This week, Washington plays host to the 2002 Sundodger Invitational at West Seattle's Lincoln Park. The event, held annually since 1992, features many of the nation's highly-ranked teams, and provides a showcase for the Northwest's top small-college and club runners. In additon to the host Huskies, this year's Invitational field includes full squads from Boise State, Cal State-Northridge, Eastern Washington, Idaho, South Dakota State and Texas A&M, as well as women's teams from Michigan and Portland.

Meet Schedule
9:00 a.m. -- Women's 5,000m Open
9:30 a.m. -- Men's 8,000m Open
10:15 a.m. -- Women's 5,000m Invitational
10:45 a.m. -- Men's 5,000m Invitational

Course History: In addition to the annual Sundodger meet, Lincoln Park has played host to other major competitions, most notably the Pac-10 Championship meet in 2000. It was at that meet that Stanford's Jonathan Riley established the course record of 23:40, just eight seconds faster than Oregon's Jason Hartman, currently second all-time at 23:48. In 2001, Washington senior Sabrina Monro traversed the 5,000-meter course in just 16:06, a full 38 seconds faster than any woman previously. Monro, who is currently scheduled to defend her title in 2002 as an unattached runner, was the second-consecutive Husky individual champion at the Sundodger meet. In all, Washington's women have won the Sundodger meet every year since 1999, and have won six times since 1992. The Husky men, meanwhile, relinquished their title in 2001 to Washington State, and have won just twice in the meet's 10-year history. The Huskies will also be looking for their first male champion at the meet since Simon Baines won in 1993.

Sundodger Meet Results: Results will be sent via fax to all competing institutions at roughly 12:30 p.m. PDT, and will be e-mailed on request to SIDs of participating schools. Complete results of both the Open and Invitational races will also be available online immediately following competition at the official site of Husky athletics, www.gohuskies.com. Coaches or SIDs with questions about results should direct their inquiries to Brian Beaky, Washington's sports information director for cross-country and track and field, at bbeaky@u.washington.edu.

Huskies on the Airwaves: A new half-hour program featuring Husky olympic sports will debut this fall on Fox Sports Northwest. The weekly program will feature event highlights, as well as interviews with Husky athletes and coaches. Check local listings for time and channel.

Women Seek Respect After No. 36 Regular-Season Ranking: Washington's women's cross-country squad, which debuted 19th in the FinishLynx Women's Cross-Country poll, fell 17 spots to 36th in the first regular-season poll, released Sept. 17. The change in ranking had less to do with the Huskies, who won their only competition in between the two rankings, than it did with the quality of the nation's teams, most of whom boast more early-season competitions than does Washington. BYU remained atop the poll with 390 points, including all 13 first-place votes.

Husky Men Picked 27th in MONDO Cross-Country Poll: The Husky men, meanwhile, held steady at 27th in the Sept. 17 release of the MONDO Men's Cross-Country Rankings, matching the team's preseason ranking from Aug. 27. The Huskies' 72 points rank fifth among all West regional teams, a pack led by No. 1 Stanford. The Cardinal tallied 444 points and 10 of 15 first-place votes to edge Colorado (427 points, three first-place votes) and Arkansas (424 points, two first-place votes).

Fab Frosh: Just a freshman, Spokane native Laura Hodgson made a name for herself at the Sept. 7 Emerald City Invitational by becoming the first Husky runner in history to earn a victory in their collegiate debut. Hodgson's win was the first of any kind by a Husky true freshman since Regina Joyce captured the 1980 NCWSA/Region IX Championships in Missoula, Mont. Joyce, of course, went on to earn three All-American honors in cross-country, and competed for her native Ireland in the marathon at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Calif. Hodgson, who placed third overall at the 2001 Washington state 4A cross-country championships in a then-personal best 18 minutes, 32 seconds, shattered that mark at the Emerald City meet, completing the 5,000-meter course in 17:41 to best runner-up Jamie Gibbs by 18 seconds.

Men on the Move: In the past five seasons, head coach Greg Metcalf estimates that Washington's men's team has missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships by a total of just 30 points. If the team's performance at the season-opening Emerald City Invitational is any indication, however, the Huskies are an exciting young team ready to bust out.. Junior Todd Arnold, who competed just twice for the Huskies in 2001, earned his first-career victory in a dazzling 25:47, leading four Huskies in the top-five, and seven in the top-nine. Even more remarkable is the fact that three of those seven runners - Andy Fader, Jake Haskins and Mark Mandi - are redshirt freshmen who were making their first-ever appearances for the Huskies, and that Washington's two top runners - juniors Eric Garner and John Russell - did not compete.

Meet the coaches: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf enters his first year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his sixth year overall at the University. In five seasons as a UW assistant, Metcalf guided the women's cross-country team to five-straight NCAA appearances, including a UW-best ninth-place finish in 1998. Metcalf has coached eight All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 57 NCAA qualifiers and 10 school-record setters. A 1993 graduate of Washington, Metcalf was a two-time All-American for the Huskies in the steeplechase. Metcalf is joined by volunteer assistant David Bazzi, who earned All-America honors at Washington in 2001, and is the school-record holder at 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

Media Guide Corrections: The following corrections have been noted to Washington's 2002 cross-country media guide. On the inside front cover, Jeremy Park should be listed as a senior, while John Russell should be listed as a junior. On page three, Washington's men's captains should be listed as Todd Arnold, Dustin Duke and John Russell. On page five, a photo of former Husky Lisa Gibbs is erroneously identified as sophomore Jamie Gibbs. On page nine, a photo of junior Ben Koss is erroneously identified as Michael Kiter. On page 14, the PRs listed below Mike Sayenko's bio are in fact those of fellow freshman John Hickey. Also, the correct spelling of Laura Halverson's name is 'Halverson,' not 'Halvorsen' as listed throughout. Any other corrections to the media guide or other UW cross-country publications should be directed to SID Brian Beaky at bbeaky@u.washington.edu.

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