Huskies Pack Into Top-20 For Sundodger Invitational Sweeps

Sept. 27, 2003

LINCOLN PARK - Washington athletes took nine of the top-20 places in both the men's and women's Sundodger Invitational races Saturday at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, leading the Huskies to a sweep of the event's team titles for the first time since 2000.

Washington's men routed the field with a score of 27, well ahead of second place Eastern Washington, which totaled 96. The 30th-ranked Husky women, meanwhile, held off stiffer challenges from Northwest rivals Idaho and Portland to win with 41 points, bettering by 17 the Vandals' score of 58. The Pilots were third with a score of 62.

Former Husky Margaret Butler, competing for Kajaks Track Club, won the women's individual title, completing the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 52 seconds. Butler's win marked the second-straight by a former Husky runner in the event, which was won last fall by former Husky Sabrina Monro.

For the second-consecutive meet, the Huskies were led by a freshman, with Amy Lia (Bothell, Wash./Bothell) placing seventh in 17:26. Lia was one of four first-year runners in the top-15 for Washington, including 2003 Emerald City Invitational champion Brianna McLeod (Jenks, Okla./Jenks), who took 14th in 17:41. Junior Lindsey Egerdahl (Auburn, Wash./Auburn) ran close behind Lia, placing eighth in 17:27, while sophomore Laura Hodgson (Spokane, Wash./North Central) placed 12th in 17:37.

'We brought those freshman girls in to compete for us right away, and they've stepped up to that challenge in a big way,' said Metcalf. 'Lindsey Egerdahl just took care of business, like she always does, and Laura Hodgson ran great as well. We lost a lot of seniors from last year's team, but these girls are determined not to let anyone underestimate them.'

Senior Eric Garner (Kelso, Wash./Kelso) led all UW men with the third-place finish, covering the 8,000-meter course in 24 minutes, 10 seconds, just 12 seconds behind winner Eric Kiuaka of Iron Lung Track Club. Redshirt freshman Travis Boyd (Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak), who three weeks ago earned his first-career victory in the season-opening Emerald City Invitational, joined Garner in the top-five with a fifth-place finish, in 24:23.

'Eric Garner has proven himself to be a tough competitor at 8,000 meters,' said Metcalf. 'When he runs as well as he's capable of running, he has the ability to pull our whole team ahead with him. Travis Boyd worked hard during the offseason, and it's shown with his two great races so far this season. I can't wait to take these guys on the road and see what they can do against some of the nation's top teams.'

Following Garner and Boyd was a pack of seven UW men, led by senior John Russell (Mica, Wash./Freeman), which swept every place from ninth to 15th. Russell, now at full strength for cross country for the first time since the 2000 season, finished in 24:35, trailed closely by 10th-place finisher Matt Topping (Kennewick, Wash./Kamiakin), three seconds behind.

The Husky men will take the next week off to prepare for the Oct. 18 Pre-National Meet in Waterloo, Iowa, while the women will head to South Bend, Ind., for the prestigious Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 4. For complete results of the Sundodger Invitational, visit www.gohuskies.com.

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