Huskies Take On NCAA-Caliber Field in Final Regular Season Meet

Oct. 15, 2003

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On the Course: Washington sends its top men's and women's athletes to the American heartland on Saturday to face 73 of the nation's top Division-I teams at the Pre-National Meet in Waterloo, Iowa. Held each season on the same course as November's NCAA Championship meet, the Pre-Nationals will give Washington's teams a final chance to measure itself against the nation's best before postseason competition begins in two weeks. Distances will be 8,000 meters for men and 6,000 meters for women, with the Husky men in the Purple race at 9 a.m. PDT, and the UW women in the godl race at 10:55 p.m PDT. A handful of UW runners will compete in the open races at 11:35 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., while others will compete at The Evergreen State College's Geoduck Invitational, schedduled for 11 a.m. PDT.

Pre-National Meet Schedule (All Times Pacific)
Men's Purple Race: 9:00 a.m
Men's Gold Race: 9:40 a.m.
Women's Purple Race: 10:20 a.m.
Women's Gold Race: 10:55 a.m.
Men's Open Race: 11:35 a.m.
Women's Open Race: 12:15 p.m.

Expected to Run: Following is a list of those UW runners likely to make the trip to Waterloo, Iowa, for Saturday's Pre-National Meet :

Name, Yr., Hometown (High School)
Lindsey Egerdahl, Jr., Auburn, Wash. (Auburn)
Marie Foushee, Fr., Bellevue, Wash. (Bellevue)
Jamie Gibbs, Jr., Arvada, Colo. (Arvada)
Kira Harrison, Fr., Bellingham, Wash. (Meridian)
Laura Hodgson, So., Spokane, Wash. (North Central)
Amy Lia, Fr., Bothell, Wash. (Bothell)
Ingvill Makestad, Jr., Odda, Norway (Odda Vidagaerde Skole)
Brianna McLeod, Fr., Jenks, Okla. (Jenks)
Kathryn Touran, Jr., Petoskey, Mich. (Petoskey)
Dallon Williams, Fr., Turlock, Calif. (Turlock)

Name, Yr., Hometown (High School)
Todd Arnold, Sr., Westport, Wash. (Ocosta)
Travis Boyd, RFr., Mukilteo, Wash. (Kamiak)
Andy Fader, So., Everett, Wash. (Cascade)
Eric Garner, Sr., Kelso, Wash. (Kelso)
Ben Koss, Sr., Olympia, Wash. (Capitol)
Mark Mandi, So., Everett, Wash. (Mariner)
Carl Moe, Fr., Auburn, Wash. (Auburn-Riverside)
John Russell, Sr., Mica, Wash. (Freeman)
Mike Sayenko, RFr., Bellevue, Wash. (Sammamish)
Matt Topping, Jr., Kennewick, Wash. (Kennwick)

Meet Results: Complete results of the Pre-National Meet will be posted online at www.unipanthers.com immediately following the races, while a full recap of Husky action, including results, will be posted to www.gohuskies.com no later than 4 p.m. PDT.

Pre-National Meet History: The final regular-season competition before the Pac-10 Championships in November, the Pre-National Meet srves as a barometer by which the Huskies can measure their progress against the nation's top teams. Washington first traveled to the meet last season, as senior Courtney Inman led the UW women to an 11th-place finish in Terre Haute, Ind., placing 29th in 20:57. Current Huskies Lindsey Egerdahl and Laura Hodgson each made an impact, placing 82nd and 85th, respectively, while North Carolina's Shalane Flanagan ran away with the victory in 19:57. Washington's men, led by 17th-place finisher Eric Garner, nearly matched the women with a 13th-place finish. Garner is one of five Huskies who will be making a return trip to the meet, as senior Todd Arnold (69th in 2002), sophomore Mark Mandi (94th), junior Matt Topping (102nd) and junior Andy Fader (111th) each ran on the UW's Pre-National squad last season.

Peak Performer: In a week when only 10 runners competed, it can be difficult to pick out a performance that may have gone unnoticed. However, it was junior Jamie Gibbs who impressed at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 4, running fourth on the team, her best team finish since the 2002 regional. Gibbs' time of 18:28 was 18 seconds faster than her time on the same course last season, and her 44th-place finish was up 20 places from the 2002 race.

Rankings Report: The national rankings remained stable this week, as both Stanford's men and BYU's women retained their positions atop the polls, each garnering an additional first-place vote. Washington's women jumped seven spots to 31st in the FinishLynx Women's Cross Country Rankings, totaling 24 points. BYU earned 11 of a possible 13 first-place votes to rank No. 1 again with 387 points, just ahead of runner-up Stanford, who earned 379 points and two first-place votes. The Huskies were fourth among West Region squads, trailing only Stanford, No. 3 Arizona State and No. 12 UCLA. The Husky men, meanwhile, fell one spot into a tie for 35th in the MONDO Men's Cross-Country Rankings. The team's 12 points equaled that of Duke University, and were eighth-most among West Region teams. Stanford earned 15 of a possible 16 first-place votes for a score of 479 and the No. 1 ranking overall, while Wisconsin garnered the remaining No. 1 vote and a No. 2 national ranking, scoring 465 points.

Captains: Seniors Todd Arnold and Ben Koss, and juniors Camille Connelly and Lindsey Egerdahl will serve as captains in 2003. The honor is the second in a row for Arnold, and the first for Koss, Connelly and Egerdahl.

Freshman Gems: Perhaps it's fitting that Washington debuted its freshman class at the Sept. 6 Emerald City Invitational, because the newcomers certainly proved themselves jewels. With a victory in her UW debut, Brianna McLeod became just the third true freshman ever to win a race at Washington, while redshirt freshman Travis Boyd ran away with the men's event. Prior to McLeod, the only Huskies ever to win a race in their first season at Washington were 2002 Emerald City champ Laura Hodgson and 1981 NCAA Champion Regina Joyce, who won the 1980 NCWSA Region IX Championship. A native of Jenks, Okla., McLeod earned prep All-America honors as a senior in both track and cross country, ranking as high as sixth in the nation at 3200m. Boyd, a Mukilteo (Wash.) High School grad, redshirted the 2002 cross country season at UW but was terrific on the track, clocking the 10th-fastest indoor 5000m time in UW history. The two were joined in the top-10 at the Emerald City by true freshmen Kira Harrison (8th) and Brad Liber (5th), and redshirt freshman Matt Franck (10th). Just three weeks later, freshman Amy Lia led all UW finishers with a seventh-place performance at the Sundodger Invitational, while first-year runner Carl Moe ran seventh on the men's squad. As many as seven freshmen are currently running in Washington's top-seven this fall, including McLeod, Harrison, Lia, Marie Foushee and Dallon Williams on the women's side, and Boyd and Moe for the UW men.

Scandinavian Invasion: If you happened to be at the Norweigian Track and Field Championships this summer, you may recognize some of the new faces on the Husky roster this season. Washington boasts the odd coincidence of having both of Norway's reigning 800m champions competing in purple and gold this fall, including women's champ Ingvill Makestad and men's champ Stig Ellingson. Makestad, a junior expected to make her UW debut this weekend, followed up her 800m national title with a fourth-place finish in the 1500m at the Under-23 European Championships in Poland, clocking a career-best time of 4:13.58. That time, if duplicated, would rank third all-time at UW, behind only Courtney Inman and Regina Joyce. Both Makestad and Ellingson, a native of Oslo, have competed for several years on the European amateur circuit, and will have two years of collegiate eligibility remaining.

Swiss Miss: While most Huskies wrapped up their cross country seasons last fall, sophomore Laura Hodgson carried hers over into the spring, first at the U.S. Junior National Championships in February, and later at the World Junior Championships in March. Joined by then-frosh Travis Boyd, Jon Hickey and Mike Sayenko at the U.S. meet in Houston, Texas, Hodgson covered the muddy 6,000-meter course in 24:10, second only to Duke's Clara Horowitz. The top-six finish earned Hodgson a trip to Lausanne, Switzerland, in March, where she led the U.S. team to a fourth-place finish at the World Junior Championships. Hodgson's 58th-place individual finish was the highest by a Husky at the junior worlds since Neil Panchen placed 26th for Great Britain in 1988, and is UW's second-best overall. A native of Spokane, Hodgson last season became the first UW freshman ever to win her debut race at Washington with a victory in the Emerald City Invitational, and excelled on the track with a top-10 all-time UW indoor mark at 5000m, and a 15th-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the Pac-10 Championships.

Seniors (Or Lack Thereof): When talking about the keys to Washington's men's and women's cross-country seasons, it all comes down to seniors. The Husky men return five seniors from a team that has at times suffered from a lack of leadership over the last decade, and has not reached the NCAA Championships since 1994. For the women, who have ridden strong senior leaders to the NCAAs in each of the past six seasons, the question will be whether a strong corps of juniors can make up for the lack of a single senior on the roster. The group of returning seniors for the UW men is impressive: Eric Garner led all UW finishers at four of five meets last season, while Ben Koss was the leader at the team's lone 10K competition. John Russell and Dustin Duke combined for Emerald City Invitational wins in 2000 and 2001, respectively, while Russell and Todd Arnold are each coming off of NCAA appearances on the track. On the women's team, departing seniors Kate Bradshaw, Courtney Inman and Kate Spigel leave behind a void of leadership that juniors Chessa Adsit-Morris, Camille Connelly, Lindsey Egerdahl, Jamie Gibbs, Laura Halverson, and Kathryn Touran will be asked to fill. How both teams handle their respective situations will determine whether the women can continue their NCAA streak, and the men can start one of their own.

Meet the Coaches: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf enters his second year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his seventh year overall at the University. In six seasons at Washington, Metcalf has guided the women's cross-country team to six-straight NCAA appearances, including a UW-best ninth-place finish in 1998. Metcalf has coached eight All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 63 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 on the coaching staff by former All-Americans David Bazzi and Kelly MacDonald, each of whom work closely with UW's distance corps.

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