Cross Country Hits the Ground Running at Emerald City Invite

Sept. 9, 2004

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On the Course: After a busy spring track season and a hard summer of training runs, the Huskies' cross country runners will finally return to the course Saturday to attempt to write a fitting sequel to one of the finest seasons in program history. The two UW squads, which both earned top-21 finishes at last year's NCAA Championships, will earn their first test against the Northwest's top collegiate squads at the annual season-opening Emerald City Invitational in Seattle's Woodland Park. Officially hosted by Seattle University, Washington will officially compete only against Eastern Washington -- along with Washington, the lone Division-I entrant -- though the two squads will share the course with talented runners from Seattle U, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, St. Martin's College, Northwest College, Warner Pacific University, and Club Northwest. Admission is free to all spectators, with races beginning at 10:30 a.m. For directions to the meet, visit www.athletics.seattleu.edu.

Emerald City Invitational Meet Schedule (All Times Pacific)
Women's 5,000m Race: 10:30 a.m
Men's 8,000m Race: 11:15 a.m.

Delightful Debuts: In past years, the Emerald City Invitational has served as a coming-out party for Husky freshmen, who have swept three of the four individual titles handed out since 2002. Laura Hodgson captured the Emerald City crown in her UW debut that season, becoming the first freshman ever to win their debut race at Washington. That record lasted all of one year, with Brianna McLeod winning the women's title last year, and redshirt freshman Travis Boyd grabbing the men's title in his first race in a UW uniform. Will any UW freshman make it a three-peat in 2004? Keep your eye on Wenatchee native Amanda Miller and Kennewick's Dani Schuster in the women's race, and watch out for Californian Jeremy Mineau on the men's side.

Meet Results: Results of the 2003 Emerald City Invitational will be posted to www.athletics.seattleu.edu by 3 p.m. Saturday. A full recap of UW action, including quotes and results, will also be posted to www.gohuskies.com, shortly following.

2004 Season Preview: Three UW men's runners from the seven which earned a 21st-place finish at the 2003 NCAA Championships return in 2004, though only one -- junior captain Mark Mandi -- will be available to head coach Greg Metcalf to start the season, with sophomores Mike Sayenko and Carl Moe sidelined by injury. Fellow co-captain Andy Fader will be called upon to fill a spot in the top-five, with sophomore Travis Boyd and redshirt freshman Adam Shimer also expected to battle for top spots. Don't count out a talented group of freshmen, howver, led by 2003 California state runner-up Jeremy Mineau and Caleb Knox, the nation's ninth-ranked prep indoors at 3,000 meters in 2004. Prep All-American Tom Wyatt of Tacoma's Charles Wright Academy, meanwhile, will start the season in rehab with Sayenko and Moe, nursing a bad back. After breaking in six new faces in a 19th-place NCAA finish in 2003, the Husky women return all but one of their top-seven from a year ago, including senior co-captain Lindsey Egerdahl, the team's top finisher from the national meet. Egerdahl and fellow captain Laura Halverson will lead a squad that includes 12 different women who ran in UW's top-seven at least once in 2003. Headlined by stellar sophomores Amy Lia, Dallon Williams, Brianna McLeod, Marie Foushee and Kira Harrison, the group also includes senior Angela Wishaar and sophomore Alison Tubbs, both of whom made significant strides in the offseason and should challenge for top-seven spots in 2004. A relatively light schedule which includes several Northwest competitions and just one Midwest trip -- to the Pre-National Meet on Oct. 16 -- should give head coach Greg Metcalf a good chance to mix up his lineups and evaluate the talent at hand before selecting a group of 16 to take to the Pac-10 Championships in Berkeley, Calif., on Oct. 30.

2003 Season in Review: A season that began with striking contrasts between UW's senior-less women's squad and senior-laden men's squad ended in harmony in 2003, with both teams earning top-21 finishes at the NCAA Championships in Waterloo, Iowa. The double marked the third time Washington has qualified both of its squads for NCAA competition in the same season, and the first time since 1989. For the men, the 21st-place run at nationals was the payoff for a decade of frustration and narrow misses at the NCAA West Regional, with the Huskies last qualifying for the national meet in 1993. The team's four seniors, led by two-time track All-American Eric Garner, formed the nucleus of a squad that upset two top-15 squads for a third-place finish at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, before a fourth-place effort at the NCAA Regional to cinch their Championships invitation. The Husky women, meanwhile, rode four freshmen to their seventh-straight NCAA Championships, the nation's seventh-longest active streak. Led by junior captain Lindsey Egerdahl and sophomore Ingvill Makestad, the Huskies slumped early in the year as the freshmen found their way, but gelled for a third-place finish at the NCAA West Regional and a 19th-place effort at nationals, 12 spots better than their NCAA finish the previous year.

Peak Performer: Asked to identify a runner who could come from the pack to assume a significant role with the Huskies this season, both captains Mark Mandi and Andy Fader pointed at redshirt freshman Adam Shimer, whose impressive work ethic in the spring and summer have put him in a position to succeed in 2004. A graduate of Meadowdale High School in Edmonds, Shimer was among the highest-finishing Husky redshirts at every race in which he competed in 2003, including an eighth-place effort at the Geoduck Invitational. Shimer followed up his impressive fall with an 18th-place finish at the U.S. Junior National Cross Country Championships in March, and won his debut 5,000-meter race at the Ken Shannon Invite, putting him squarely on the watch list for Husky fans in 2004.

Streaking The Field: When Washington's women were named to the NCAA Championships field in November, the nation's seventh-longest streak of consecutive NCAA bids was preserved. During the streak, the UW women have earned an automatic bid just one time -- in 1999 -- having been named a provisional qualifier on each of the other occasions. Three times over those seven years the Huskies have finished among the top-14 teams in the country, including an all-time best ninth-place finish in 1998. Interestingly, Washington has been led at the NCAA meet by a different runner in each of the streak's seven seasons. Senior co-captain Lindsey Egerdahl, the team's leader at the NCAAs last season, has a chance to end that streak-within-a-streak in 2004, and in the process become the first Husky since Tara Carlson in 1994-95 to lead the UW at nationals in two -straight years. Following is a list of the 10 longest active streaks of NCAA Championships appearances by women's teams:

Team, Streak, Year Began
1. Georgetown, 16 years, 1988
2. Brigham Young, 15 years, 1989
2. Providence, 15 years, 1989
4. Colorado, 12 years, 1992
5. Stanford, 11 years, 1993
6. North Carolina State, 9 years, 1995
7. Washington, 7 years, 1997
8. North Carolina, 6 years, 1998
8. Villanova, 6 years, 1998
8. Arizona State, 6 years, 1998

Meet the Coaches: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his third year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his eighth year overall at the University. In seven seasons at Washington, Metcalf has guided the women's cross-country team to seven-straight NCAA appearances, and led the UW men to their first NCAA appearance since 1993. Metcalf has coached nine All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 65 NCAA qualifiers and 13 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, the UW's school-record holder at both 5,000 and 10,000 meters, and Kelly (MacDonald) Strong, a five-time All-American and three-time Pac-10 Champion at Arizona State University.

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