Beavers Set For Washington Invitational

Sept. 15, 2004

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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18Oregon State at Washington Invitational;Seattle, Wash.; 9 a.m.

The anticipation and the debut are over; now it's on to the rest of the season.

After running its first meet in over 16 years a week ago, Oregon State continues the first year of its resurrected women's cross country and track programs this Saturday when the Beavers visit the Washington Invitational.

The meet, at Lincoln Park in Seattle, begins at 9 a.m. and OSU will run in the women's invitational division that is scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m.

The Beavers ran at the Pier Park Invitational in Portland last Friday and went 1-3 in dual meet scoring against NCAA Division I opponents, beating St. Mary's (Calif.) and losing to Oregon, Portland State and Portland.

That makes this week a little different for the Beavers, as they're actually getting ready for one meet while coming off the heels of another.

'It's been really good just getting it under their belt,' OSU head coach Kelly Sullivan said of the first meet. 'Those that raced were able to cross the finish line and say, `Okay, I can do this,' and those that watched, I think they were inspired by the fact that `Hey, you know, we could be pretty decent.' So I think it's been a good week for us. Rhonda (Riley, assistant coach) did a couple of team things this week with the girls; we're trying to bond a little closer. So we're happy with where this week has gone so far.'

The Beavers will send a few more runners to the starting line this week than the 12 who ran the Pier Park Invitational. Joining the lineup will be a trio that Sullivan thinks could be among his top runners - sophomore Neoma Palmer, a Division III All-American last season at Bowdoin; and freshmen Jean-Marie Peterson and Kaitlin Poggi.

'There will be one or two young ladies who ran last week that we'll hold out this week, but they're a couple of our more inexperienced ones,' Sullivan said. 'We'll run 13 or 14 right now; we still have a couple of them that we have to work in a little at a time.'

The competition will include host Washington, which was tied for 16th in the preseason national coaches poll, and Washington State, which received votes in the poll but didn't make the top 25.

'I don't want to change our perspective at all,' Sullivan said. 'We're going to go up there again with the idea, `Never been here, never done this before.' We're going to run against some established programs - both Washington, who is nationally-ranked, and Washington State, which got some votes and maybe has one of the best recruiting classes in the country, are going to be there, so that will be neat. We'll have an opportunity to see how we stack up against two very, very good programs and well-established programs.'

OREGON STATE'S LATEST MEET: After a 17-year gap, Oregon State returned to women's cross country competition the afternoon of Sept. 10 at the Pier Park Invitational in Portland, Ore.. The event was scored in a dual meet fashion among the 5 NCAA Division I schools on hand, with the Beavers beating St. Mary's (Calif.) 15-46 and losing to Oregon 18-44, Portland State 23-32 and Portland's B squad 23-35.

Ashley Younce placed third overall for the Beavers, covering the 5,000-meter course in 18 minutes, 42 seconds and trailing only Oregon's Laura Harmon at 18:10 and Katie Leary at 18:25 in the 54-woman field. Lauren Denfeld was 14th for OSU in 20:02.

'I'm smiling. I'm really, really, really happy for the girls,' OSU head coach Kelly Sullivan said after the meet. 'We didn't run four or five of our kids, and out of the 12 of them that ran today, for four of them it was the first time they'd ever run a cross country meet in their life. So when you factor in that you're running against established programs like Oregon and Portland and Portland State that work really hard at it, and you bring a youthful group ... I'm happy for them.

'The thing I didn't want to happen is to get embarrassed, because that would be like taking two steps forward and having to take a step back. I've been preparing to give a reassurance talk when the reality is, I couldn't have asked for a better day or better circumstances. So, Step One accomplished.'

Oregon State is resuming its women's cross country and track programs this year. The Pier Park race was the Beavers' first varsity cross country meet since the men were represented in the 1987 NCAA Championships, and it was the first OSU varsity women's meet since that year's NCAA West Regionals. OSU dropped its programs in men's and women's track and field after the 1987-88 school year.

HEAD COACH KELLY SULLIVAN: Kelly Sullivan came to Oregon State in January, 2004 to re-start OSU's program after being head cross country and track and field coach at nearby Willamette University, a Division III school in Salem, Ore., since 1997. Sullivan was also an assistant coach at Auburn from 1984-96, and head coach at Clackamas Community College (Ore.) from 1980-84.

Sullivan, 47, guided Willamette's teams to three top-10 national finishes in cross country and track and coached 23 All-Americans, including five individuals who won national championships. At Auburn, he coached 36 All-Americans and at Clackamas he coached 24 NJCAA All-Americans.

Sullivan was an All-American in the steeplechase and cross country at Willamette before graduating in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in History and Education. A native of Nehalem, Ore., he graduated from Neah-Kah-Nie High.

OREGON STATE TAKES TO THE ROAD: Oregon State will spend at least the first season of its revived cross country and track programs without a home course or track. The Beavers will run in one meet in Corvallis, the Oregon State Track Club Invitational at Avery Park on Oct. 23; that's during OSU's Homecoming Weekend.

OREGON STATE INDIVIDUAL FINISHES: Here's where Oregon State runners have finished in meets this fall:

MARCIE AKERDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	36th of 54	21:43TARA BURNSIDEDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runMACY CAMPBELLDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runERIN CLARKDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runNICOLE CRAWFORDDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runLAUREN DENFELDDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	14th of 54	20:02STACEY FISCHERDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	34th of 54	21:29JAIME FULLERDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	38th of 54	21:46JULIE GARCIADate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runNOELLE HARERDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	28th of 54	20:58ASHLEY LARSONDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runKATIE MAGNUSONDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runNEOMA PALMERDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runMEGAN PEROZZIDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runJEAN-MARIE PETERSONDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runKAITLIN POGGIDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runLISA ROBERTONDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	25th of 54	20:37ANGIE SABUCODate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000) - did not runALLIE SCHROEDERDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	47th of 54	22:56KELSEA SCHWINGDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	51st of 54	24.30TARA STIREWALTDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	42nd of 54	22:04HEATHER WALESDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	35th of 54	21:36MICHELLE WILSONDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	22nd of 54	20:25ASHLEY YOUNCEDate	Event (meters)	Place	TimeSept. 10	at Pier Park Invitational (5,000)	3rd of 54	18:42
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