Mandi Wins First Cross Country Crown at Sundodger Invite

Sept. 18, 2004

LINCOLN PARK - Washington junior Mark Mandi earned his first collegiate cross country victory Saturday at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, leading the host Huskies to a second-straight men's team title at the 2004 Sundodger Invitational. The Husky women placed second in their race, even as former Washington runner Sabrina Monro sprinted to a record third individual crown. Cold, wet conditions seemed to have little effect on the racers, who established one course record and set personal bests across the board.

Mandi's win was just the second-ever for a UW men's runner in the 13-year history of the meet, snapping a 10-year individual title drought. Simon Baines was the last Husky men's runner to stand atop the podium, having won the second-annual race in 1993. Mandi sealed the win with a terrific surge over the final 1,000 meters of the 8,000-meter course, to finish in 24 minutes, 6 seconds, more than 10 seconds ahead of runner-up and two-time Sundodger champion Uli Steidl of Seattle Running Club.

The Everett, Was.h., junior was the first of three Huskies across the line in the top-four, including third-place finisher Jon Hickey and fourth-place finisher Andy Fader, who came across with identical times of 24:21. Those three led Washington's winning team effort, the Huskies' 29 points easily outdistancing runner-up Calvin College's 78, and the 110 points of third-place Portland State.

While Mandi's was a new face atop the victory stand in the men's invitational, Monro's was a common sight for Husky fans, who have cheered the 2003 UW alum to victory in three of the past four seasons. Already the course record holder at 5,000 meters, Monro added the 6,000 meter record Saturday, finishing in 20:10 to clip by one second the previous mark set by Arizona's Tara Chaplin at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships. Monro's finish was more than a minute ahead of the field Saturday, with Kajaks' Alison Rendell taking second in 21:20, and Seattle Pacific's Karen Dickson -- winner of last week's Emerald City Invitational -- third in 21:21.

Just two Husky women -- fifth-place finisher Angela Wishaar and 10th-place competitor Lindsey Egerdahl -- crossed the line among the top-10 finishers, allowing Idaho to slip past the Huskies for the invitational team crown. The Vandals placed five runners in the top-15 for a 40-point total to hold off Washington (54) and third-place Portland (113).

In the early open races, Simon Fraser's Julia Howard and Idaho's Brandon Reiff, the latter competing unattached, ran to victories, while Simon Fraser swept men's and women's open-race crowns.

For complete results of the 2004 Sundodger Invitational, visit www.gohuskies.com.

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