Huskies Pull Upsets for 23rd-Place Finish at NCAAs

Nov. 22, 2004

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Auburn's Lindsey Egerdahl placed 92nd at the 2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday, leading the Husky women to 23rd-place on the LaVerne Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. Washington was making its eighth-straight appearance at the national meet, the sixth-longest active streak of NCAA appearances in the nation.

Washington's seven-woman squad at nationals included just three of the seven Huskies who keyed a 19th-place NCAA finish in 2003, and featured three runners making their NCAA Championship debuts.

The 30th-ranked Huskies scored 533 points at the meet to upset three top-25 squads, including a No. 25 Idaho team that had defeated them three times in 2004. Reigning NCAA champion Stanford, No. 1 in the national polls all season, fell to fifth overall as third-ranked Colorado rallied Metevier for their second NCAA team title in the past five years. The Buffaloes' 63 points were well ahead of the 144 of No. 5 Duke, with Providence (164), Notre Dame (170) and the Cardinal (175) rounding out the top-five.

Providence's Kim Smith, the collegiate indoor record holder at 5,000- and 10,000 meters, won her first individual cross country title in 20 minutes, nine seconds, 17 seconds ahead of runner-up Renee Metevier of Colorado.

Including Monday's race, the Huskies have finished 23rd or higher in 14 of their 15 NCAA appearances all-time, with a best of ninth in 1998.

'These ladies weren't about to let the rankings or predictions dictate how they ran,' said head coach Greg Metcalf, who has guided the UW women to the NCAA meet in each of his eight years at the helm. 'That's the beautiful thing about our sport - once the gun goes off, there's 31 teams that are each 6,000 meters from a national title. It's just a matter of who gets to the finish line first.'

As at the 2004 NCAA West Regional, it was Egerdahl who was first to the finish line for Washington, her 92nd-place finish nearly identical to her team-best 85th-place effort at last year's national meet. Sophomore Dallon Williams - the team's leader on this same course at October's Pre-National Meet -- ran second to Egerdahl in 124th, while fifth-year senior Meghan Lawrence was just two seconds back of Williams in 132nd.

'There were a lot of hurdles thrown at this team the last two years, but Lindsey's led them across every one,' Metcalf said. 'The fact that we've come here the last two years and earned top-25 finishes is the best compliment you could give to her abilities as a leader on the course, and as an example for our young ladies to follow.'

While Egerdahl capped off her third NCAA Championships, it was the first and last NCAA meet for Lawrence, whose whirlwind collegiate career began just two months ago when the senior - who had no prior experience in cross country at any level - walked on the UW squad just a week before the season-opening Emerald City Invitational. The Bellingham, Wash., native has been a fixture in the team's top-five ever since, and defeated nearly half of the runners in the NCAA field Monday.

'What Meghan's done this year is pretty remarkable,' Metcalf said. 'She really had no idea what cross country was about in September, but has obviously picked it up in a hurry. It's too bad that we won't have her for three more years.'

Junior Angela Wishaar (160th) and senior Laura Halverson (188th) rounded out the Huskies' scoring, while sophomore Marie Foushee placed 229th in her second-career NCAA appearance.

'We were supposed to have our entire top-seven back from last year before injuries and attrition took their toll,' Metcalf said. 'These seniors, though, did an amazing job of both leading this team on the course, and taking the time in practice to make sure our less-experienced runners were prepared to succeed at the highest levels of our sport.'

Washington will return four of its top-seven in 2005, while welcoming back sophomore Amy Lia and junior Alison Tubbs, each anticipated members of the team's top-seven before injuries cut their 2004 seasons short. For complete results from the 2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships, visit www.indstate.edu/athletics.

2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships
LaVerne Gibson Course; Terre Haute, Ind.
November 22, 2004

Women's Championship Race (6,000 meters)
Team Totals: 1. Colorado 63; 2. Duke 144; 3. Providence 164; 4. Notre Dame 170; 5. Stanford 175; 6. Michigan 246; 7. Villanova 277; 8. BYU 293; 9. Arizona State 333; 10. North Carolina 336; 11. Missouri 346; 12. N.C. State 364; 13. Columbia 365; 14. Michigan State 372; 15. West Virginia 388; 16. Arkansas 400; 17. UC Santa Barbara 410; 18. Princeton 417; 19. Wake Forest 434; 20. Illinois 443; 21. Tennessee 488; 22. So. Methodist 519; 23. Washington 533; 24. Georgia 583; 25. Idaho 607; 26. Colorado State 635; 27. UCLA 640; 28. Marquette 650; 29. Baylor 675; 30. Indiana 700; 31. Butler 859.
Individual Winner: Kim Smith, Providence, 20:09
Husky Finishers: 92. Lindsey Egerdahl, 21:51; 124. Dallon Williams, 22:12; 132. Meghan Lawrence, 22:14; 160. Angela Wishaar, 22:28; 188. Laura Halverson, 22:51; 229. Marie Foushee, 23:28.

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