WSU Cross Country Continues to Build Momentum
Jan. 18, 2005
THE SEASON: Head Coach Jason Drake entered the 2004 Cross Country season with a young team and high hopes for improvement...with the women finishing an unexpected fifth at the Pac-10s and the men dropping one spot to seventh, Drake was optimistic about the mixed result...'Overall, it's a step in the right direction,' Drake said. 'We have a roster upwards of 40, 20 men and 20 women so we are way ahead of where we've been in the past. More talent than we've had in the past. We're looking forward to getting better and getting it done.'
DEPTH AND TALENT: The 2004 WSU Cross Country team boasted a roster of 30-plus runners for the first time in recent history...buoyed by the leadership and examples of a handful of seniors, it was the sophomore and freshman classes that made an impact...the Cougar women saw freshman Haley Paul and sophomore Kayle Peterson emerge as the No. 1 and No. 2 runners...the top three WSU finishers in the women's West Regional meet where two freshmen and a sophomore...sophomores Alex Grant, Ryan Friemuth, Matt Knoff and Ryan Freimuth improved on last year's results and were the consist middle finshers for WSU men's squad...with the bulk of the team returning next season, WSU looks to be more competitive than ever.
WSU WOMEN:Molly Bull (Sr. - Oak Harbor, Wash.) Bull was top WSU finisher at Idaho Invitational...scored in four meets this season...strong finish to WSU cross country career with a 44th place finish at Pac-10s and a 77th place finish at West Regionals.Ana Cabrera (RS-Sr. - Vancouver, Wash.) Cabrera scored in five meets for the Cougs...WSU's consistent number three runner...second Cougar across the line at Roy Griak...ran to 42nd place finish at Pac-10s.Molly Carmody (So. - Yakima, Wash.) Joined team after season began...competed unattached in one race this season.Julia Corbett (Sr. - Bremerton, Wash.) Ran four races for WSU, scoring in each...best result was 30th place finish at the Montana Invite.Grace Coulter (So. - Bellingham, Wash.) Coulter competed in two races...top result was 77th place finish at the Sundodger invitational.Michelle DeCourcey (Fr. - Portland, Ore.) Ran in four races for WSU...top result was a 37th place finish at Montana Invitational.Karen DeMartini (So. - Reno, Nev.) DeMartini competed in four races...best finish at Idaho Invitational 21st, running unattached.Isley Gonzalez (Fr. - Sunnyside, Wash.) Ran three races for WSU as a freshman...top Cougar finisher at Idaho Invitational with a fourth place finish...scored in Pre-Nationals finishing 181st...competed at Pac 10s but did not score.Collier Lawrence (Fr. - Reno, Nev.) Lawrence competed in six races, posting seventh place finishes at both the Idaho and Montana Invitationals...scored for WSU at Pre-Nationals (160th) and NCAA West Regionals (69th) as a freshman...competed at Pac-10s but did not score.Meghan Leonard (Fr. - Newberg, Ore.) Ran unattached in four races...16th place at Idaho Invitational.Eileen Morley (Fr. - Port Orchard, Wash.) Morley competed in four races for the Cougars...third Cougar across the line at the EWU Invitational.Haley Paul (Fr. - Phoenix, Ariz.) Paul competed in five races as a freshman...emerged as top female runner, scoring in four meets as WSU's top finisher...24th place finish at Pac 10s led Cougars to fifth-place team finish...finished 54th at NCAA West Regionals.Kayle Peterson (So. - Port Orchard, Wash.) Competed in three races for the Cougars...also ran in three meets unattached...came on in the latter part of the season to finish as WSU's consistent No. 2 runner...was second Coug across the line at Pac-10s with a 27th place finish...finished 56th at West Regionals.Kelly Ramirez (So. - Duvall, Wash.) Competed in four races...fourth Cougar across the line at Roy Griak Invitational with a 117th place finish.Natalie Smith (So. - Bellingham, Wash.) Smith competed in five races this season, including a 14th place finish at the Idaho Invitational running unattached...improved significantly on last year's results, posting 49th place at Pac-10s and 104th finish at West Regionals.Katie Troy (So. - Bellevue, Wash.) Ran in four races for WSU...finished 76th in the Women's Open race at Pre-Nationals.Lisa Waananen (Fr. - Maple Grove, Minn.) Competed unattached in two races...finished 13th at EWU Invitational.Tara Ward (Fr. - Woodland, Wash.) Did not compete in 2004.Hailey Young (Jr. - Kent, Wash.) Ran unattached in three races...top result was 23rd place at EWU Invitational.
DRAKE'S THOUGHTS ON COUGAR WOMEN: 'The Pac-10 Meet was the important break through. Being fifth was good for them and we were pretty happy with that. There is still a big gap to the next team that we need to close up. We have lots of talent, but again, they are freshmen and that is a lot to ask from a young team. At the end of the season they seemed to really start coming around. We didn't quite reach our potential and I think every one of them would say that, but this season's end is an excellent starting point for the next. We are in a much better place than we've been the last few years. And there are definitely bright spots. Haley Paul showing what she is as a cross country runner was pretty phenomenal. I never expected that. Kayle Peterson is starting to separate herself as a good athlete and the rest of our sophomores started to get things figured out a bit. We graduated two great leaders in our program, Molly Bull and Ana Cabrera, and they will be hard to replace. We will certainly miss their leadership abilities. We have the talent so hopefully someone will step into those roles. The real question is who. It will be interesting to see who rises to the challenge over the track season.'
WSU MEN:Geoff Casazza (RS-Fr., Reno, Nev.) Competed in six races for the Cougars, scoring in three...top finish was 10th place at EWU Invitational.Justin Chambers (Fr-RS, Albany, Ore.) Ran unattached in two races this season.Chris Concha (RS-Fr., Reno, Nev.) Concha ran in three races, including 61st place in the Men's Open race at Pre-Nationals.Woody Favinger (Fr-RS, Bellingham, Wash) Redshirted in 2004.Daniel Frederick (RS-So., Bremerton, Wash.) Ran in five races for WSU...posted 47th place at Pac-10s and 88th place at West Regionals.Ryan Freimuth (RS-So., Wenatchee, Wash.) Freimuth scored in five races for the Cougs...was consistent contributor running to 43rd place at Pac-10s...fifth Cougar across the line at West Regionals in 63rd place.C.J. Godfrey (Fr-RS, Port Orchard, Wash) Redshirted in 2004.Alex Grant (So., Bellingham, Wash.) Grant ran away with first place at the Idaho Invitational and scored in four more races for WSU...top Cougar finisher at the Roy Griak Invitational in 32nd place...consistent top three runner, finishing 29th at Pac-10s and 59th at West Regionals.Mike Heidt (Sr., Selah, Wash.) Scored in four meets for WSU...top Cougar finisher at the Roy Griak Invitational in 32nd place...consistent top three runner, finishing 29th at Pac-10s as second Coug across the line and 59th at West Regionals.Phil Hinrichs (Fr., Pullman, Wash.) Hinrichs competed unattched in two races.Justin Ireland (Sr., Issaquah, Wash.) Competed unattached in four races...top result was 11th place finish at EWU Invitational.Andrew Jones (So., Gillette, Wyo.) Jones ran in six races, scoring in four...finished fourth at Idaho Invitational running unattached...finished 32nd at Pac-10s and 43rd at West Regionals as the second WSU finisher.Matt Knoff (So., Pocatello, Idaho) Ran in four races, scoring at Roy Griak Invitational with 75th place...battled injuries for the better part of the season.Leif Kohler (Jr., Makawao, Hawaii) Walked-on to team after season began...competed unattached in three races.Jonathan Manthey (Sr., Federal Way, Wash.) Ran in four races for the Cougars...best finish was 39th at Sundodger Invitational.Drew Polley (Fr-RS, Port Orchard, Wash.) Redshirted in 2004.Gary Walsh (Fr., Battle Ground, Wash.) Competed in three races unattached...finished 38th at Idaho Invitational.Chris Williams (So., Federal Way, Wash.) Did not compete in 2004.Danny Wolf (Sr., Reno, Nev.) Was top Cougar finisher in three races this season...ran to 19th place at Pre-Nationals...lead WSU to a seventh place at Pac-10s with a stellar ninth place finish...scored in four meets for the Cougs.
DRAKE'S THOUGHTS ON COUGAR MEN: 'We were disappointed this year. We lost Ian Johnson and he was a solid runner so we had to make up for him a little bit. Both Mike Heidt and Danny Wolf had disappointments at the end of the season and that hurt us a bit. But, obviously, Danny at the Pac-10s, ninth place, that's phenomenal. They will be tough to replace. All of our sophomores made solid improvements over the year before. These guys are talented but not necessarily as talented as some of the other guys in the Pac-10, so it will take them a couple of years to develop but they are moving in the right direction. Andrew Jones, Ryan Friemuth and Alex Grant cut their times in half at the big meets compared to last year. If they can do the same this year, were on the right track. Chris Concha, Daniel Frederick, Matt Knoff and Geoff Cassaza all did better in their first season than Grant and that group did in their first year. It's all in place, we just have to get it rolling. We had some freshmen standouts but chose to redshirt them. They are ahead of where our freshman were a year ago. It will just take a few years for these guys to develop.'
PAC-10 HONORS: The Cougars placed 13 student-athletes on Pac-10 Conference Cross Country honors teams in 2004, including:
Ana Cabrera, RS-Sr., 3.95, Communication
Karen DeMartini, So., 3.82
Molly Bull, Sr.
Kayle Peterson, So.
Kelly Ramirez, So.
Natalie Smith, So.
Katie Troy, So.
Ryan Freimuth, RS-So., 3.87, Accounting
Daniel Frederick, RS-Fr., 3.68, Philosophy
Alex Grant, So., 3.56, Environmental Science
Mike Heidt, Jr., 3.38, Zoology
Andrew Jones, So., 3.55, Natural Resource Science
Geoff Casazza, RS-Fr.