UW's Mineau Makes U.S. Junior National Team

Feb. 13, 2005

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Washington freshman Jeremy Mineau placed fifth in the junior men's 8,000-meter race Sunday at the USA Cross Country Championships on the Fort Vancouver Historic Site to earn one of six spots on the United States' team for the 2005 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Mineau was one of six Huskies competing Sunday, including UW assistant coach Kelly Strong and former Husky Sabrina Monro.

The top six finishers in each of the junior- and open-division races were granted berths on the U.S. national team which will compete at next month's worlds in Saint Garnier, France.

A native of Menlo Park, Calif., Mineau ran in the front third of the pack for the first 2,000-meter loop, before surging into the lead group and ever looking back. The 19-year-old UW freshman, who took 27th at the Pac-10 Cross Country Championships last fall, finished the 8,000-meter course fifth in 25 minutes, 40 seconds, just 26 seconds off the winning pace of 18-year-old Galen Rupp from Portland, Ore.

Washington has qualified at least one current or former Husky runner for the World Championships in five of the past six years.

'I was a little farther back early on than I wanted to be,' said Mineau, who became the first current Husky to qualify for the world meet since then-freshman Laura Hodgson did so in 2003. 'Obviously, though, I'm happy with the result.'

Mineau was one of three Husky freshmen among the top-20 in the junior men's race, including 13th-place finisher Jon Harding (Issaquah, Wash./Issaquah), and 18th-place finisher James Wilson (Yakima, Wash./East Valley).

Washington sophomore Mike Sayenko (Bellevue, Wash./Sammamish) also logged a terrific performance Sunday, leading all collegiate finishers in the men's open 12,000-meter race. Sayenko, who missed nearly all of the 2004 collegiate season after being struck by a car in July, placed 35th Sunday in the first 12,000-meter race of his career, finishing in 39:57.

Rounding out UW performances at the meet were a pair of top-10 finishes in the women's open 4,000-meter race by UW assistant coach Kelly Strong and former Husky Sabrina Monro. The two placed seventh and ninth, respectively, each missing a world cross berth by less than 13 seconds. Both were coming off terrific performances in Saturday's women's open 8,000-meter race, with Monro taking 10th on Saturday, and Strong 11th.

'We saw some gutsy performances out there today,' said eighth-year UW cross country coach Greg Metcalf. 'Jeremy's got a ton of talent; he's going to be a great runner for us. This is just the start of what will be a terrific career at Washington.'

For complete results from this weekend's USA Cross Country Championships, visit www.raceberryjam.com, or www.usatf.org.