Huskies Take Youth Show to Willamette Invitational

Sept. 28, 2005

On the Course: After nearly a month of training and competing within the geographic limits of Western Washington, the Huskies' cross country squads will hit the road this week for the first time in 2005, making the short trip down Interstate 5 to Salem, Ore., for the 2005 Willamette Invitational at Bush Park. Featuring Division-I and small-college teams from throughout the West region, the Willamette will provide a first look at UW's travel squads in 2005, and a chance for the Huskies to earn valuable points to apply towards NCAA consideration at the end of the year. At last year's Willamette Invite, three Husky women placed in the top-10, including returnee Brianna McLeod (7th), but the team placed second to Idaho in the overall standings. The Husky men, meanwhile, who chose to rest the majority of their top competitors, placed fourth behind the sixth-place effort of sophomore Brad Liber. Division-I races on Saturday will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by small-college and open races. The last race is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

Expected to Run: Following is a list of those UW runners expected to compete in the University races at Saturday's Willamette Invitational. Washington will have additional runners in the open races, scheduled for 11:50 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Name, Yr., Hometown (High School)
Kaitlin Buckingham, RFr., Dallas, Texas (Richardson)
Anita Campbell, Fr., Vancouver, B.C. (Aldergrove)
Annaliese Chapa, Fr., Portland, Ore. (Central Catholic)
Brooke Lademan, Fr., Rolling Hills, Calif. (Peninsula)
Brianna McLeod, Jr., Jenks, Okla. (Jenks)
Amanda Miller, RFr., Wenatchee, Wash. (Eastmont)
Trisha Rasmussen, So., Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Ridge)
Dani Schuster, RFr., Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin)
Tori Tyler, Fr., Los Altos, Calif. (Gunn)
Sayaka Yoshinaga, Jr., Seattle, Wash. (Ballard)

Name, Yr., Hometown (High School)
Travis Boyd, Jr., Mukilteo, Wash. (Kamiak)
Andy Fader, Sr., Everett, Wash. (Cascade)
Jon Harding, RFr., Issaquah, Wash. (Issaquah)
Mark Mandi, Sr., Everett, Wash. (Mariner)
Jordan McNamara, Fr., Auburn, Wash. (Auburn-Riverside)
Jeremy Mineau, So., Menlo Park, Calif. (Menlo-Atherton)
Carl Moe, So., Auburn, Wash. (Auburn-Riverside)
Matt Owen, Jr., Yakima, Wash. (East Valley)
Kevin Peters, Jr., Longview, Wash. (Mark Morris)
Mike Sayenko, Jr., Bellevue, Wash. (Sammamish)

Meet Results: Results will be posted immediately following the conclusion of the final event, at approximately 1:30 p.m. Pacific time, to the official site of Willamette University athletics, www.willamette.edu/athetics. In addition, a full recap of UW action at the meet, including results and quotes, will be posted to www.gohuskies.com Saturday afternoon.

Rankings Report: Washington's men climbed seven spots to 32nd, while the UW women fell two spots to 29th in this week's NCAA Division-I Cross Country Rankings. The Husky men knocked off Portland, UCLA and Washington State to capture a fourth-straight Sundodger Invitational title two weekends ago, and were rewarded with 27 points in the MONDO poll, seventh-most among West Region schools. The women, meanwhile, slipped a spot despite a matching win at the Sundodger meet, their 33 points good for 28th in the FinishLynx rankings, fourth-best in the West Region. Wisconsin continued to lead all men's teams with 473 points including 11 of a possible 16 first-place votes, while Duke slipped past Colorado for No. 1 on the women's side, the Devils' 384 points and seven first-place votes just slightly ahead of Colorado's 382 and six, respectively.

Four-Peat: Washington's men made history at the season-opening Sundodger Invitational on Sept. 17 at Seattle's Lincoln Park, capturing a record fourth-straight Invitational team title. While several teams have won back-to-back titles since the meet's inception in 1992, only the 2002-04 UW men and the 1999-2001 UW women had managed three-straight crowns, with the women's ending in defeat to Idaho in 2004. The Huskies' win was a testament to the team's depth, as Washington elected to rest six of its top-seven returnees, going instead with a lineup heavy on underclassmen. Perhaps not surprisingly, none of the current Huskies have been a part of all four UW wins, and in fact only one -- senior Andy Fader -- has been in the team's top-seven for three of the four victories, doing so each year since 2003, including a seventh-place finish this fall.

Streaking The Field: When Washington's women's team was awarded an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships in November, the nation's sixth-longest active streak of NCAA Championships appearances was preserved. During the Huskies' streak, now the sixth-longest of its kind in the nation, the UW women have earned an automatic bid just one time -- in 1999 -- having been named a provisional qualifier on each of the other occasions. Three times over the previous eight years the Huskies have finished among the top-14 teams in the country, including an all-time best ninth-place finish in 1998. Interestingly, prior to 2004, Washington had been led at the NCAA meet by a different runner in each of the streak's first seven seasons. Senior co-captain Lindsey Egerdahl brought that streak-within-a-streak to an end last season, leading all UW finishers at the national meet for the second time in as many years to become the first Husky since Tara Carlson in 1994-95 to lead the UW at nationals in two-straight years.

Team, Streak, Year Began
1. Brigham Young, 16 years, 1989
1. Providence, 16 years, 1989
3. Colorado, 13 years, 1992
4. Stanford, 12 years, 1993
5. North Carolina State, 10 years, 1995
6. Washington, 8 years, 1997
7. North Carolina, 7 years, 1998
7. Villanova, 7 years, 1998
7. Arizona State, 7 years, 1998

Running for a Cure: Junior Jon Hickey (Richland, Wash.) knows there's more to life than winning and losing races. Diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in April of 2004, Hickey returned to competition just weeks after a 10-hour surgical procedure to remove the tumor in his forehead. Seeking a way to help future cancer patients, Hickey founded the Tri-Cities Race Against Cancer, an annual charitable race in Richland, Wash., that has raised over $6,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation since its inception in 2004. Just three months after his surgery, Hickey was back on the course for Washington last September, running in the team's top seven on three occasions, including a third-place finish at the Sundodger Invitational, and a 35th-place effort at the Pac-10 Championships.

New Faces Abound: Husky followers may need a media guide to cheer for the UW's women's team this fall -- only two members of the team's top-seven, and only five letterwinners in total, return from the Huskies' 2004 squad. Senior Angela Wishaar and junior Brianna McLeod each ran in UW's top-seven last season, while sophomore Amy Lia -- a top-seven runner in 2003 -- returns from a one-year injury layoff. If September's Sundodger Invitational is an indication, though, the Huskies shouldn't having any trouble easing in a large freshman and redshirt freshman class. Freshmen accounted for the top-fo1ur finishers in UW's Sundodger win, including fourth-place finisher Tori Tyler (Los Altos, Calif.), sixth-place finisher Brooke Lademan (Rolling Hills, Calif.), ninth-place finisher Annaliese Chapa (Portland, Ore.) and 16th-place finisher Anita Campbell (Aldergrove, B.C.). Washington's coaches must be pleased with the result -- all four freshmen are in the team's top-10 for Saturday's Willamette Invitational, where they will be joined by three redshirt freshmen, one sophomore and two juniors. Youth is no reason to doubt the Huskies' ability to keep their streak of NCAA appearances alive -- a 2003 UW squad including five freshmen in its top-seven placed third at the Regional meet, and 19th at NCAAs.

Everett Connection: Washington seniors Mark Mandi and Andy Fader have come a long way from the days when Mandi flipped burgers at a McDonald's in Everett, Wash., and Fader was one of his regular customers. Back then, Mandi was an aspiring high-school distance runner who had not picked up the sport until his junior year at Everett's Mariner High School, and was admittedly in awe of the local prep stars, including Fader, who patronized the Everett McDonald's where he then worked. Cascade alum Fader, meanwhile, was one of the state's top prospects, with four-career top-10 state track finishes and a pair of WesCo league titles to his credit. Four years later, the Everett tandem are each among Washington's all-time greats in the distance events on the track, and are co-captains, with sophomore Carl Moe, of the nation's 32nd-ranked cross country squad. While Fader was among UW's top recruits in 2001, Mandi enrolled at Washington as a student, before walking on to the UW cross country squad in the fall. Just a year later, Mandi was running in UW's top-seven at every varsity competition, while Fader earned a second-straight top-10 finish in the 1,500 meters at the Pac-10 Championships. In 2003, the two united to lead Washington's men's cross country squad to its first NCAA Championships since 1993, with Mandi leading all Huskies in 67th overall -- just three years after barely cracking the top-50 at the state cross country meet as a high-school senior. The two have since ensured that their remarkable story will not soon be forgotten, with Mandi winning the 2004 Sundodger Invitational and Fader anchoring the UW's distance medley relay to All-America honors and a fifth-place finish at the 2005 NCAA Indoors.

Meet the Coaches: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his fourth year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his ninth year overall at the University. Metcalf has guided the women's cross-country team to eight-straight NCAA appearances, and in 2003 led the UW men to their first NCAA appearance since 1993. Metcalf has coached 17 All-Americans, six Pac-10 champions, 74 NCAA qualifiers and 13 school-record setters. A 1993 UW graduate, Metcalf was a two-time All-American in the steeplechase. Metcalf is joined on the coaching staff by former All-Americans David Bazzi, the UW's school-record holder at both 5,000 and 10,000 meters, and Kelly (MacDonald) Strong, a five-time All-American and three-time Pac-10 champion at Arizona State.

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