Huskies Earn Top-10 Finishes at Pre-National Meet

Oct. 15, 2005

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Washington's 24th-ranked men's and 23rd-ranked women's cross country squads each passed their most important midterms Saturday, both finishing among the top-10 teams at the Pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, Ind. Featuring nearly all of the nation's top-30 teams, and held on the same LaVerne Gibson Course that will host next month's NCAA Championships, the meet is a key test for teams with high postseason aspirations.

The Huskies' men's and women's squads struggled to disappointing 14th- and 16th-place finishes at the meet a year ago, but came out strong Saturday, placing eighth and 10th, respectively. Washington's men scored 236 points -- just 18 points shy of the top-five -- while the UW women scored 299. Third-ranked Colorado captured team honors for the men with two top-10 finishers and a score of 70, while No. 2 Michigan won the women's race with 86.

Washington's men stayed true to their goal of running as a pack, with just 39 seconds separating the team's top-five runners in the 8,000-meter race. Senior Mark Mandi led the Huskies for the sixth time in his last seven races, crossing the line 20th overall in 24 minutes, 14 seconds. Close behind was freshman Jordan McNamara, 34th in 24:28, while Andy Fader (50th, 24:43), Mike Sayenko (62nd, 24:48) and Travis Boyd (70th, 24:53) rounded out the top-five.

'Mark got out to the front, as he usually does, and the rest of our guys just did an awesome job staying up with him,' said fourth-year head coach Greg Metcalf. 'If these guys can run fast and stay together like that on a regular basis, they're going to be a force to deal with in the postseason.'

While the men have followed their veteran leaders throughout the 2005 season, Washington's women have relied on freshmen, and Saturday's race was no different. Freshmen accounted for the Huskies' top-five finishers in the 6,000-meter event, including a third-consecutive 1-2 finish for first-year Huskies Tori Tyler and Brooke Lademan. Having each led the UW once already this season, it was Tyler who captured top honors Saturday, her 28th-place finish in 21:15 a full 22 seconds faster than Lademan's 49th-place effort (21:37). Redshirt freshman Amanda Miller (58th) and true freshman Anita Campbell (60th) came across the line together at 21:43, with redshirt frosh Dani Schuster was the team's fifth finisher in 22:12, good for 104th.

'This was the first time most of these girls have ever competed outside the Northwest at the collegiate level, so there was some element of uncertainty about how they would react to such a long trip, and such a large and talented field,' Metcalf said. 'But they haven't been intimidated by anything all year, and they certainly weren't today. These girls are fearless.'

Washington turns its attention now to the postseason, beginning with the Pac-10 Championships in Tucson, Ariz., on Oct. 29. For complete results from the 2005 Pre-National Meet, visit www.indstate.edu/athletics.

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