History On UW's Side at NCAA Regional
Nov. 9, 2005
On the Course: After a summer's worth of training and four fall competitions, the Huskies' 2005 cross country season builds to a peak this weekend with the 2005 NCAA West Regional Championships at the Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif. With at least four ranked teams in each race, and only the top-two guaranteed NCAA Championships berths, the competition is certain to be intense. Washington will have history on its side, however, as the UW women boast a 16-year string of top-five regional finishes, while the Husky men have placed fifth or better in 13 of the last 18 seasons. Racing begins at 11 a.m. PST with the 10,000-meter men's race, followed by the 6,000-meter women's race at 12:15 p.m.
Regional Preview: Ranked 26th on the women's side and 29th among men's teams, Washington should be right in the thick of the battle for NCAA Regional berths Saturday. Leading the way on both sides will be host Stanford, winner of 10-straight regional titles on the men's side and six-straight on the women's side. Pac-10 champion Arianna Lambie leads the No. 2 Stanford women, who will be challenged by fifth-ranked ASU, 21st-ranked Oregon and the No. 26 Huskies. On the men's side, two-time Pac-10 champion Robert Cheseret of Arizona will attempt to lead the No. 9 Wildcats to an upset of fourth-ranked Stanford, with No. 13 Portland, No. 24 Cal Poly, No. 28 Cal and No. 29 Washington also in the mix. For the Huskies, just one runner, senior Angela Wishaar, returns from the women's squad that placed fifth at last year's Regional in Fresno, Calif., while five UW men return from the Region's seventh-place team a year ago.
Expected to Run: Following is a list of those UW runners expected to compete at Saturday's NCAA West Regional Championships:.
Name, Yr., Hometown (High School)
Anita Campbell, Fr., Vancouver, B.C. (Aldergrove)
Annaliese Chapa, Fr., Portland, Ore. (Central Catholic)
Brooke Lademan, Fr., Rolling Hills, Calif. (Peninsula)
Amy Lia, So., Bothell, Wash. (Bothell)
Trisha Rasmussen, So., Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Ridge)
Dani Schuster, RFr., Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin)
Tori Tyler, Fr., Los Altos, Calif. (Gunn)
Angela Wishaar, Sr., Shoreline, Wash. (Shorecrest)
Name, Yr., Hometown (High School)
Travis Boyd, Jr., Mukilteo, Wash. (Kamiak)
Andy Fader, Sr., Everett, Wash. (Cascade)
Mark Mandi, Sr., Everett, Wash. (Mariner)
Jordan McNamara, Fr., Auburn, Wash. (Auburn-Riverside)
Jeremy Mineau, So., Menlo Park, Calif. (Menlo-Atherton)
Kevin Peters, Jr., Longview, Wash. (Mark Morris)
Mike Sayenko, Jr., Bellevue, Wash. (Sammamish)
Adam Shimer, So., Edmonds, Wash. (Meadowdale)
Meet Results: Results will be posted immediately following the conclusion of the meet, at approximately 1:30 p.m. Pacific time, to the official site of Stanford University athletics, www.gostanford.com. In addition, a full recap of UW action at the meet, including results and quotes, will be posted to www.gohuskies.com Saturday afternoon.
NCAA Championships Selection Process: Thirty-one teams will qualify for the 2005 NCAA Championships, including 18 automatic and 13 at-large qualifiers. Automatic bids are awarded to the top-two teams in each of the nine NCAA Regional Championships, while at-large bids, awarded Nov. 13, are based upon a points system that takes into account performances at the Regional and other meets throughout the season. Additionally, 36 individuals from non-qualifying teams will be invited to the NCAA meet based upon finishes at the 2005 Regionals, thus filling the field of 255 that will run in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 21.
Home Sweet Home: Saturday's meet will mark a homecoming of sorts for Huskies' Tori Tyler and Jeremy Mineau, each of whom prepped in the South Bay Area. A graduate of Gunn High School in nearby Los Altos, Calif., Tyler won California's 2005 state title at 3,200 meters, and was recently named Female Prep Athlete of the Year at the 2005 San Jose Sports Hall of Fame banquet. Mineau, meanwhile, ranked second in the state at 3,200 meters during his senior prep season in 2004 at Menlo-Atherton High School in Menlo Park, Calif., and was named Central Coast Section Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2003. Neither have struggled to adapt to life in the Northwest, with Tyler leading UW at all but one meet this season, including an eighth-place finish at the Pac-10 meet, and Mineau qualifying for the U.S. national team at the World Junior Cross Country Championships last March. While Saturday will mark Tyler's first competition in the Bay Area since arriving at UW in the fall, it will be the second such meet for Mineau, who was 27th overall in the Pac-10 meet at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park a year ago.
2004 Regional Redux: After third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively, at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships, Washington's men and women stumbled to disappointing seventh- and fifth-place efforts at the 2004 NCAA West Regional in Fresno, Calif. After leading the team at every varsity meet during the 2004 season, junior Mark Mandi was supplanted by sophomore Travis Boyd atop the list of UW finishers, with Boyd placing 18th and Mandi 41st. On the women's side, senior Lindsey Egerdahl earned All-Region honors for the second-straight year with a 16th-place finish, while lone 2005 returnee Angela Wishaar ran 18th, third overall for UW. Stanford swept regional crowns for the sixth-straight year, narrowly edging ASU on both the men's and women's sides. Washington's women's finish, however, was good enough to earn the team an at-large NCAA Championships bid the following day, extending the team's string of consecutive NCAA Championships appearances to eight.
Peak Performer: Senior Andy Fader is picking the right time to peak -- after running fifth for UW at the Willamette Invitational, and third on the team at the Pre-National meet, Fader was the Huskies' No. 2 overall finisher at the Pac-10 Championships, his 22nd-place finish the highest of his four years of Pac-10 competition. The Everett, Wash., native is one of three co-captains for the Huskies, and is one of three runners making the trip to Stanford this weekend who were on the team in 2003, when a fourth-place regional finish led the UW men back to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1993.
Streaking The Field: When Washington's women's team was awarded an at-large berth to the NCAA Championshipslast 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
Second to None: Perhaps senior Mark Mandi hould have waited until the NCAA Championships to make his season debut. The Everett, Wash., native earned his second season-opening win in as many years Oct. 1 at the Willamette Invitational, in the process becoming the first Husky in more than a decade to earn multiple career victories. Mandi's 10-second win was a near repeat of his victory in his 2004 season debut at the Sundodger Invitational. Not since Simon Baines earned back-to-back victories in 1993 has a Husky men's runner won more than once in their career, while just five have done so in the 37-year history of UW cross country. The two-time first-team All-Pac-10 honoree has been UW's top finisher at seven of his last eight races, including a fourth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships that equaled the best ever by a Husky male.
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.
New Faces Abound: Fans may need a media guide to cheer for the UW's women's team this fall -- only one member of the team's top-seven, and only five letterwinners in total, return from the 2004 UW squad. Senior Angela Wishaar is the lone healthy returnee from the UW squad that ran 23rd at the NCAA Championships last year, while sophomore Amy Lia -- a top-seven runner in 2003 -- returns from a one-year injury layoff. So far, however, it seems that youth is not a problem. Freshmen have accounted for the top-three UW finishers at each of the team's first four meets this season, including wins at the Sundodger and Willamette Invitationals, and a fourth-place finish at the Pac-10 meet. Neglected in early national polls as a reflection of its losses from last season, Washington's women have risen to 26th on the backs of its mighty freshman class, including top-25 Pac-10 finishers Tori Tyler (Los Altos, Calif.), Brooke Lademan (Rolling Hills, Calif.), and Anita Campbell (Aldergrove, B.C.), as well as Annaliese Chapa (Portland, Ore.), and redshirt freshmen Amanda Miller (Wenatchee, Wash.) and Dani Schuster (Kennewick, Wash.). Five of the six are in the team's top-eight for this week's NCAA West Regional, where they will be joined by one senior and two sophomores. Youth is no reason to doubt the Huskies' ability to keep their streak of 16-straight top-five Pac-10 finishes alive, though -- a 2003 UW squad including five freshmen placed fourth at Pac-10s, and 19th at NCAAs.
Everett Connection: Seniors Mark Mandi and Andy Fader have come a long way from their days at a McDonald's in Everett, Wash.. 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, and was admittedly in awe of the local prep stars, including Fader, who patronized the McDonald's where he 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 29th-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. Barely two years later, 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 becoming the first Husky ever to earn back-to-back first-team All-Pac-10 honors, and Fader anchoring the UW's distance medley relay to All-America honors and fifth place 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.