Mandi Leads No. 25 UW Men to NCAAs
Nov. 17, 2005
On the Course: Washington's men's cross country team will make its second appearance at the NCAA Championships since 2003 Monday, while freshman Anita Campbell will represent the UW women. Both Campbell and the Husky men qualified on the strength of outstanding performances at last week's NCAA West Regional, with the UW men tying Portland for fourth to earn one of 13 at-large berths, and Campbell running 11th overall to qualify as one of the top-four regional finishers from a non-qualifying team. Washington's women, meanwhile, will be absent from the meet for the first time sinec 1996, having failed to earn an at-large berth despite a third-place finish at the NCAA West Regional. Racing on Indiana State University's LaVerne Gibson Course begins at 12 p.m. CST with the men's 10,000-meter race, followed by the women's 6,000-meter race at 1:15 p.m. CST. For more meet info, visit NCAASports.com or www.indstate.edu/athletics.
NCAA Championships Race Schedule
Men's 10,000m Race: 12 p.m. CST
Women's 6,000m Race: 1:15 p.m. CST
How They Got Here: The top-two teams at each of nine regionals held nationwide on Nov. 12 earned automatic berths to Monday's NCAA Championships, with an additional 13 teams added at-large Nov. 13 based on regional meet performances and head-to-head results throughout the season. Additionally, the top-four individual finishers at each regional from teams that were not included in the NCAA field earned individual NCAA berths, including 11th-place West Regional finisher Anita Campbell of UW. Washington's men tied Portland for fourth at the regional, with each team joining automatic qualifiers Arizona and Stanford in the field of 31 after at-large announcements last Sunday.
Expected to Run: Following is a list of those UW runners expected to compete at Monday's NCAA Championships. For a complete list of entries, visit www.NCAASports.com:
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)
Name Yr. Hometown (High School)
Anita Campbell Fr. Vancouver, B.C. (Aldergrove)
Meet Results: Results will be posted immediately following the conclusion of the meet, at approximately 1:00 p.m. Pacific time, to both NCAASports.com and the official site of host Indiana State University, www.indstate.edu/athletics. In addition, a full recap of UW action at the meet, including results and quotes, will be posted to www.gohuskies.com Monday afternoon.
Rankings Report: Both Washington's men's and women's team will finish the 2005 season in the top-25, after the final release of the MONDO Men's and FinishLynx Women's Cross Country Polls. Bolstered by their terrific regional finishes, the UW men jumped four spots into a tie for 25th with 104 points, while the Husky women climbed two spots to 24th (91 pts.) Washington's teams last both finished in the top-25 in 2003, when both teams carried matching No. 22 rankings into the NCAA Championships.
NCAA History: Washington's men are returning to the NCAA Championships for the second time in the past three seasons, after a 10-year drought from 1993-2003. Among those to toe the line Monday will be two members of the Husky squad that placed 21st at the 2003 NCAA Championships in Waterloo, Iowa, including No. 1 finisher Mark Mandi (67th overall) and No. 6 finisher Mike Sayenko (168th overall). Washington's men's cross country team has made just nine NCAA appearances all-time, with a best finish of fourth in 1989.
Pre-Nationals Revisited: Washington's NCAA competitors will certainly be on familiar ground Monday at the NCAA Championships, having competed on the La Verne Gibson Course at the Pre-National Meets in both 2004 and 2005. Seven of the eight Huskies expected to travel to Terre Haute this weekend were on the UW squad that placed eighth in the White Race at October's Pre-Nationals, in which the field is split into two evenly-seeded races. Senior Mark Mandi was UW's top finisher in 20th place, with the team's No. 2-5 runners each crossing the line within 39 seconds of the team leader. Freshman Anita Campbell, meanwhile, has just one year of experience on the Gibson Course, having placed 60th at Pre-Nationals earlier this year.
Second to None: Perhaps senior Mark Mandi hould have waited until this week's 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 eight of his last nine races, including a fourth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships and a fifth-place effort at the NCAA West Regional. Mandi is the first Husky ever to win consecutive first-team All-Pac-10 honors, while his fifth-place regional finish was the fourth-best ever by a UW runner.
From B.C. to NCAAs: One year ago, freshman Anita Campbell was simply trying to walk -- on Monday, however, she will run with the nation's best at the NCAA Championships, having earned one of the 36 at-large individual berths by virtue of her 11th-place finish at last week's NCAA West Regional meet in Stanford, Calif. Campbell's NCAA entry could be considered unlikely, if only because the Husky freshman from Vancouver, B.C., had placed among the UW's top-two runners just once in 2005 prior to the Nov. 12 regional. In fact, prior to her 17th-place effort at October's Pac-10 meet, Campbell had only been UW's third-best freshman, regularly placing behind fellow first-year Huskies Tori Tyler (Los Altos, Calif.) and Brooke Lademan (Rolling Hills, Calif.). Come Monday, however, it will be Campbell who toes the line in Terre Haute, just one year after missing three months in 2004 with a broken leg. Campbell has plenty of big-meet experience, having represented Canada at the 2005 World Junior Cross Country Championships and the 2003 World Youth Games. Campbell will have history on her side -- Washington was last led by a freshman at the NCAA meet in 2001, when Lisa Gibbs earned an outstanding 35th-place finish.
Streaking The Field: When Washington's women's team was not awarded an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships last weekend, the nation's sixth-longest active streak of NCAA Championships appearances was snapped. During the Huskies' streak, which saw the team qualify for the meet in every season from 1997-2004, the UW women earned seven top-25 finishes and four top-15 efforts, including an all-time best ninth-place finish in 1998. Despite a third-place finish at this month's NCAA West Regional, however, the Huskies were left out of the at-large field, in large part due to their race placement at last month's Pre-National Meet. Washington's women placed 10th in the White Race, but failed to upset any highly-ranked teams. In the Blue Race, meanwhile, NCAA qualifiers-to-be Villanova and Georgetown each struggled, allowing a number of teams to finish ahead them and earn crucial points towards at-large qualification. Interestingly, the West Region has had at least one at-large women's qualifier in each of the past eight seasons. The last third-place West Region team not to earn an at-large bid? Washington in 1996, the final year before the team's eight-year qualifying streak began.
Team Streak Year Began
1. Brigham Young 17 years 1989
Providence 17 years 1989
3. Colorado 14 years 1992
4. Stanford 13 years 1993
5. North Carolina State 11 years 1995
6. North Carolina 8 years 1998
Villanova 8 years 1998
Arizona State 8 years 1998
Washington* 8 years 1997
* - ended in 2004; all other streaks listed are current through 2005
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.
Everett Connection: Seniors Mark Mandi and Andy Fader, who will co-captain UW at Monday's NCAA Championships, 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 25th-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 a fifth-place finish at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships.
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 NCAA appearances in his nine seasons, and has led the UW men to the NCAAs twice in the past three years. Metcalf has coached 17 All-Americans, six Pac-10 champions, 74 NCAA qualifiers and 13 school-record setters. A 1993 UW alum, 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.