Cross Country Preps For Regular-Season Final

Oct. 10, 2006

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On the Course: While most UW students have yet to even take a midterm, Washington's cross country squads will head to Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday for their final exam of the 2006 regular season, the Pre-National Meet. Held on the same LaVerne Gibson Course that will host November's NCAA Championships, and featuring 192 of the nation's top collegiate teams -- including nearly all of the 60 teams ranked in this week's USTFCCCA poll -- the meet marks a final opportunity for Washington's 14th-ranked women and No. 35 men to measure themselves against the nation's best before launching into the postseason in two weeks' time. While the Huskies' top-10 runners on each side will make the annual trip to Terre Haute, Washington will also send a 'B' squad to the Mike Hodges Invitational in Clackamas, Ore., to battle a regional field of mostly small-college and club teams.

Pre-National Meet Schedule (All Times Pacific)Women's 6,000m Blue Race: 9:00 a.m.
Women's 6,000m White Race: 9:35 a.m.
Men's 8,000m Blue Race: 10:10 a.m
Men's 8,000m White Race: 10:50 a.m.
Women's 6,000m Open Race: 11:30 a.m.
Men's 8,000m Open Race: 12:05 p.m.

Expected to Run: Following is a tentative list of those Huskies who will make the trip to Terre Haute, Ind., for Saturday's Pre-National Meet. The Huskies may start as many as seven competitors in the featured race, with the remaining three likely to compete in the open races at meet's end (see above for a compelete race schedule):

Name, Yr., Hometown (High School)
Anita Campbell, So., Vancouver, B.C. (Aldregrove)
Annaliese Chapa, So., Portland, Ore. (Cenrtal Catholic)
Katie Follett, Fr., Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins)
Mo Huber, Fr., Oakland, Calif. (Acalanes)
Anna Imperati, Fr., Portland, Ore. (Jesuit)
Brooke Lademan, So., Rolling Hills, Calif. (Peninsula)
Amy Lia, Jr., Bothell, Wash. (Bothell)
Amanda Miller, So., Wenatchee, Wash. (Eastmont)
Dani Schuster, So., Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin)
Trisha Rasmussen, Jr., Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Ridge)

Name, Yr., Hometown (High School)
Chris Ahl, RFr., Seattle, Wash. (Bishop Blanchet)
Travis Boyd, Sr., Mukilteo, Wash. (Kamiak)
Jon Harding, So., Issaquah, Wash. (Issaquah)
Jeremy Mineau, Jr., Menlo Park, Calif. (Menlo-Atherton)
Carl Moe, Jr., Auburn, Wash. (Auburn-Riverside)
Matt Owen, Sr., Yakima, Wash. (East Valley)
Kevin Peters, Sr., Longview, Wash. (Mark Morris)
Mike Sayenko, Sr., Bellevue, Wash. (Sammamish)
Adam Shimer, Jr., Edmonds, Wash. (Meadowdale)
Kelly Spady, RFr., Mukilteo, Wash. (Kamiak)

Meet Results: Results from Saturday's Pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, Ind., and the Mike Hodges Invitational in Clackamas, Ore., will be posted to GoHuskies.com as soon as they are available. Furthermore, a full recap from Pre-Nationals, including historical notes, and quotes from head coach Greg Metcalf will be posted to GoHuskies.com approximately one hour after the meet's conclusion. For the first posting of results from Saturday's Pre-National Meet, visit www.indstate.edu/athletics; for Hodges Invitational results, visit http://depts.clackamas.cc.or.us/athletics.

Huskies in the Rankings: Two weeks off had little impact on the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCA) national collegiate rankings, which remained steady through the midway point of the cross country season. Washington's women, ranked 10th on Sept. 26, dropped four spots to 14th overall, their 222 points just 30 less than their total two weeks ago. Stanford (390) continued to lead Colorado (373) on the women's side, with 2006 Sundodger Invitational champion Michigan (368) closing in rapidly on the top two. Wisconsin, meanwhile, maintained its edge over Arkansas in the men's poll, their 449 and 433 points, respectively, well distant of third-ranked Stanford's 413. Next month's West Regional appears to be the nation's most loaded, however, with the No. 3 Cardinal leading four West Region squads to top-10 berths, including No. 6 Oregon, No. 7 Arizona and No. 8 Portland. Washington's men fell just shy of a top-30 mention with six votes overall, equaling Michigan State for 35th in the national poll.

Top-10 Trials: Washington's squads will be battle-tested by the end of the 2006 regular-season, having faced top-10 foes at each of its three regular-season varsity competitions. After falling to No. 3 Michigan at the season-opening Sundodger Invitational, the Husky women got back on track at September's Bill Dellinger Invitational with wins over then-No. 5 Duke, No. 26 Indiana, No. 28 Oregon and No. 30 Butler. The Husky men, meanwhile, handed sixth-ranked Texas a defeat at the Dellinger Invitational, as well as No. 29 American. This week, Washington's teams will do battle with nearly all of the nation's top-30 squads, and with the fields split up into two evenly-seeded races, are guaranteed to go head-to-head with several additional top-10 foes. The elite competition won't let up, either, when the teams open the postseason in two weeks -- Pac-10 and West Regional foe Stanford is ranked No. 1 among women's teams, while the men's top-10 includes three Pac-10 teams, and four of UW's West Regional opponents.

NCAA Champions Back to Work: Few teams in the country boast the distinction Washington has this fall of having two reigning NCAA champions on its cross country roster. Both won middle-distance titles at the 2006 NCAA Track and Field Championships in June, with junior Ryan Brown winning the 800m in 1:46.29, and junior Amy Lia capturing the 1,500m crown in 4:14.63. While Brown is primarily a track competitor, having raced in just two cross country meets in his first three-plus years at Washington, Lia boasts a strong cross country pedigree, including All-West Region performances in 2003 and 2005, and a No. 3 placing among Huskies at the 2003 NCAA Championships. Lia ran just twice in 2005 due to injury, but is expected to be at full strength for the 2006 fall campaign, where she bolsters an already-loaded lineup including 2005 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year Tori Tyler and 2006 World Championships qualifier Anita Campbell.

A New Streak Begins: Prior to the 2005 season, Washington's women had competed at eight-consecutive NCAA Championships, a feat matched by just five other schools. Despite a third-place finish at the super-competitive West Regional meet, however, the Huskies were left off the list of provisional teams invited to the 2005 meet, snapping the streak at eight. Interestingly, it was the first time since 1996 that the third-place team at the West Regional had failed to earn an NCAA Championships invitation. That unlucky team? The University of Washington. The Huskies matched their Regional finish a year later to reach the NCAAs in 1997 -- head coach Greg Metcalf's first year at the helm -- and reached every NCAA Championships for nearly a decade thereafter before the 2005 snub.

Meet the Coaches: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his fifth year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his 10th year overall at the University. Metcalf has guided the women's cross-country team to eight NCAA appearances in nine years, and has led the UW men to the national meet in two of the last three seasons. Metcalf has coached two NCAA champions, 23 All-Americans, six Pac-10 champions, 83 NCAA qualifiers and 14 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 five-time All-American Kelly (MacDonald) Strong, a three-time Pac-10 champion at Arizona State, and first-year assistant Jimmy Bean, an All-Midwest Region performer at Division-III Greenville (Ill.) University.

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