Three Huskies Earn Top-10 Finishes at Pac-10 Meet

Oct. 28, 2006

STANFORD, Calif. - Three Huskies earned top-10 finishes Saturday at the Pac-10 Cross Country Championships in Stanford, Calif, lifting Washington's women's and men's squads to respective third- and sixth-place finishes. Juniors Amy Lia (6th) and Jeremy Mineau (7th), and sophomore Anita Campbell (9th) all managed top-10 efforts, marking the Huskies' most top-10 finishers at the conference meet since 1993.

Top-ranked Stanford captured its 11th-straight Pac-10 women's title, placing a quarter of runners into the top-four individual places for a near-perfect 22-point total. Junior Arianna Lambie defended her 2005 Pac-10 individual cross country title, her 20-minute, 16-second finish on the 6,000-meter course three seconds faster than teammate Kathleen Trotter. Eighth-ranked Arizona State was second with 51 points, and the Huskies third at 96.

Washington's women have placed among the top-five teams at the Pac-10 meet for 18-consecutive years, including 11 finishes of third or better.

Lia and Campbell worked together the entire race, ultimately finishing just five seconds apart in personal-best times, Lia in 20:45 and Campbell in 20:50. Sophomore Amanda Miller (24th, 21:33) was the team's No. 3 finisher and junior Trisha Rasmussen (25th, 21:35) was the team's No. 4, with sophomore Brooke Lademan (32nd, 21:53) edging senior Sayaka Yoshinaga (33rd, 21:53) by less than a second for the fifth and final scoring place on the squad.

Lia's sixth-place finish was the highest by a Husky woman at the conference meet since 2001, and along with Campbell's ninth-place effort, extended a string of 13-consecutive years in which at least one Husky woman has earned a top-10 Pac-10 Championships finish.

'This was a great result for our women's team,' said head coach Greg Metcalf after the race. 'We got a pair of girls to the front of the pack and kept everyone else bunched together not far behind them. This is exactly the kind of race we wanted to run to build some momentum going into the NCAA Regional meet in two weeks.'

While the Stanford women celebrated their 11th-straight conference title, for the first time since 1999, however, the Stanford men were not sharing in their joy. Despite running on their home circuit, Stanford Golf Course, the fifth-ranked and six-time defending champion Cardinal were knocked off by No. 7 Oregon, whose 53 points just edged Stanford's 58. Sophomore Galen Rupp won the Pac-10 individual title for the Ducks in 23:04, seven seconds ahead of two-time defending champion Robert Cheseret of Arizona.

The Husky men, meanwhile, were sixth at 131 points, just one point back of fifth-place California. After seeing Mineau -- a native of nearby Menlo Park, Calif. -- finish in 23:35 to cinch the fourth top-10 Pac-10 finish by a Husky men's runner in as many years, Washington's fans and coaches could only sit and wait as nearly a minute passed before another UW runner cross the line.

Senior Mike Sayenko finally ended the drought at the 24:23 mark, crossing the line 27th at the head of a tightly-bunched pack of UW runners. Junior Carl Moe was just four seconds behind Sayenko in 31st place, with senior Travis Boyd (35th, 24:38), junior Adam Shimer (38th, 24:41) and sophomore Jon Harding (24:43) all within 20 seconds of Sayenko's time.

'Those gaps have been our bugaboo all year long,' said Metcalf. 'Jeremy ran a great race, we just couldn't keep anybody up there with him. We have too much talent on this team to be satisfied with a sixth-place finish. The good news, we get a chance to go out and earn our NCAA Championships berth at the regional meet in two weeks, and that's exactly what we're going to set our minds on from this point forward.'

As referenced by Metcalf, the Huskies will return to the course in two weeks' time for the NCAA West Regional Championships at Blue Lake Park in Gresham, Ore. The top-two teams in each regional earn automatic NCAA Championships berths. Washington's women have qualified for NCAAs in eight of the last nine years, while the Husky men have been to nationals in two of the past three seasons.

For complete results from the 2006 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships, visit www.gohuskies.com

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