Pre-National Meet Looms Large for Huskies

Oct. 9, 2007

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On the Course: If there is a collegiate cross country team with any designs of national contention, chances are they will be found in Terre Haute, Ind. this Saturday at the Pre-National Meet. Washington's 12th-ranked women and 27th-ranked men will both be on hand, looking to stand out from the 166-team crowd by knocking off a few highly-ranked squads. Hosted by Indiana State, the race takes off at LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. Pre-Nationals is the final regular season meet for the Huskies, making it all the more imperative to build momentum. In addition to UW's top runners journeying to Indiana, the Husky 'B' squads will take part in the Mike Hodges Invitational in Clackamas, Ore., facing mostly regional small college and club teams.

Pre-National Meet Schedule (All Times Central)Men's 8K Blue Race: 11 a.m.      Women's 6K White Race: 12:55 p.m.Men's 8K White Race: 11:40 a.m.  Men's 8K Open Race: 1:30 p.m.Women's 6K Blue Race: 12:20 p.m. Women's 6K Open Race: 2:10 p.m.

Pre-Nationals Preview: The Pre-National Meet is exactly what it claims to be, a very solid preview of the NCAA Championships. Taking place on the same course as the NCAAs, and with a field loaded with title contenders, the Pre-National meet is a major event for teams looking to position themselves for inclusion on the same course in a month's time for the NCAA Championships.

At-large selections to the NCAA Championships are made using a point system based on regular season wins over ranked teams. Because of this, the Pre-National Meet is nearly as big of a factor in NCAA inclusion as the Regional meets.

The men's field consists of 85 teams. A whopping 27 of the Top-30 teams in the latest coaches' poll are entered, plus eight teams that received votes. Out of the Top-10, only No. 9 Arkansas is not in attendance. No. 1 Oregon leads the way, and other ranked Pac-10 teams include No. 5 Stanford, No. 19 UCLA, No. 20 Arizona State, and the Huskies at No. 27.

Arkansas is again the lone Top-10 team making other plans this weekend on the women's side. No. 1 and defending NCAA Champion Stanford leads the way as 24 of 30 ranked teams will be running the 6000m course. Four of the top-12 teams are Pac-10 representatives, including the Cardinal, No. 3 Oregon, No. 6 Arizona State, and 12th-ranked Huskies.

Due to the extremely large number of entrants, the field is split into two evenly-seeded races for both the men and women. The Blue Race or the White Race (Indiana State's school colors) will feature the Huskies, but selections have not been announced.

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 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.gosycamores.com; for Hodges Invitational results, visit http://depts.clackamas.cc.or.us/athletics.

Expected to Run: Following is a list of those Huskies who are expected to travel to Saturday's Pre-National Meet in Terra Haute, Indiana. Only seven runners per team can compete in the main race, with remaining runners able to run in the Open races.

Name                     Yr.          Hometown (High School)Anita Campbell           Jr.          Vancouver, B.C. (Aldregrove)Katie Follett            So.          Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins)Marie Lawrence           Fr.          Reno, Nev. (Reno)Amanda Miller            Jr.          Wenatchee, Wash. (Eastmont)Trisha Rasmussen         Sr.          Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Ridge)Lauren Saylor            Fr.          Clovis, Calif. (Buchanan)Dani Schuster            Jr.          Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin)Tori Tyler               Jr.          Los Altos, Calif. (Gunn)

Name Yr. Hometown (High School)Austin Abbott Jr. Chehalis, Wash. (W.F. West)Riley Booker So. San Diego, Calif. (University City)Jon Harding Jr. Issaquah, Wash. (Issaquah)Max O'Donoghue-McDonald Fr. Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Prep)Carl Moe Sr. Auburn, Wash. (Auburn-Riverside)Adam Shimer Sr. Edmonds, Wash. (Meadowdale)Kelly Spady So. Mukilteo, Wash. (Kamiak)

Mike Hodges Invitational Preview: While Washington's 'A' squads battle the nation's best in Terre Haute, the Huskies' 'B' teams will be toeing the line in Clackamas, Ore. at the Mike Hodges Invitational hosted by Clackamas Community College. The men's four-mile race sets off at 11 a.m. and the women's 5000m starts at 11:45 a.m. Last season Washington's women placed third behind Oregon and Willamette and the men finished second behind an Oregon 'A' team.

Last Time Out: The Bill Dellinger Invitational in Eugene, Ore. was the site of Washington's first big test of the season, and both teams came away pleased with the performance. The men and women combined to knock off four ranked teams, including two teams ranked above them at the time of the race. The Husky women ran third in the 15-team field, trailing Oregon and Arkansas, now the Nos. 3 and 5 teams, respectively. They bested No. 21 Colorado State, 18th-ranked BYU, and upset 15th-ranked Georgia. Leading the Huskies for the first time in her career was sophomore Katie Follett, who ran the 6k course in a personal-best 20:17. Anita Campbell and Marie Lawrence ran second and third for UW. The men placed seventh out of a very strong 15 teams, upsetting 22nd-ranked Cal Poly in the process. Similarly to Follett, sophomore Kelly Spady was the first Husky across the finish line for the first time in his career, placing 21st in a time of 23:57 over the 8000m. Jon Harding and Carl Moe were next to finish for UW, in 27th and 33rd places, respectively.

Huskies in the Rankings: Both Washington squads continue a steady climb up the rankings since the first polls were released. The Husky men have moved up three spots to No. 27 after their initial No. 30 ranking, while the women's team has ascended from the 19th spot all the way up to 12th in the nation in the Oct. 9 poll. The Oregon men received 10 of 13 first place votes this week to lead No. 2 Wisconsin and No. 3 Colorado. Regional rankings place the UW men fifth in the difficult West Region that features four Top-20 teams including Oregon and No. 5 Stanford. The women's West Region is even stronger, as No. 1 Stanford, No. 3 Oregon, and No. 6 Arizona State are ranked ahead of the Husky women.

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