Husky Women Turn In Record Run at Pre-Nationals

Oct. 13, 2007

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Running behind an outstanding performance from junior Anita Campbell, Washington's 12th-ranked women's cross country team defeated seven ranked teams for a record-setting fourth-place finish in the White Race at the Pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, Ind. The No. 27 Husky men also turned in a workmanlike day, finishing 16th out of 38 teams in the Men's Blue Race.

Held on the same LaVern Gibson Course that stages the NCAA Championships in November, the Pre-National Meet is the last and best chance to see where teams stand among the nation's elite, and jockey for position for at-large NCAA bids. The meet is split into two evenly-seeded races, White and Blue, for both the men and women.

The women's fourth-place finish was the best by any Husky squad, men or women, in the seven years they have competed at Pre-Nationals, topping the women's fifth-place run in 2001. No. 8 Princeton finished first with 149 points, followed by No. 6 Arizona State with 171, No. 13 Michigan with 173, and UW with 187. Washington's biggest wins were placing ahead of No. 2 Colorado, which finished sixth, and No. 10 Illinois, which ran just behind the Huskies in fifth. The Huskies are ranked fourth in the loaded West Region, but today ran ahead of nine teams that are ranked third or higher in their respective regions.

Junior Amanda Miller and sophomore Katie Follett crossed the finish line together in 21:02, placing 35th and 36th, respectively. The time was a personal-best for Miller, who was not running with the top-seven at the same meet just last year. Miller ran more than a minute faster than her time on the same course in the Open Race in 2006.

An under-the-weather Mel Lawrence still came in 45th in 21:10, while junior Dani Schuster finished 59th in a personal-best time of 21:20. Senior Trisha Rasmussen and freshman Lauren Saylor were UW's sixth and seventh finishers.

'Dani Schuster and Amanda Miller ran their two best races as Huskies today, Anita Campbell had a very solid day today for us again, and in the end we beat some fantastic teams,' said Husky head coach Greg Metcalf. 'We weren't perfect today, but our women gave a really solid effort and we will only run progressively better at each meet after this. We were 19th at this meet last year and we basically returned the same team. We lose (injured senior) Amy Lia, bring in Mel Lawrence and go from 19th to fourth. So that's a testament to the hard work paying off for a lot of our women, but we can still do much more.'

On the men's side, the Huskies were led by junior Jon Harding, who placed 52nd with a time of 24:11. Senior Carl Moe (64th) and sophomore Kelly Spady (67th) crossed soon after, in matching times of 24:15. Junior Austin Abbott, a four-time track All-American, gave the Huskies a big boost in his first varsity appearance since 2005 as he ran fourth for UW and 95th overall, clocking 24:37. Freshman Max O'Donoghue-McDonald was the victim of a nasty spill but still ran fifth for the men in 24:41. Redshirt-freshman Riley Booker and senior Adam Shimer rounded out UW's top-seven.

The team standings had a number of surprises, as 15th-ranked Northern Arizona took the Blue Race title with 124 points. No. 4 Iona was second with 136, but third-place went to California with 157 points. The Golden Bears received no votes in the most recent coaches' poll and were eighth in the West Region. The Huskies, 16th overall with 381 points did upset 22nd-ranked Villanova, the No. 2 team in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and placed just three spots behind No. 2 Wisconsin.

'Our men ran better than we did a year ago (when they placed 10th). Our times were faster. It wasn't a great day but they were respectable,' said Metcalf. 'It was a good day for Carl Moe and Kelly Spady and Jon Harding. Max fell down with a mile and half to go and got trampled on so that cost us a couple spots. Austin Abbott in his first race was our number four guy today, and he will be a very big key to our success in the postseason. Our region's really good so we've just got to build from this point on, go to the Pac-10 Championships in two weeks and get some hard-earned points.'

With the regular season now drawn to a close for the Huskies, the Pac-10 Championships in Corvallis, Ore. will be the first of the three-tiered postseason that goes from conference championships, to NCAA Regionals, to the NCAA Championships. The Pac-10 meet is Saturday, October 27, and Metcalf certainly likes the chances of the women.

'I believe that our women's team has a shot to win the Pac-10 Championships,' Metcalf said. 'And if you can win the Pac-10, if we have a great day we can win the NCAA Championship. Our women's team is going to walk away from today continuing to build confidence. I like where we are right this second.'

Washington Cross CountryPre-National Meet - October 13, 2007LaVern Gibson Course - Terre Haute, Ind.

Women's Results - White Race - 6,000 meters

Team Results (Top-20): 1, Princeton 149; 2, Arizona State 171; 3, Michigan 173; 4, Washington 187; 5, Illinois 189; 6, Colorado 231; 6, BYU 231; 8, Iowa 261; 9, Providence 287; 10, Florida 322; 11 Georgia 341; 12 North Carolina 359; 13, Baylor 362; 14, Stony Brook 383; 15, Weber State 418; 16, Louisville 433; 17, Iowa State 456; 18, Portland 457; 19, Arizona 485; 20, Yale 518.Individual Winner: Jenny Barringer, Colorado, 19:49.Husky Finishers: 12, Anita Campbell, 20:33; 35, Amanda Miller, 21:02; 36, Katie Follett, 21:02; 45, Marie Lawrence, 21:10; 59, Danielle Schuster, 21:20; 81, Trisha Rasmussen, 21:34; 129, Lauren Saylor, 22:05.

Men's Results - Blue Race - 8,000 meters

Team Results (Top-20): 1, Northern Arizona 124; 2, Iona 136; 3, California 157; 4, Virginia 203; 5, Alabama 207; 6, Tulsa 240; 7, Portland 250; 8, UCLA 251; 9, Louisville 263; 10, Iowa State 270; 11, BYU 270; 12, Oklahoma State 302; 13, Wisconsin 347; 14, Florida State 349; 15, Ohio State 363; 16, Washington 381; 17, Villanova 424; 18, Indiana 426; 19, Air Force 477; 20, New Mexico 492.Individual Winner: Lopez Lomong, Northern Arizona, 23:03.Husky Finishers: 52, Jon Harding, 24:11; 64, Carl Moe, 24:15; 67, Kelly Spady, 24:15; 95, Austin Abbott, 24:37, 103, Max O'Donoghue-McDonald, 24:41; 117, Riley Booker, 24:47; 165, Adam Shimer, 25:07.