Huskies Spring Towards Pac-10 Championships

Oct. 24, 2007

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On the Course: Conference titles are up for grabs come Saturday as the Washington men's and women's cross counry teams head for Corvallis, Ore. to run in the 2007 Pac-10 Championships. The ninth-ranked Husky women will look to go toe-to-toe with three other top-10 teams and stay the course for an NCAA berth, while the Husky men have a great opportunity this weekend to make a move on some of the nation's top teams. The meet will be contested on Trysting Tree Golf Course, home of Oregon State. The men's race begins at 9:30 a.m. and the women start at 10:30 a.m.

Pac-10 Championships Schedule (All Times Pacific)
Men's 8K Race: 9:30 a.m.
Women's 6K Race: 10:30 a.m.

Pac-10 Championships Preview: This year's Pac-10 Championships are highlighted on both the men's and women's side by the current unanimous No. 1 team in the nation. Oregon on the men's side and Stanford on the women's side each received all 13 first place votes in the most recent coaches' poll. Both those teams also are the defending Conference champions, and the Stanford women are the defending NCAA champions.

The women's field can easily claim to be the toughest Conference in the nation, as the ninth-ranked Huskies are only fourth in the rankings among Pac-10 teams heading into the meet. Other than top-ranked Stanford, the women's field boasts No. 2 Oregon, No. 5 Arizona State, and the No. 9 Huskies. The Big Ten is the only other conference with four top-10 teams, but No. 6 Michigan is its highest-ranked member.

On the men's side, the Huskies will face five ranked opponents, starting at the top with Oregon, and followed by No. 8 California, No. 15 Stanford, No. 19 UCLA and No. 25 Arizona State.

Top individuals on hand include Stanford senior Arianna Lambie, who will attempt to become the second woman ever to win three consecutive Pac-10 titles. Oregon junior Galen Rupp is the defending men's champion, however he has yet to compete this year.

The Course: The men's course will cover 8.000 meters and the women will run 6,000 meters at Trysting Tree Golf Course. The terrain is 90% grass with short sections on dirt service roads.

Meet Results: Results from Saturday's Pac-10 Championships will be available first on Oregon State's website, Results will be posted soon after on, followed by a full recap with quotes from Husky head coach Greg Metcalf. A video recap of the Pac-10 Championships will also be made available on starting Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Expected to Run: Following is a list of those Huskies who are expected to travel to Saturday's Pac-10 Championships in Corvallis, Ore. The top-five runners are scored while the sixth and seventh finishers displace scorers from competitors.

Name                     Yr.          Hometown (High School)Brooke Anderson          So.          San Diego, Calif. (University City)Andrea Brown             Jr.          Bellingham, Wash. (Mt. Baker)Anita Campbell           Jr.          Vancouver, B.C. (Aldregrove)Katie Follett            So.          Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins)Anna Imperati            So.          Portland, Ore. (Jesuit)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)

Name Yr. Hometown (High School)Austin Abbott Jr. Chehalis, Wash. (W.F. West)Chris Ahl So. Seattle, Wash. (Bishop Blanchet)Riley Booker So. San Diego, Calif. (University City)Brian Govier RFr. Mercer Island, Wash. (Mercer Island)Jon Harding Jr. Issaquah, Wash. (Issaquah)Caleb Knox Jr. Mill Creek, Wash. (Jackson)Max O'Donoghue-McDonald Fr. Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Prep)Carl Moe Sr. Auburn, Wash. (Auburn-Riverside)Kelly Spady So. Mukilteo, Wash. (Kamiak)Colton Tully-Doyle So. San Diego, Calif. (Rancho Bernardo)

Last Time Out: Washington wrapped up its regular season two Saturdays ago at the Pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, Indiana on the same LaVern Gibson Course that will host the NCAA Championships on Nov. 19. The Husky women competed in the 6000m White Race and knocked off seven ranked teams on their way to a fourth-place finish that was the best finish ever for a Husky squad at the meet. Anita Campbell led the Huskies for the second time this season, finishing 12th overall in a time of 20:33. Amanda Miller and Katie Follett finished 35th and 36th, respectively in identical times of 21:02. Mel Lawrence and Dani Schuster rounded out UW's top-five. Coach Metcalf singled out Miller and Schuster for having perhaps the best days of their Husky cross country careers. The Huskies upset No. 2 Colorado and No. 10 Illinois, vaulting the Dawgs into the top-10 in the subsequent rankings for the first time this season. The UW men placed 16th in the 8000m Blue Race, outpacing 22 other D-I teams. Jon Harding was the leading Husky finisher, placing 52nd in a time of 24:11, followed just a few seconds later by Carl Moe and Kelly Spady. Austin Abbott made his season-debut and ran fourth for the Huskies in 24:37, and freshman Max O'Donoghue-McDonald survived a bad spill on the course to finish fifth among Huskies.

Huskies in the Rankings: The Husky women continue their upward trend in the current rankings. They have seen only improvement since the initial rankings placed them at No. 19. Washington now sits No. 9 in the USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll. It is the first time the Huskies have cracked the Top-10 since October of 2000. The team that year was ranked a program-best fourth at one point. The Husky men, however, slipped out of the rankings following Pre-Nationals, but have been as high as No. 27 this season. Both rankings feature unanimous No. 1 teams this week, with the Oregon men and Stanford women both earning all 13 first place votes. Despite being ninth in the nation, the Husky women are only fourth in the loaded West Region, behind Stanford, No. 2 Oregon, and No. 5 Arizona State. The men are eighth in their region which features top-ranked Oregon, No. 8 California, and No. 15 Stanford as the top three.

Huskies at the Pac-10: The Huskies have two Pac-10 team championships and one individual championship to their credit, as the Husky men captured the team title in 1993, the women came out on top in 1989, and Regina Joyce won the conference women's title in 1982 when it was known as the NorPac. Despite winning just one Pac-10 crown, the Washington women's team has placed in the top-five at the conference meet every year since 1988, a span of 18 races.

Both the men and women have had top-10 finishers the last four years, and the women have placed an individual in the top-10 every year since 1993. Remarkably, the women have been led by a different runner in each of the last 10 championships, with that lead Dawg placing in the top-10 on every occasion. Last year the Huskies had two top-10 finishers on their way to third-place behind Stanford and Arizona State. Amy Lia led the Huskies with a sixth-place finish and Anita Campbell placed ninth. Lia is out of action this season so the door is open for another new Husky to step into the top-10. Also back in action for the women this year are Amanda Miller and Trisha Rasmussen, who placed 24th and 25th respectively last season. Junior Dani Schuster and sophomore Katie Follett have taken great strides this season after placing 62nd and 79th at last year's meet. Follett has run in UW's top three in every race this season after running 10th among Huskies at the 2006 Pac-10's.

On the men's side, injuries have also forced senior Jeremy Mineau to redshirt the 2007 season. Mineau led the Huskies at the 2006 Championships, placing seventh in a time of 23:34 and earning first team All-Pac-10. Washington's top returner on the men's side from a year ago is senior Carl Moe, who placed 31st last year coming back off injury and has ran solid all year long for the Dawgs. Junior Jon Harding was the seventh Husky across the line last year in a time of 24:43, but an outstanding summer of training has transformed Harding into UW's top runner thus far in 2007, so expect to see a big improvement on his 39th-place finish of a year ago.

Meet the Coaches: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his sixth year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his 11th year overall at the University. Metcalf has guided the women's cross-country team to eight NCAA appearances in 10 years, and has led the UW men to the national meet in three of the last four seasons. Metcalf's distance runners have earned three NCAA track titles, 30 All-American honors, seven Pac-10 championships, 89 NCAA qualifiers and 17 school-record setters in his nine years with the program. 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 Strong, a three-time Pac-10 champion at Arizona State, and Jimmy Bean, an All-Midwest Region performer at Division-III Greenville (Ill.) University.

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