Husky Women Chase History At NCAA's
Nov. 15, 2007
On the Course: The day that the Husky women's cross country team has been building towards since the end of last season is now just a few days away. After a two-year absence, the No. 8 Huskies are back competing with the nation's best at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. on Monday, Nov. 19. Washington is one of 31 teams that will compete on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course, with the women's race scheduled to begin at 9:55 a.m. PT.
NCAA Championships Schedule (All Times Pacific)
Men's 10K Race: 9 a.m. Women's 6K Race: 9:55 a.m.
How They Got Here: The top-two teams at each of nine regionals nationwide earned automatic NCAA Championships berths. An additional 13 men's and women's teams were added to the field via an at-large selection process, with additional at-large invitations extended to the top-four individuals at each regional who were not on qualifying teams.
Expected to Run: Following is a list of those Huskies who will travel to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The top-five runners are scored while the sixth and seventh finishers displace scorers from competitors. Seven Huskies will run with the eighth serving as an alternate. It is the same group that traveled to West Regionals on Nov. 10. Only Anita Campbell has NCAA Championship experience, running as an individual the past two seasons.
Name Yr. Hometown (High School)Brooke Anderson So. San Diego, Calif. (University City)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)
NCAA Coverage: Fans can tune in to watch the Huskies run live on CSTV or online at www.ncaasports.com. Results from the meet will first be posted on www.ncaasports.com, and will be posted to GoHuskies.com shortly thereafter, along with a full recap and quotes from head coach Greg Metcalf.
Women's Race Preview: Indiana State is the host for the 2007 NCAA Championships. All 30 ranked teams in the current USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll will be in attendance. The top-four teams earn trophies. Top-ranked Stanford will be searching for its third title in a row, led by three-time Pac-10 Champion Arianna Lambie, and West Regional Champion Teresa McWalters. Six of Stanford's top-seven runners earned All-West Region honors. Four of the top-eight teams in the most recent rankings are from the Pac-10. Washington tied No. 6 Arizona State and was just four points behind No. 3 Oregon at the Pac-10 Championships. Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech is the reigning NCAA Champion and is back to defend her title. North Carolina's Shalane Flanagan was the last repeat winner, doing so in 2002 and 2003.
Last Time Out: The Husky women officially punched their NCAA ticket with a fourth-place finish at NCAA West Regionals at the Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ore. Anita Campbell led the Huskies in fourth place with a time of 20:24, followed by Katie Follett in seveth (20:39), and Amanda Miller in 17th (20:55). All three earned All-West Region honors, the second for Miller and third for Campbell. Campbell's fourth-place finish was the best by a Husky in 12 years, since Tara Carlson finished third in 1995. Rounding out UW's top-five was Mel Lawrence in 32nd-place, and Trisha Rasmussen in 58th. Washington's 118 points trailed No. 1 Stanford's , No. 2 Oregon's 72, and the 106 points of No. 5 Arizona State. Kelly Spady led the men in what turned out to be their final run of the year. Spady placed 31st with a 10k time of 30:55, and the Huskies were 10th with 233 points. Oregon captured the Region with 47 points, and Portland earned the second auto NCAA bid with 76 points. Freshman Max O'Donoghue-McDonald finished second for UW in 46th place, with Caleb Knox (49th) and Jon Harding (51st) close behind. Adam Shimer completed his Husky career with a 57th-place finish.
Huskies in the Rankings: Washington and Michigan State swapped places in the Nov. 13 USTFCCCA coaches' poll, with UW slipping to eighth and the Spartans taking over seventh. The minor slip was the first time all season the Huskies did not climb in the rankings since the initial poll placed them at No. 19. When the Husky women earned a No. 9 ranking on Oct. 16, it was the first time the Huskies cracked the Top-10 since October of 2000. The team that year was ranked a program-best fourth at one point. The Husky men finished out of the rankings but were ranked as high as No. 27 this season. The Oreon men and Stanford women are unanimous No. 1's, receiving all 13 first place votes. Despite being eighth in the nation, the Husky women are only tied for third in the loaded West Region, behind Stanford, No. 2 Oregon, and tied with No. 6 Arizona State after the two matched scores at the Pac-10 Championships. The men finished eighth in their region which features top-ranked Oregon, No. 8 Portland, and No. 13 Stanford as the top three.
Campbell Brings Friends: As a freshman in 2005, Anita Campbell had the unenviable task of being the only Husky woman to qualify for the NCAA Championships. The Vancouver, B.C. native placed 94th in her solo run. In 2006, Campbell had company in Amy Lia, but again felt the absence of the rest of the Dawgs. This season, Campbell returns to Terre Haute with a host of Huskies in tow, as the young Huskies followed Campbell's lead to consistent success. Campbell led the Huskies in four of five varsity meets this season, starting with a win in the season-opening Sundodger Invitational where she set a Husky meet record. She also placed 12th in the Pre-National Meet White Race on the same LaVern Gibson Course that will host Monday's NCAA Championships. A similar effort would likely earn Campbell her first All-American honors. Campbell was sixth at the Pac-10 Championships in a personal best time of 20:10, earning first team All-Pac-10 honors for the first time. Last weekend she finished fourth at West Regionals, the best finish by a Husky since Tara Carlson was third in 1995.
Follett Flourishing: Katie Follett is nothing if not a quick learner. The sophomore's breakout season has been nothing short of spectacular and one of the biggest reasons the Huskies are having visions of trophies on Monday. A native of Boulder Springs, Colo., Follett had a strong start to her freshman season in 2006, but faded in the postseason. Over the spring and summer Follett, 'made herself a better distance runner,' in the words of coach Metcalf. The proof has been race after race of top-10 finishes. Follett was second at the Sundodger Invite, in what would have been a Husky record if not for Anita Campbell placing a few seconds ahead. Follett then led the Huskies for the first time in her career at the Bill Dellinger Invite, placing second overall in a personal-best time of 20:17, a full 73 seconds faster than her time from 2006. Follett's progression was most evident in her last two outings. After finishing 79th at Pac-10's and 82nd at Regionals in 2006, Follett rocketed up to ninth at the conference meet and seventh at Regionals this year, earning her first all-conference and all-region awards, and giving UW a dynamic duo out front.
NCAA History: Washington continues to enhance its status as one of the nation's top programs with its appearance at NCAA's on Monday. The Husky women have reached nationals in nine of the past 11 seasons, and 11 of the past 14, coming back from a rare two-year NCAA absence with a top-10 squad this season.
From 1997-2004, the Huskies made NCAA's every season, with five top-20 finishes, including the program's all-time best 9th-place finish in 1998. In 2004, UW's last team appearance and the first time the meet was held in Terre Haute, the Huskies placed 23rd with Lindsey Egerdahl leading the team with a 92nd-place finish. 2003 was the most recent top-20 showing, as UW placed 19th in Waterloo, Iowa. From 1994-1999, the women finished in the top-15 five different times, with Tara Carlson leading the team in three of those races.
In 2005, Anita Campbell was UW's only individual competitor in her freshman season, placing 94th. Last year, Campbell qualified again along with junior Amy Lia. Lia crossed the finish in 55th place, while Campbell was 89th. Lia has missed her entire senior season due to injury.
Undoubtedly the greatest individual NCAA performances in Husky history were turned in by Regina Joyce. In 1982, Joyce finished 2nd overall, leading the Huskies to 13th. Joyce was sixth two years prior in 1980, leading UW to 12th, and she also finished 11th competing as an individual in 1981. Tara Carlson is Washington's only other top-10 finisher, as she placed 8th in 1995.
Eye on All-Americans: In addition to battling for team honors, Washington's women will also be vying for individual All-America honors, given to the top-30 finishers in each race, plus one additional American for every foreign-born athlete in the top-30. Washington boasts 15 All-Americans in its 31-year history of NCAA competition, including -- most recently for each respective gender -- freshman Lisa Gibbs in 2001, and senior Christian Belz in 1998. While none have earned All-America honors on the cross country course, junior Amanda Miller is a two-time All-American in track, once at 800-meters and once in the mile.
Men's Review: Coming off a 12th-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships, it was a tall order for the Husky men's squad to make it back to Terre Haute. Washington lost three members of their NCAA top-seven to graduation, a fourth to season-ending injury before ever setting foot on the course, and a fifth to another late season injury. Despite all that, the Huskies were ranked as high as 27th during the season, but inexperience and health issues eventually led to a premature end to the season at West Regionals, one race short of the goal. Senior Jeremy Mineau, UW's top finisher at NCAA's in 2006, red-shirted the season due to injury, and the No. 3 finisher at NCAA's, senior Carl Moe, was sidelined over the last month and could not go at Regionals, contributing to UW's 10th-place finish. However, several new and future stars emerged during the season, including junior Jon Harding, sophomore Kelly Spady, and freshman Max O'Donoghue-McDonald. Spady and O'Donoghue-McDonald were UW's top two finishers, respectively, at NCAA Regionals in their first ever 10k runs. Spady was among the top-three finishers at every race after running in the top-seven just once as a freshman. Harding led the Huskies for much of the year, including a record-setting run at the Sundodger Invitational, where the Issaquah native broke the Lincoln Park course record with a time of 23:36 over 8,000-meters. With the return of Mineau in 2008 as well as the addition of transfer Jake Schmitt, who turned in several great runs unattached this season, the Huskies should rebound quickly next year.
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 nine NCAA appearances in 11 years, and has led the UW men to the national meet in three of the last five seasons, counting the 2007 campaign. 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.