Husky Women Dominate Tiger Invitational
Oct. 4, 2008
AUBURN, Ala. - Another race, another win for UW freshman Kendra Schaaf, who flew to the win at the Tiger Invitational, hosted by Auburn University at the Indian Pines Golf Course. Schaaf led a UW parade across the finish line as the second-ranked Husky women had seven of the top nine finishers to win by a wide margin.
But it was Schaaf who stole the show once again, two weeks after her record-breaking Sundodger victory. The Saskatchewan native covered the 5,000-meter course in just 15-minutes and 46-seconds. That time would have been the second-fastest in Washington history had it been run on the track.
'I was pleased with my run,' said Schaaf post-race. 'This course was pretty flat so it was pretty easy and I was able to run a little faster than usual. It brings us one step closer to nationals.'
Following Schaaf was another exceptional freshman, Christine Babcock of Irvine, Calif., who was making her collegiate debut. Babcock was the second-place finisher in 16:02. Sophomore Mel Lawrence was third in 16:04 before the UW onslaught was momentarily disrupted by the top finishers for Auburn and Iowa.
The next four finishers were clad in purple, led by junior All-American Katie Follett, who was sixth in her season debut. Seventh-place went to sophomore Lauren Saylor, and seniors Amanda Miller and All-American Anita Campbell took eighth and ninth, respectively. Kailey Campbell, Kenna Patrick, and Michelle Turner all placed in the Top-25 as well, out of a field of more than 200.
The Husky women were first with a near-perfect 19 points (15 being perfection), followed by Oregon State with 98 points, and 27th-ranked Iowa with 99. Georgia was fourth with 138, and Purdue finished fifth with 158.
'It was a great trip for us to be able to go across the country and come down here to Auburn,' said head coach Greg Metcalf. 'The team was all excited about running the 5K because we haven't run a 5K for awhile. We had nine winners in this race. Overall they did a fantastic job.'
The men's team was buoyed by Harding's first race of the season, as well as the continued successful comeback from Mineau, who redshirted the 2007 season. Mineau covered the 8,000-meter course in 23:10 for fifth, followed by Harding who took eighth in 23:20. Junior Jake Schmitt was right behind Harding, taking ninth-place in 23:22.
Junior Colton Tully-Doyle was UW's fourth finisher, coming in 16th-place in 23:31. Junior Chris Ahl took 20th, junior Alec Bromka was 32nd, and junior Jordan Swarthout was 40th, rounding out the Husky top-seven.
The Huskies finished second overall with 49 points, trailing only the 31 put up by Auburn. Iowa finished third with 72 points, Clemson was fourth with 155, and Georgia Tech finished fifth in 156.
Part of the reason for Washington's visit to Auburn was to honor longtime Tiger coach and consultant Mel Rosen, a National Track & Field Hall of Fame member and the 1992 Olympic Coach. Coach Metcalf worked with Rosen when he coached the Tigers in 1996-97 before returning to Washington.
'For having coached at Auburn it was great to come back here; we planned this a year in advance,' said Metcalf. 'Coach Rosen and I are going out to celebrate later; he is one of my favorite people in the world. When I was a young coach going to my first SEC Championship, coach Rosen really helped me out. I still quote him to this day. He did a lot of great things and if it weren't for him a lot of people wouldn't be here today. Naming this event after coach Rosen is fantastic. Auburn is just a wonderful place.'
The showing in Auburn was not the only success story for Husky cross country this afternoon. Several more Huskies competed in the Emerald City Open, hosted by Seattle U. at Woodland Park.
Husky junior Mo Huber won the women's 6K race, while competing unattached. She was followed closely by sophomore Bailey Schutte in second place, and junior Brooke Anderson took fourth. On the men's side, freshman Rob Webster, Jr. got his first collegiate victory, while also competing unattached. Results from that race will be coming shortly.