Men's Cross Jumps Up To 14th In National Rankings
Oct. 6, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - On the heels of their outstanding win at the Notre Dame Invitational this past weekend, the Husky men's cross country squad shot up to 14th in the latest national poll, announced today by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The Husky women thoroughly dominated the Notre Dame field and continue on as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country.
The men's eight-spot jump from 22nd up to 14th was the biggest upswing for any team in this week's rankings. The Huskies defeated seven ranked teams, including three in the Top-20 this past Friday, defeating then-No. 11 Tulsa, No. 15 Providence, and No. 20 Butler. Senior Kelly Spady (Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak) led the way with a ninth-place finish.
Washington's women, the defending NCAA Champions, did not show many chinks in the armor in their first real test of the season. The Huskies swept the top-four spots, an eye-popping result that has become more commonplace over the past two seasons as the Dawgs rack up the victories. Sophomore Kendra Schaaf (Craven, Saskatchewan) was the individual champion, following up her Sundodger win. It was the fifth individual race title of her career. Senior Katie Follett (Fort Collins, Colo.) took second, with junior Mel Lawrence (Reno, Nev.) right behind in third and sophomore Christine Babcock (Irvine, Calif.) just a couple seconds back in fourth.
Despite sweeping the top four spots, the field that the Husky women took down was far from shabby. In fact, Princeton, second to UW at Notre Dame, actually moved up to No. 5 in the rankings despite UW putting four finishers ahead of their top runner. The same goes for Florida, which moved up from 15th to 9th this week after finishing third at Notre Dame, 71 points behind the Huskies.
The Husky women have now been ranked number one for a full calendar year, as they took over the top spot at this time last year following a huge margin of victory at the Auburn Invitational.
There was a lot of movement in the rest of the rankings behind the Huskies. No. 2 Oregon, runners-up last year to UW at all three postseason meets, suffered a defeat at its home opener and dropped to No. 4. Villanova, which defeated Oregon, climbed to No. 2, followed by West Virginia at No. 3.
On the men's side, the two-time defending NCAA Champion Ducks also fell in their first meet and dropped all the way from first to seventh. Stanford is now No. 1 on the men's side followed by Northern Arizona and Alabama.
UW has this week off before heading to Terre Haute, Indiana for the Pre-National meet, the final regular season measuring stick, which features an elite field on the same course that holds the NCAA Championships in November. Pre-Nationals are set for Oct. 17.