No. 1 Huskies Cruise To Pre-National Title Defense
Oct. 17, 2009
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Yet another dominant performance was authored by the No. 1-ranked Washington women's cross country team today, as they churned to a big win at the Pre-National Meet at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course, the site of this year's NCAA Championships. The 14th-ranked men's team also had one of its best Pre-National finishes in years, taking fifth behind four top-10 teams.
The defending NCAA Champion women ran their winning streak to nine-straight races, and captured the Pre-National title for the second year in a row. Three Husky All-Americans placed in the top-five of the women's white race, led by the second-place finish of sophomore Kendra Schaaf, and Washington easily handled three top-10 teams and 10 teams ranked in the top-30.
The UW posted 59 points, outpacing 9th-ranked Florida, which was second with 89 points. No. 5 Princeton was third with 126, No. 15 Syracuse took fourth with 191, No. 18 Illinois was fifth with 206, and eighth-ranked Minnesota came in sixth with 214.
Schaaf led for much of the 6,000-meter race, but was caught by Illinois' Angela Bizzarri, the NCAA 5,000-meter champion, near the finish. Schaaf completed the course in 20-minutes, 29-seconds, just two seconds behind Bizzarri. Two-time All-American Katie Follett took fourth in 20:37, a split-second ahead of sophomore Christine Babcock who was fifth.
Washington seemed like it could potentially be vulnerable today as the team ran without All-American junior Mel Lawrence, fifth at this meet a year ago, and All-Pac-10 junior Lauren Saylor. But UW's depth filled the gaps nicely, especially junior Kailey Campbell, who had the best day of her cross country career with a 15th-place finish in 21:03. Campbell was 51st at this race a year ago, and cut 15 seconds off last year's time despite slower conditions today.
Redshirt freshman Allison Linnell rounded out UW's scoring with a 33rd-place finish in her first run through the championship course. Freshman Lindsay Flanagan was sixth for UW in 69th-place, and junior Kenna Patrick rounded out the crew, finishing 99th out of the 247-woman field.
'Our women's team got better today,' said head coach Greg Metcalf. 'Kendra, Katie, and Christine continue to run fantastic, but Kailey ran the best race of her career today. She was aggressive and composed; we needed her to do it today and she went out and got it done, and I'm incredibly proud of her. And Allison as a redshirt to be 33rd at Pre-Nats is very impressive. To go out today without Mel and Lauren and still score 59 points, I think our women had a really good weekend and can get geared up for the important weeks to come.'
The men's team held serve effectively, defeating four ranked teams in No. 19 Butler, No. 21 North Carolina State, No. 27 Tulsa, and No. 29 Cal Poly. Washington's 183 points was good for fifth in the Blue Race behind 7th-ranked Oregon, which got the win with 79 points, followed by No. 3 Alabama (114), No. 2 Northern Arizona (115), and No. 9 William & Mary (128).
Senior Jake Schmitt stepped up to lead the Dawgs today, placing 22nd in a time of 24:16 over the 8,000-meter course. Fellow senior Colton Tully-Doyle was 25th in 24:19, a huge improvement over his 68th-place finish in this same meet one year ago. Senior Kelly Spady took 32nd in 24:27. Redshirt freshman Joey Bywater was 46th in his first run in Terre Haute, and sophomore Cameron Quackenbush rounded out the scorers with a 58th-place finish. Max O'Donoghue-McDonald was 75th and Rob Webster was 86th in his first road trip with the top group.
Washington was just 11th at Pre-Nationals one year ago yet wound up 18th five weeks later at the NCAA Championships.
'Our men, to get fifth when we didn't have an A-plus day, I was pleased,' said Metcalf. 'It was a solid effort, we beat a number of good teams in a loaded field. Oregon ran really well, Alabama and Northern Arizona are two of the best teams in the country. Jake, Colton, and Kelly were very aggressive and that's the first time we've had two in the top-25 in a while. All in all we passed the mid-point of our season in great shape and will head to Pac-10s with a lot of confidence.'
The Pac-10 Championships will be the next big battle for Washington. USC hosts the conference meet in Long Beach on October 30. The UW women will look to repeat their Pac-10 title with Schaaf gunning for her second-straight individual crown.
Washington Cross Country
10/17/09 - Terre Haute, Indiana
LaVern Gibson Championship Course
Women's White Race (6,000-meters)
Team Results (Top-20): 1. Washington 59; 2. Florida 89; 3. Princeton 126; 4. Syracuse 191; 5. Illinois 206; 6. Minnesota 214; 7. New Mexico 260; 8. North Carolina 314; 9. Notre Dame 323; 10. Arizona State 325; 11. Ohio State 366; 12. Texas 368; 13. California 378; 14. Northern Arizona 387; 15. William & Mary 406; 16. Colorado State 432; 17. Wichita State 444; 18. Kansas 448; 19. Georgia 492; 20. Baylor 546.
Individual Champion: Angela Bizzarri, Illinois, 20:27
Husky Finishers: 2. Kendra Schaaf 20:29; 4. Katie Follett 20:37; 5. Christine Babcock 20:38; 15. Kailey Campbell 21:03; 33. Allison Linnell 21:23; 69. Lindsay Flanagan 21:47; 99. Kenna Patrick 22:05.
Men's Blue Race (8,000-meters)
Team Results (Top-20): 1. Oregon 79; 2. Alabama 114; 3. Northern Arizona 115; 4. William & Mary 128; 5. Washington 183; 6. Auburn 263; 7. Washington State 274; 8. Tulsa 281; 9. North Carolina State 294; 10. Cal Poly 303; 11. Utah State 381; 12. Air Force 382; 13. Butler 388; 14. UTEP 391; 15. Florida 402; 16. Iowa 422; 17. Kansas 446; 18. California 460; 19. Indiana State 485; 20. Brown 486.
Individual Champion: Luke Puskedra, Oregon, 23:40.
Husky Finishers: 22. Jake Schmitt 24:16; 25. Colton Tully-Doyle 24:19; 32. Kelly Spady 24:27; 46. Joey Bywater 24:40; 58. Cameron Quackenbush 24:45; 75. Max O'Donoghue-McDonald 24:53; 86. Rob Webster 25:02.