Husky Women's Cross Country Climbs Into Top-25

Sept. 30, 2003

SEATTLE - Fresh off of wins at Saturday's Sundodger Invitational at Lincoln Park, Washington's men's and women's cross country teams each gained significant ground in this week's national cross country rankings, with the men climbing 12 spots to 32nd, and the women gaining five spots to rank 25th.

The top-25 ranking is the first this season for the UW women, who debuted at 32nd in the FinishLynx Women's Cross Country Rankings on Sept. 8 before climbing to 30th a week ago. The Husky women, who lost three of their top-seven runners from a year ago, were last ranked in the top-25 at the close of the 2002 season, when they entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 24 team in the nation.

Brigham Young held on to the top spot in the women's rankings despite losing three first-place votes to runner-up Notre Dame. The Cougars, a consensus No. 1 in each of the first two rankings, received 10 of a possible 13 first-place votes to earn 385 points, with the Fighting Irish close behind at 373. Washington totaled 82 points, an increase of 52 from the previous week.

'Having had two freshmen step up and lead our team at each of the first two meets has shown folks around the country that we're not feeling any ill effects from graduation,' said head coach Greg Metcalf, who has led the UW women to the NCAA Championships in each of his six years with the program. 'This weekend, we'll get a chance at Notre Dame to really make a statement against some of the teams ranked ahead of us.'

Washington's men, meanwhile, surged from a tie for 44th into 32nd overall in the MONDO Men's Cross Country Rankings, increasing their score by 23 points, to 24. Stanford remained No. 1 with 14 of 16 possible first-place votes, for a score of 478. Wisconsin earned the remaining votes and a score of 466 to rank second, while Northern Arizona was third at 444.

The Husky women will have a chance to make their case for a higher ranking on Friday when they travel to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Invitational, featuring many of the nation's elite teams. Washington's men will rest this week before traveling to the NCAA Pre-National Meet in Waterloo, Iowa, on Oct. 18.

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