Huskies Earn Top-21 Finishes at NCAA Cross Country Meet

Nov. 24, 2003

WATERLOO, Iowa - Washington's cross country squads capped one of the mostoutstandingseasons in school history Monday, both earning top-21 finishes at the 2003 NCAAChampionships at the Irv Warren Golf Course in Waterloo, Iowa.

Thirteen of the Huskies' 14 runners were making their NCAA debuts, with onlyjunior women'scaptain Lindsey Egerdahl returning from last year's national meet. Washingtonqualified both ofits teams for NCAA competition for just the third time in school history, andthe first since 1989.

The 22nd-ranked Husky women, whose streak of seven-consecutive trips to theNCAA meet isthe nation's seventh-longest, placed 19th overall, a 12-spot improvement fromtheir finish at thenational meet a year ago. The team's top-four finishers crossed the line in aspan of only 10seconds, led by Egerdahl's 85th-place finish. Egerdahl covered the frigid6,000-meter course in21:11, just ahead of sophomore Ingvill Makestad (96th, 21:15), freshman Amy Lia(108th, 21:19)and freshman Dallon Williams (118th, 21:21).

'Our top-four women did a great job of staying together - that 10-second splitis incredible,' saidhead coach Greg Metcalf. 'It's under 20 degrees out here today, but theseladies weren't going tolet that stop them. For us to come here and run well with so many freshmen andunderclassmenis outstanding. This was supposed to be our rebuilding year, so if rebuildingmeans a 19th-placeNCAA finish, I'll take it.'

Washington's 22nd-ranked men's team, meanwhile, earned 21st overall in itsfirst NCAAChampionships appearance since 1993. The Huskies' 448 points placed them just15 points outof 15th place, and just 50 points out of 12th.

Sophomore Mark Mandi led all UW finishers in 67th, the best finish by a Huskymen's runner atthe NCAA meet since 1998. Mandi finished the 10,000-meter course in 30:37, justahead ofsenior John Russell (78th, 30:40), senior Eric Garner (108th, 30:44).

'I think our men could have scored better as a team today, but overall I'm veryproud of how theyran today, and all season,' Metcalf said.

Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional champs Stanford achieved just the second NCAAChampionships sweep in history, winning the men's title with 24 points and thewomen's crownwith 120. Stanford's men placed four runners in the top five, but could onlywatch as Colorado'sDathan Ritzenhein won his first NCAA title in 29 minutes, 15 seconds, just onesecond ahead ofthe Cardinal's Ryan Hall.

North Carolina's Shalane Flanagan earned her second-straight NCAA cross countrycrown,running away from the field in a near course-record 19:31.

For complete resutls of the 2003 NCAA Cross Country Championships,

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