Northwest's Best Convene for 13th-Annual Sundodger Invitational
Sept. 15, 2004
On the Course: Fresh off wins at the season-opening Emerald City Invitational, Washington's cross country squads will welcome top Northwest collegiate rivals Washington State, Boise State, Idaho, Portland and Portland State, as well as numerous small-college and club squads to Lincoln Park on Saturday for the 13th-Annual Sundodger Invitational. Many Husky veterans will be making their 2004 season debuts, including senior Lindsey Egerdahl and junior Mark Mandi, who led UW's women's and men's teams to respective 19th- and 21st-place finishes at the 2003 NCAA Championships. For the first time in meet history, women will compete over the championship 6,000-meter distance, a 1,000-meter increase from years past. Racing begins at 9 a.m. with the women's 6,000-meter open race, followed by the men's 8,000-meter open race at 9:30 a.m. The women will also open Invitational racing at 10:15 a.m., followed by the men at 10:45.. Admission is free to all spectators.
Sundodger Invitational Meet Schedule (All Times Pacific)
Women's 6,000m Open Race: 9:00 a.m.
.Men's 8,000m Open Race: 9:30 a.m.
Women's 6,000m Invitational Race: 10:15 a.m.
Men's 8,000m Invitational Race: 10:45 a.m.
Lincoln Park: Since 1992, Washington has held all of its home cross country competitions at Lincoln Park in West Seattle. Ideally located on a scenic ridge overlooking Puget Sound, the mostly-flat Lincoln Park course consists of a mixture of grass, dirt, light gravel and wood chips, and winds through wooded trails with frequent views of the Sound and Olympic peninsula. To reach the park from I-5 North or South, take the West Seattle Bridge exit (#163-A), and continue up the hill into West Seattle where the freeway becomes Fauntleroy Way SW. Proceed on Fauntleroy Way SW for approximately three miles, following signs to the Vashon Ferry Terminal, before arriving at the park, located on the right (west) side of the street. Parking is available in the Lincoln Park lot, or on the street where posted.
Meet History: Featuring hundreds of top collegiate athletes from the Northwest and beyond, the Sundodger Invitational has become an annual fixture on the Northwest distance running schedule since its inception in 1982. The 2004 races will mark the first major course changes in meet history, with the women's course being extended to 6,000 meters from its standard 5,000-meter length. The longer distance has been contested at Lincoln Park just once before, during the 2000 Pac-10 Championships. Arizona's Tara Chaplin won the event in 20:11 to set the 6,000-meter course record, while Stanford's Jonathan Riley earned a conference title in 23:40 to set the men's course record at 8,000 meters, the same distance contested today. Washington's teams have dominated the event, winning seven women's titles and four men's titles, including a team sweep in 2003. Huskies Tara Carlson and Sabrina Monro are the only women to win the Sundodger title more than once, while Portland's Uli Steidl was a repeat winner on the men's side from 1994-95. No 6,000-meter Sundodger meet record exists for the women, but Western Washington's Paul Kezes boasts the men's meet record of 23:42, 11 seconds faster than the previous mark set two years prior.
Meet Results: Results will be available for coaches only at the conclusion of all four races. Complete results will be faxed to participating schools, and posted online at www.gohuskies.com, no later than 90 minutes following the conclusion of the final race. Coaches and SIDs wishing to have results e-mailed should contact media relations assistant Brian Beaky at the address on the following page.
Rankings Report: Washington's women debuted in a tie for 16th last week in the FinishLynx Women's Cross Country preseason rankings, the second-highest preseason ranking ever for UW. The Husky women, who return six of seven competitors from their 19th-place NCAA Championship squad of a year ago, earned 184 points in the poll, equaling that earned by Georgetown. Defending national champion Stanford took top honors with 386 points, including 10 of a possible 13 first-place votes from the elective panel of representatives of the Women's Cross Country Coaches Association. Brigham Young and Providence, which placed second and third, respectively, at the 2003 NCAA meet, were flip-flopped in the preseason poll, with the Friars claiming the remaining three first-place votes and a 372-point total, one better than BYU's 371. Washington's men, 22nd in the final 2003 MONDO Men's Cross Country Rankings and 21st at the 2003 NCAA meet, will have to wait another week for the first men's poll of the 2004 season, with the MONDO rankings set to debut Sept. 21. The Huskies placed both men's and women's squads into the final top-25 last season, marking the first time since October of 2001 that the two had been simultaneously ranked.
Peak Performer: Fifth-year senior Meghan Lawrence, who had never before competed collegiately, arrived at the team's season-opening team meeting on Sept. 2 seeking the opportunity to walk on. Lawrence performed well in a time trial Sept. 4 to earn a spot on the UW roster, but was still not cleared by University officials to compete until Friday, Sept. 10, just one day before the season-opening Emerald City Invite at Woodland Park. Thus it was, that on her first official day as a Husky, Lawrence outran all UW runners in the Emerald City race, finishing seventh overall to key a team victory for Washington. The fifth-year senior will attempt to write a fitting follow-up Saturday, when she returns to the course for the Sundodger Invitational at Lincoln Park.
Captains: Senior Lindsey Egerdahl, who led the Huskies to 19th at the NCAA meet last season, returns as co-captain in 2004 alongside fellow senior Laura Halverson. For the men, juniors Mark Mandi and Andy Fader will attempt to build upon their NCAA experiences of a year ago to lead a young Husky squad.
Streaking The Field: When Washington's women were named to the NCAA Championships field in November, the nation's seventh-longest streak of consecutive NCAA bids was preserved. During the streak, the UW women have earned an automatic bid just one time -- in 1999 -- having been named a provisional qualifier on each of the other occasions. Three times over those seven years the Huskies have finished among the top-14 teams in the country, including an all-time best ninth-place finish in 1998. Interestingly, Washington has been led at the NCAA meet by a different runner in each of the streak's seven seasons. Senior co-captain Lindsey Egerdahl, the team's leader at the NCAAs last season, has a chance to end that streak-within-a-streak in 2004, and in the process become the first Husky since Tara Carlson in 1994-95 to lead the UW at nationals in two -straight years. Following is a list of the 10 longest active streaks of NCAA Championships appearances by women's teams:
Team, Streak, Year Began
1. Georgetown, 16 years, 1988
2. Brigham Young, 15 years, 1989
2. Providence, 15 years, 1989
4. Colorado, 12 years, 1992
5. Stanford, 11 years, 1993
6. North Carolina State, 9 years, 1995
7. Washington, 7 years, 1997
8. North Carolina, 6 years, 1998
8. Villanova, 6 years, 1998
8. Arizona State, 6 years, 1998
Rare Double: Washington's cross country teams achieved a rare feat last season, placing both teams into the field of 31 for the NCAA Championships for just the third time in school history. The feat had not been accomplished since the 1989 NCAA Championships in Annapolis, Md., at which Al Hjort led the Husky men to a fourth-place team finish, the best ever by a UW men's or women's cross country or track and field team. The only other season in which both the UW men's and women's programs have qualified for national cross country competition was in 1977, prior to women's cross country's inclusion into the NCAA in 1981. Washington's women placed 12th that season at the AIAW National Championships, while the Husky men took 13th at the NCAA meet in Spokane, Wash.
2004 Season Preview: Three UW men's runners from the seven which earned a 21st-place finish at the 2003 NCAA Championships return in 2004, though only one -- junior captain Mark Mandi -- will be available to head coach Greg Metcalf to start the season, with sophomores Mike Sayenko and Carl Moe sidelined by injury. Fellow co-captain Andy Fader will be called upon to fill a spot in the top-five, with sophomore Travis Boyd and redshirt freshman Adam Shimer also expected to battle for top spots. Don't count out a talented freshman group, however, led by 2003 California state runner-up Jeremy Mineau and Caleb Knox, the nation's ninth-ranked prep indoors at 3,000 meters. Prep All-American Tom Wyatt of Tacoma's Charles Wright Academy, meanwhile, will start the season in rehab with Sayenko and Moe, nursing a bad back. After breaking in six new faces in a 19th-place NCAA finish in 2003, the Husky women return all but one of their top-seven from a year ago, including senior co-captain Lindsey Egerdahl, the team's top finisher from the national meet. Egerdahl and fellow captain Laura Halverson will lead a squad that includes 12 different women who ran in UW's top-seven at least once in 2003. Headlined by stellar sophomores Amy Lia, Dallon Williams, Brianna McLeod, Marie Foushee and Kira Harrison, the group also includes senior Angela Wishaar and sophomore Alison Tubbs, both of whom made significant strides in the offseason and should challenge for top-seven spots in 2004. A relatively light schedule which includes several Northwest competitions and just one Midwest trip -- to the Pre-National Meet on Oct. 16 -- should give head coach Greg Metcalf a good chance to mix up his lineups before selecting a group of 16 to take to the Pac-10 Championships in Berkeley, Calif., on Oct. 30.
Meet the Coaches: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his third year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his eighth year overall at the University. In seven seasons at Washington, Metcalf has guided the women's cross-country team to seven-straight NCAA appearances, and led the UW men to their first NCAA appearance since 1993. Metcalf has coached nine All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 65 NCAA qualifiers and 13 school-record setters. A 1993 graduate of Washington, Metcalf was a two-time All-American for the Huskies in the steeplechase. Metcalf is joined on the coaching staff by former All-Americans David Bazzi, the UW's school-record holder at both 5,000 and 10,000 meters, and Kelly (MacDonald) Strong, a five-time All-American and three-time Pac-10 Champion at Arizona State University.