WSU Men 20th, Women 28th in Blue Races at Pre-Nationals Cross Country Meet

Oct. 16, 2004

Terre Haute, Ind. - The Washington State men's team finished 20th and the Cougar women finished 28th in their respective section races at the NCAA Pre-National Cross Country Meet Saturday, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at Terre Haute, Ind.

Seniors Danny Wolf and Mike Heidt had an outstanding day, finishing the 8,000m men's Blue race in 19th (24:30) and 27th (24:35) places respectively. The tandem ran close together for most of the race with Heidt catching Wolf with 400 meters left. Wolf stepped it up in the last 300 meters and passed several competitors on his way to a top 20 finish.

'Danny and Mike had great races,' said WSU Head Coach Jason Drake. 'They ran smart and finished strong. It's the best I've ever seen them look in a Cougar uniform.'

Also scoring for the men's team were sophomores Andrew Jones (120th) and Alex Grant (132nd), redshirt sophomore Ryan Freimuth (158th), redshirt freshman Daniel Frederick (199th) and sophomore Matt Knoff (215th). The Cougar men ran to a 20th place finish, beating No. 27 Georgia in a tough field of 37 teams featuring 12 of the top 30 teams in the nation.

'Outside of Wolf and Heidt, the rest of the men had a pretty average day,' Drake said. 'They weren't bad, just more average than we had hoped. Andrew Jones finished better than last year and we had Matt Knoff battling back from an injury. We wanted a top 20 finish and we landed right there at 20th, a little lower in the field than last year but still a good showing.'

The women's team had a disappointing day, finishing 28th in the 37 team women's Blue race. Leading the Cougars, freshman Haley Paul finished 112th (22:17) among 252 runners. Sophomore Kayle Peterson ran to a 134th place finish with senior Ana Cabrera finishing 138th. Freshmen Collier Lawerence (160th) and Isley Gonzalez (181st), sophomore Natalie Smith (190th) and senior Molly Bull (209th) rounded out the Cougar scorers.

'Overall, the women just had a tough day,' Drake said. 'The results weren't what we had hoped for. The women seem to be having a tough time in these bigger races and just didn't compete well. We'll have to spend some time figuring out what's going wrong. Haley Paul did have a good race and for her to come in here as a freshman in her first Pre-Nationals race and have good race is really encouraging.'

The Pre-Nationals featured 87 teams on both the men's and women's side and divided the competitors into two seeded heats determined by the NCAA Cross Country Sub-Committee. The Blue and White heat races had the top-ranked programs divided equally among them to ensure top competition in each race.

Colorado took the men's Blue race with Matt Gonzales (23:47) of New Mexico taking the individual title. Ryan Hall (23:54) won the men's White race leading his Stanford team to a first place finish. Stanford also won the women's Blue race led by Alicia Craig's (20:20) individual win. Colorado won the women's White race led by individual winner Renee Metevier (20:03).

A second team of Cougar harriers traveled to Cheney, Wash., Saturday to compete in the Eastern Washington University Cross Country Invitational. The WSU women were represented in the 5,000m race by sophomore Karen DeMartini (30th), senior Julia Corbett (38th) and freshmen Eileen Morley (39th) and Michelle DeCourcey (54th). On the men's side, Geoff Casazza was the only WSU scorer in the men's 8,000m race with a 10th place finish. WSU did not run full teams in the men's and women's races and did not score in the team competitions.

The Cougars will have a week off before heading to Berkeley, Calif., to compete in the Pac-10 Conference Championships Oct. 30.

NCAA Pre-National Cross Country Meet (LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, Terre Haute, Ind. 8,000m)October 16, 2004

Men's Blue Race Top Team Results: 1. Colorado 63; 2. Cal Poly - SLO 165; 3. Georgetown 172; 4. Arizona State 176; 5. Air Force 216; 6. Indiana 235; 7. Butler 257; 8. Iona 265; 9. Florida 329; 10. New Mexico 344. 20. Washington State 456.

Top Five Individuals: 1. Matt Gonzales (New Mexico) 23:47.2; 2. Brent Vaughn (Colorado) 23:48.1; 3. Benson Chesang (Kansas) 23:54.6; 4. Bret Schoolmeester (Colorado) 23:57.5; 5. Sean Jefferson (Indiana) 24:10.4.

WSU Results: 19. Danny Wolf 24:30; 27. Mike Heidt 24:35; 120. Andrew Jones 25:26; 132. Alex Grant 25:31, 158. Ryan Freumuth 25.48, 199. Daniel Frederick, 215. Matt Knoff 26:36.

NCAA Pre-National Cross Country Meet (LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, Terre Haute, Ind. 6,000m)October 16, 2004

Women's Blue Race Top Team Results: 1. Stanford 49; 2. Notre Dame 111; 3. North Carolina 129; 4. Missouri 174; 5. Brigham Young 192; 6. Georgia 261; 7. Princeton 305; 8. Indiana 309; 9. Idaho 339; 10. UCLA 344. 28. Washington State 725.

Top Five Individuals: 1. Alicia Craig (Stanford) 20:20.4; 2. Carol Henry (North Carolina) 20:23.6; 3. Molly Huddle (Notre Dame) 20:29.3; 4. Laura Turner (Brigham Young) 20:30.7; 5. Erin Donohue (North Carolina) 20:36.9.

WSU Results: 112. Haley Paul 22:17; 134. Kayle Peterson 22:28; 138. Ana Cabrera 22:32; 160. Collier Lawrence 22:44; 181. Isley Gonzalez 22:57; 191. Natalie Smith 23:03; 209. Molly Bull 23:18.

EWU Cross Country Invitational (EWU Sport and Recreation Center, Cheney, Wash. 8,000m)October 16, 2004

Men's Team Results: 1. Portland State 27; 2. EWU 65; 3.Gonzaga 71; 4. University of Calgary 86; 5. Idaho 133; 6. Montana 181.

WSU Results: 10. Geoff Casazza 26:26.3; Jonathan Manthey DNF.

EWU Cross Country Invitational (EWU Sport and Recreation Center, Cheney, Wash. 5,000m)October 16, 2004

Women's Team Results: 1. University of Calgary 33; 2. Oregon State 47; 3. Portland State 73; 4. Gonzaga 99; 4. EWU 99; 6. Montana 175.

Top Five Individuals: 1. Shannon Slater-Popowich (University of Calgary) 18:31.7; 2. Ashley Younce (Oregon State) 18:48.6; 3. Jill Semenza (Gonzaga) 19:06.4; 4. Kaitlin Poggi (Oregon State) 19:12.7; 5. Renee Kaylor (University of Calgary) 19:15.0.

WSU Results: 30. Karen DeMartini 20:29; 38 Julia Corbett 20:46; 39. Eileen Morley 20:48; 54. Michelle DeCourcey.

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