Huskies 12th at NCAA Cross Country Championships
Nov. 20, 2006
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Washington's 22nd-ranked men's cross country team earned its best national finish in more than a decade Monday, knocking off two top-10 opponents en route to a 12th-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Washington was also represented at the meet by two Husky women, who did not qualify as a team.
Junior Jeremy Mineau was 53rd and senior Mike Sayenko was 65th for the Washington men, whose 12th-place effort equals the team's third-best ever, and is the highest by a Husky men's team since an eighth-place finish in 1993. Second-ranked Colorado upset consensus No. 1 Wisconsin for the team title, while BYU's Josh Rohatinsky captured individual NCAA champion honors.
'Our men's team is pretty excited,' said 10th-year head coach Greg Metcalf. 'The course conditions weren't the best out there today, but our team was really focused and did what they knew they had to do.'
An All-Pac-10 and All-West Region performer this year, Mineau hung near the front of the pack for much of the race, finishing barely a minute behind the race winner, in 32 minutes even. Sayenko, also an All-West Region performer this year, was just 12 seconds back, with junior Carl Moe (86th, 32:28) senior Travis Boyd (171st, 33:21) and junior Adam Shimer (179th, 33:29) rounding out the top-five.
Both Mineau's and Sayenko's finishes were significant improvements over their efforts at the same meet last year, when a Washington team with high aspirations ran just 27th overall. Mineau improved by 40 places, from 93rd in 2005 to 53rd Monday, while Sayenko lopped a whopping 109 places off of his 2005 effort of 174th. Moe's 86th-place finish, too, was a signifcant improvement over his previous NCAA Championships effort, a 145th-place finish in 2003.
'Mike and Carl, in particular, ran two of the best races they've ever run,' said Metcalf. 'Jeremy was a little under the weather today and probably could have finished even higher than he did, but he battled hard and was still our No. 1 guy when all was said and done. Travis, too, was running right with Carl at 5,000 meters before sliding back in the second part of the race. I thought that if all things went perfect today, we could finish eighth or ninth, so to be 12th in this outstanding field is a great result.'
Most pleasing for Metcalf is the fact that three of Washington's top-five, and four of its top-seven finishers will return for 2007, when the Huskies will be bidding for a third-straight NCAA Championships invitation.
'Just to get back here for a second-straight year was a good step for our guys, but to not be satisfied with that and to really put it all together on race day for a terrific finish says a lot about where this team is headed in the future,' Metcalf said. 'That's a real credit to our fifth-year seniors who won't be with us next year, but have really laid a terrific foundation for our future.'
Washington also made history with outstanding finishes on the women's side. Junior Amy Lia and sophomore Anita Campbell, each of whom qualified individually via an at-large process, each placed among the top-100 finishers overall, and were among the top-20 finishers not on competing teams.
Lia's 55th-place effort, in 21:43, was the best by a Husky since 2001, and a 53-spot improvement over her performance at the 2003 NCAA Championship meet. The reigning NCAA 1,500-meter champion, Lia was Washington's leader at three races this season, including a third-place team finish at the Pac-10 Championships.
The Huskies were led on three other occasions by Campbell, who placed 89th overall, in 22:05. Campbell also competed individually at the NCAA Championships in 2005, placing 93rd, and has now competed at three of a possible four NCAA Championship meets during her Washington track and field/cross country career.
'I thought that both of those ladies ran outstanding races,' Metcalf said. 'It's hard when you don't have your teammates around you, when you don't have that motivation to go pass three or four more girls and earn those points for your team. This is really a team sport, so to go out there and just run for yourself can be tough. Both Amy and Anita ran terrific today, but we definitely need to get five more girls to this meet next year to run with them. That will make them, and everyone else, even better.'
Top-ranked Stanford captured its second-straight NCAA cross country title, and its third since 2003, edging No. 2 Colorado by a 195-223 margin. Texas Tech's Sally Kipyego was the individual champion, in 21:39.
For complete results from the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships, visit www.GoHuskies.com.
NCAA Cross Country Championships
Terre Haute, Ind.; LaVerne Gibson Course
Nov. 20, 2006
Women's Results (6,000m)
Top-15 Teams: 1. Stanford 195; 2. Colorado 223; 3. Michigan 233; 4. Wisconsin 262; 5. Arkansas 286; 6. Texas Tech 300; 7. Providence 301; 8. Illinois 304; 9. UC Santa Barbara 318; 10. Duke 320, 11. Minnesota 335; 12. Michigan State 358; 13. Arizona State 375; 14. Virginia 383; 15. Georgia 401.
Individual Champion: Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech, 20:12
Husky Finishers: 55. Amy Lia, 21:43; 89. Anita Campbell, 22:05.
Men's Results (10,000m)
Top-15 Teams: 1. Colorado 94; 2. Wisconsin 142; 3. Iona 172; 4. Stanford 195; 5. Oregon 196, Arkansas 196; 7. Texas 246; 8. William & Mary, 292; 9. Providence 293; 10. Oklahoma State 356; 11. BYU 367; 12. Washington 414; 13. Cal Poly 441; 14. Virginia 446; 15. Louisville 458.
Individual Champion: Josh Rohatinsky, BYU, 30:45
Husky Finishers: 53. Jeremy Mineau 32:00; 65. Mike Sayenko 32:12; 86. Carl Moe, 32:28; 171. Travis Boyd, 33:21; 179. Adam Shimer, 33:29; 193. Kevin Peters, 33:40; 220. Jon Harding, 34:07
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