Schadler, Fay Lead Huskies To Top-15 NCAA Finishes
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For just the fifth time in school history, but the third time in the past seven seasons, both Washington men's and women's cross country teams placed in the top-15 on the same day at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. The 23rd-ranked women's team outperformed its ranking more than any other team in the field to finish 11th, and then the 12th-ranked Husky men's team placed 13th overall at Apalachee Regional Park in Florida.
The Huskies received All-America efforts from their lead Dawgs today. Allie Schadler capped her great cross country career with her best NCAA finish, placing 25th for a second consecutive All-America honor, one spot better than she placed back in the spring. And Brian Fay earned All-America honors in his first NCAA meet, as the Irishman finished in 38th-place.
Schadler's All-America honor marks the eighth year in a row that the UW women have had at least one All-American. Fay's honor is the first for the men since 2018. Schadler, the Tubac, Ariz. native, joins a select group of just nine Husky women to earn multiple All-America honors.
Both Husky squads improved on their finishes from the 2020-21 championships, which were held back in March due to the pandemic. Last time out the women were 13th, and improved to 11th today. The men moved up from 25th in the spring to 13th today. The last time both UW teams were in the top-15 was 2018 when the men were sixth and the women were ninth. Prior to that the Dawgs did it in 2015, but from there it's all the way back to 1989 to find the next pair of top-15 finishes.
The women came in ranked 23rd but quickly showed they were not letting that dictate their expectations. The team was 17th at the 2k split and then at the halfway point the Huskies had improved another four spots to 13th. The Dawgs climbed two more places by the end to take 11th with 366 points, just 16 points shy of 10th. North Carolina State got the win with 84 points.
"It was really a pretty good day," said Director Maurica Powell. "Even though we were ranked 23rd, we thought we could be top-10 and we came up just short. The attitude and the effort were on point and they kept battling the whole way. We are healthy and I think it sets us up really well for track season."
Schadler was the third overall Pac-12 finisher today with her 25th-place finish in a fast time of 19:49 over the 6,000-meters. The Huskies then packed their two-through-five scorers within 13 seconds of each other. Haley Herberg placed 91st in 20:26, and then Sophie Cantine finished 102nd in 20:31. Madison Heisterman was 114th in 20:35, followed by Naomi Smith in 127th in 20:39. Anna Gibson was 191st and Sophie O'Sullivan had to show grit to get over the line after stumbling late, as she was 244th today.
"The approach was to have our best race of the season and I think they did that," said Powell "Schadler probably had the best race of her career. She ran great not far off the leaders. Haley got off the line poorly and never got good positioning but she didn't ever give up, she kept scraping, and I think she showed her character to fight for her teammates today. Sophie and Madi and Naomi were all right about where I thought they'd be, so good, solid runs by those women."
The men ran in the top-10 for much of the race today but couldn't quite hang on to the top-10 position, finishing 13th with 373 points and just 17 points away from 10th. Northern Arizona got the team title for the second-straight meet with 92 points.
"It was a solid effort and a really consistent month of racing for our men starting with Pac-12s, then Regionals, and today," said Head Coach Andy Powell. "We came a long ways since the Wisconsin meet and we were really close today to being in the top-10 today but we finished right where we were ranked so you have to be pleased. We have a lot of men poised for some great things on the track, those who raced here today and many more beyond these seven."
Fay moved up at all but one of the splits, as he started out 97th but moved up to 50th at the 3k mark and he got into the top-40 for the first time with just 1k to go, and he held that to finish the 10,000-meters in 29:29.
Another Husky who charged through the field to end his cross country career on a high note was Tibebu Proctor. Proctor was 139th at the first split, and reached 100th at the 4k mark. The school record-holder in the 10k on the track continued to move up and wound up 75th in 29:58, for his best NCAA XC finish since 2018.
Kieran Lumb, the West Region Champ, was running in the top-50 for most of the race but then had a rough patch from the 6k to the 8k and dropped down out of the top-100. But Lumb would rally late and fight back to pass forty more runners again to place 87th overall in 30:05.
A fourth Husky broke the top-100, as Joe Waskom had his best NCAA effort, placing 99th in 30:09. Leo Daschbach then capped the scoring with a 134th-place finish, much improved from his 199th-place finish from the spring. Isaac Green was 152nd today in 30:35 and Luke Houser placed 166th in 30:44.
"Brian Fay was great today and showed how talented he is and I'm excited for his track season," said Powell. "Tibs, for that to be his final cross country race, he left it all out there and was huge for us today. Kieran (Lumb) hit a bit of a struggle at one point but then he got a second wind and he really got some valuable points back for his team today so that was big. Joe (Waskom) and Leo (Daschbach) also had their best NCAA runs today and are set up for big track seasons."
Washington will now look ahead to the indoor track season in the Dempsey, beginning in January.
Washington Cross Country
2021 NCAA Championships
Nov. 20, 2021
Tallahassee, Fla. | Apalachee Regional Park
Team Results: 1. North Carolina State 84; 2. BYU 122; 3. New Mexico 130; 4. Colorado 187; 5. Notre Dame 215; 6. Stanford 233; 7. Minnesota 313; 8. Arkansas 328; 9. Iowa State 332; 10. Ole Miss 350; 11. Washington 366; 12. Wisconsin 376; 13. Oklahoma State 404; 14. North Carolina 405; 15. Alabama 428; 16. Michigan State 438; 17. Colorado State 455; 18. Georgetown 464; 19. Florida State 468; 20. Utah 483; 21. West Virginia 489; 22. Michigan 500; 23. Northern Arizona 532; 24. Oregon 534; 25. Harvard 541; 26. Providence 594; 27. Villanova 605; 28. Utah State 638; 29. Butler 660; 30. Syracuse 768; 31. Rice 811.
Individual Champion: Whittni Orton, BYU, 19:25.
Husky Finishers (255 entries): 25. Allie Schadler 19:49; 91. Haley Herberg 20:26; 102. Sophie Cantine 20:31; 114. Madison Heisterman 20:35; 127. Naomi Smith 20:39; 191. Anna Gibson 21:08; 244. Sophie O'Sullivan 22:40.
Team Results: 1. Northern Arizona 92; 2. Iowa State 137; 3. Oklahoma State 186; 4. Arkansas 195; 5. Stanford 236; 6. Tulsa 237; 7. BYU 246; 8. Colorado 249; 9. Notre Dame 290; 10. Wake Forest 356; 11. Wisconsin 361; 12. Harvard 364; 13. Washington 373; 14. Texas 393; 15. Ole Miss 395; 16. Portland 430; 17. Air Force 453; 18. North Carolina 460; 19. Syracuse 485; 20. Florida State 517; 21. Minnesota 518; 22. Georgetown 566; 23. Princeton 567; 24. Southern Utah 573; 25. Michigan 588; 26. Gonzaga 612; 27. Alabama 640; 28. Butler 643; 29. Oregon 655; 30. Michigan State 681; 31. Furman 688.
Individual Champion: Conner Mantz, BYU, 28:33.
Husky Finishers (253 entries): 38. Brian Fay 29:29; 75. Tibebu Proctor 29:58; 87. Kieran Lumb 30:05; 99. Joe Waskom 30:09; 134. Leo Daschbach 30:28; 152. Isaac Green 30:35; 166. Luke Houser 30:44.