Saturday, September 15, 2007

Jon Harding sets course record in winning Sundodger Invitational...

Jon Harding of the University of Washington cruises to victory in the Sundodger Invitational cross country meet at Seattle's Lincoln Park. /photo by Paul Merca

SEATTLE--University of Washington junior Jon Harding of Issaquah emerged victorious in the Sundodger Invitational cross country meet Saturday at Seattle’s Lincoln Park, crushing the course record for the eight-kilometer (4.97 miles) distance by six seconds.

After running with his teammates through most of the first loop of the four-lap course, Harding took command midway through the race, and cruised to victory, running 23:36, beating the meet and course record of 23:42 set by Paul Kezes of Western Washington University in 2002.

Paul Limpf (23:46) of Eastern Washington University finished second, while Andrew Jones of Washington State (24:02) placed third.

The host University of Washington Huskies placed three other runners in the top ten, including sophomore Kelly Spady (5th, 24:14), freshman Max O’Donoghue-McDonald (6th, 24:15), and senior Carl Moe (8th, 24:20).

In the team scoring, the Huskies took home the team title, scoring 31 points over Washington State’s 52, with UC-Davis finishing third with 116 points.

While Husky coach Greg Metcalf admitted in an interview on that the rankings are a bit insignificant early in the season, the victory by the Huskies (ranked 8th in the West pre-season polls) over their cross-state rivals may possibly vault them over the Cougars (ranked 6th in the West pre-season polls) when the next US Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) polls release.

NOTE ON RANKINGS (added at 10 pm): The University of Washington men's team is ranked #30 nationally in the USTFCCCA pre-season polls, and the women are ranked #19 nationally.

Where I see a problem with the rankings (granted it's pre-season, and those who vote probably are basing logic on last year's results, returning lettermen, etc.) is that in the men's polls, the UW is only ranked #8 in the West region polls, while Washington State is ranked #6 in the West in the same poll.

If you follow this logic, shouldn't Washington State be ranked higher nationally? Or is there a separate coaches poll for both regional and national? If someone out there knows the answer, please let me know!!!

Washington junior Anita Campbell (#521 above; /photo by Paul Merca) from Vancouver, BC ran away with the victory in the women’s invitational race, covering the six-kilometer (3.73 miles) course in 20:20, which was a seventeen-second victory over teammate Katie Follett (20:37).

Freshman Mel Lawrence from Reno, Nevada, the 2006 USA national junior champion in the steeplechase and a member of Team USA’s national cross country squad at the 2006 world junior championships, made her Husky debut, finishing third in 20:58, overtaking Seattle Pacific sophomore Jessica Pixler (21:04), the Pan-Am junior 1500 meter champ for fourth on the final loop.

Commenting afterwards, Campbell said that despite the absence of some of the top teams from this meet, "It was a fun and positive experience and I'm looking forward to seeing what else this season brings for me. Katie and Mel ran great and Dani (Schuster, 10th overall) finished really good...all positive things that our team can bring away from Saturday."

In the open men’s 8-k race, John Riak of St. Martin’s College was the winner in 24:35, while Spokane Community College took team honors with 64 points. The women’s open race was won by Emily Timmer of the University of Puget Sound in 21:30 for the 6-kilometer course, while Simon Fraser University took the team title with 50 points.

The Huskies, who entered the season ranked third in the West region USTFCCCA pre-season polls, took home the team title with 27 points. Idaho finished second with 76 points, while the University of San Francisco placed third with 104 points.

The Washington men’s and women’s teams next compete at the Bill Dellinger Invitational, hosted by the University of Oregon in Springfield, Oregon on September 29th. Other team members will compete that same day at the Willamette Invitational in Salem, Oregon.

To view photos of Saturday's Sundodger Invitational, click here.

RESULTS--Sundodger Invitational, Lincoln Park, Seattle WA 9/15/07

INVITATIONAL MEN (8 kilometers)

1 #542 Jon Harding Washington 4:45 23:36 1
2 #102 Paul Limpf Eastern Washington 4:47 23:46 2
3 #565 Andrew Jones Washington St. 4:50 24:02 3
4 #456 Jake Schmitt U-Washington 4:52 X24:11
5 #548 Kelly Spady Washington 4:53 24:14 4
6 #545 Max O'Donoghue-McDo Washington 4:53 24:15 5
7 #184 Diego Moreno Guzman Idaho 4:54 24:19 6
8 #544 Carl Moe Washington 4:54 24:20 7
9 #612 Anthony Tomsich Western Washington 4:55 24:22 8
10 #568 Chris Williams Washington St. 4:55 24:24 9


1 #521 Anita Campbell Washington 5:27 20:20 1
2 #525 Katie Follett Washington 5:32 20:37 2
3 #528 Marie Lawrence Washington 5:38 20:58 3
4 #358 Jessica Pixler Seattle Pacific 5:40 21:04 4
5 #93 Mattie Bridgmon Eastern Washington 5:43 21:19 5
6 #462 Kim Conley UC Davis 5:44 21:22 6
7 #331 Adriane Puetz Santa Clara 5:45 21:25 7
8 #88 Sarna Becker Club Northwest 5:45 21:25
9 #286 Jennifer Hartford San Francisco 5:46 21:30 8
10 #533 Danielle Schuster Washington 5:48 21:35 9

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