Monday, November 19, 2007

Washington finishes eighth at NCAA cross country championships, while David Kinsella earns eighth place...



Katie Follett was the Huskies' top finisher at the NCAA cross country championships in Terre Haute, crossing the line 19th in 20:43. /photo by Paul Merca

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana
—The University of Washington women’s cross county team earned its highest team finish in school history, as the Huskies finished eighth at the NCAA cross country championships in Terre Haute, Indiana on Monday, scoring 358 points, and one point behind seventh-place Northern Arizona.

The Huskies were led by sophomore Katie Follett, who continued her meteoric improvement this season, with her 19th place finish (15th team), finishing the 6000-meter course in 20:43, and catching her teammate Anita Campbell (20th, 16th team), who was also credited with the same time.

Following Campbell was junior Amanda Miller in 108th (79th team), finishing in 21:36, followed by freshman Mel Lawrence in 117th (85th team) with a time of 21:42.

There was a 44-second gap between Lawrence, and the Huskies’ final scorer, senior Trish Rasmussen, who crossed the line 201st (163rd team) in 22:26, which was a significant difference in the Huskies’ eighth place finish and a higher placing on the podium.

Rounding out the Huskies were junior Dani Schuster in 236th (198, team) running 23:07, and freshman Lauren Saylor in 253rd (215 team) with a time of 24:25.

Among significant runners with Washington ties in the women’s race, North Carolina’s Brie Felnagle, the 2007 NCAA 1500m champ from Tacoma, finished 11th in 20:29, and junior Mattie Bridgmon from Eastern Washington placed 64th in 21:17.

Texas Tech junior Sally Kipyego took command of the race early, and cruised to victory, winning in a time of 19:31, winning by 17 seconds over Colorado junior Jenny Barringer, with sophomore Susan Kuijken third in 19:58.

Stanford successfully defended its team title, led by senior Arianna Lambie’s ninth place finish in 20:19. The Cardinal scored 145 points to beat second place Oregon’s 177 points. Florida State was third with 236.

Rounding out the top eight were Arizona State (251) in fourth; Michigan State (321) fifth; Illinois (331) sixth; Northern Arizona (357) seventh; and the Huskies in eighth at 358.

In the men’s race, Liberty’s Josh McDougal used a strong final mile to defeat Oregon’s Galen Rupp and win the mens individual title, in a time of 29:23, holding off Rupp by one second, with Northern Arizona’s Lopez Lomong a distant third in 29:46 over the ten-kilometer course.

Rupp’s second place finish (1st team) propelled the Ducks to its first NCAA cross country team championship since 1977 as the Ducks scored 85 points to outlast Iona (113) and surprising Oklahoma State (180), coached by former Olympia high school standout Dave Smith.

Rupp was UO's highest finisher since his personal coach, Alberto Salazar, placed second in 1979. UO's other four scorers also earned All-America honors, and included junior Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott (ninth), sophomores Diego Mercado (30th) and Kenny Klotz (37th), and redshirt freshman Daniel Mercado (41st).

The University of Portland, ranked number 8 in the final pre-championship polls, and bolstered by three Washington prep standouts among their top three, David Kinsella, Michael Kilburg, and John Moore, finished a disappointing 14th with 424 points.


Kinsella (Inglemoor HS) finished eighth in 29:53, while Kilburg (O’Dea HS) finished 66th in 30:51. John Moore from Olympia HS finished 169th in 31:41, running most of the way with a side stitch which hampered his performance.

Kinsella (left, /photo by Paul Merca) was in the lead at the halfway point of the 10K LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course and stayed in the lead pack from start-to-finish.

“I was thrilled with my performance,” Kinsella said. “I didn’t want to downplay my potential coming in, and it’s not like I lacked confidence, but I did better than what I had initially anticipated. On any given day a lot of people can be in top 10, and fortunately things went my way. The pace was a little slower out of the gates than I expected, which benefited the way I run. Everyone knew as the race went on that it was going at the kickers’ pace; I’m not a kicker, so to just hang around and create some separation from the rest of the pack really was beneficial. Hopefully next year I can be up there at the end as well.”

The Pilots had three other Washington prep standouts running Monday, including Justin Houck (Ferris/Spokane), who was 130th in 31:33; Woodinville’s Colin Longmuir, who finished 158th in 31:36; and Gig Harbor’s Tommy Betterbed who was 194th in 31:59.

Other significant finishers with Washington ties included Jeff Helmer (Everett HS), who finished 91st in 31:05 for Arizona State.

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