Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lauren Saylor finishes 38th at World Cross; incoming UW recruit Kendra Schaff 20th

EDINBURGH, Great Britain--Running against some of the world’s best 19-and under runners, University of Washington freshman Lauren Saylor (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished 38th in the junior women’s six-kilometer race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships at Holyrood Park Sunday afternoon.

Saylor clocked 21:37 over the six-kilometer course, which included an ascent of the famous Haggis Knowe hill, a steep climb and descent for the athletes that offers a superb spectating position with views of the entire course.

The Clovis, California native was the USA’s fifth runner in, helping Team USA finish sixth in the team competition.

Afterwards, Saylor said “It was a great experience. I didn't have any serious goals in mind, as I didn't know what to expect. I just went out there, tried to have fun, and use this as a learning experience for the future. I was a bit back there, but I wanted to make sure that on the last lap, that I was going to crank it all the way.”

Kendra Schaff, who signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Washington this fall, finished 20th to lead Canada’s squad to a fifth place finish.

University of Washington track and cross country coach Greg Metcalf, who attended the world championships, said, “It’s really cool to see a current Husky and a Husky-to-be get an opportunity to run against the best runners in the world. It’s awesome for them, and it’s great for our program.”

“Before we came over here, I talked to Lauren about what the experience of the world cross country championships are all about. It was all about mixing it up with the best in the world and walking away and becoming a better distance runner from the experience.”

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