Sunday, November 15, 2009

As expected, Washington Huskies earn at-large berth to NCAA championships...

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the University of Washington men's cross country team, led by senior Colton Tully-Doyle (left/photo by Paul Merca) was announced as one of the 13 schools receiving an at-large berth to next week's NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The Huskies, who entered the weekend ranked #17 in the most recent USTFCCCA poll, earned the right to contest for the national title with its fourth place showing at Saturday's NCAA West Regional championships, behind only #1 ranked Stanford, #7 ranked Portland, and #3 ranked Oregon.

The Huskies also benefited by winning the Notre Dame Invitational and finishing fifth in their section of the ultra-competitive Pre-Nationals meet on the same Terre Haute course that hosts the upcoming NCAA championship meet.

This will be the fifth NCAA team appearance in the last seven years for the men. Leading the Dawgs this year has been the senior trio of Jake Schmitt, Kelly Spady, and Colton Tully-Doyle. All three competed at NCAAs last year. The best finish for a men's cross country squad under Coach Greg Metcalf was 12th in 2006, a spot this year's group will certainly be striving to surpass.

This is just the fifth time in more than 30 years of UW cross country that both the men's and women's teams will be competing at the NCAA Championships, but the second season in a row. Last year while the women finished first, the men earned an 18th-place finish and returned six of the seven runners from that NCAA run. Metcalf also led both his teams to NCAA bids in 2003, and Husky men's and women's teams each qualified in 1977 and 1989 as well.

Indiana State University will host the Championships, November 23, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. The men’s race will begin at approximately 12:08 p.m. Eastern time, followed by the women’s race at approximately 12:58 p.m. Both championship races will be broadcast live on Versus Network and streamed online via

The complete release from the NCAA can be read here...

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