Today's championship race was contested under sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid 50s.
Kendra Schaaf (leading pack/photo by Paul Merca), the sophomore from Canada, led the way for the Huskies with a second place finish, running 19:52, as she battled with Illinois' Angela Bizzari, before Bizarri emerged with the win in 19:47.
Senior Katie Follett placed 23rd in 20:32, and was followed by junior Mel Lawrence in 31st at 20:39. Sophomore Christine Babcock placed 34th (20:43) , followed by redshirt freshman Allison Linnell in 136th place (21:35).
Freshman Kayla Evans was 166th, followed by junior Kailey Campbell who finished 182nd, a disappointing finish for her, considering nine days earlier, she finished fourth in the NCAA West Regionals.
Colorado's Jenny Barringer, the American record holder in the steeplechase faded badly over the last 3 kilometers and finished 163rd.
Schaaf, the Canadian sophomore, was in third early in the race, and was slightly surprised to see first, Barringer, then Susan Kuijken come back to her. Meanwhile she was in her own little battle with eventual winner Angela Bizzarri, the reigning NCAA 5000 champ outdoors.
“She (Bizzarri) and I went back and forth—she would throw a little surge, then I’d surge back.
Bizarri pulled away with about 500 meters to go to get the win.
The gap between Washington’s fourth and fifth runners was perhaps the major difference between the Huskies defending their title, and obtaining a third place trophy, as the gap was 52 seconds.
Washington State's Lisa Egami finished 169th in a time of 21:50.
Schaaf, Follett, Lawrence and Babcock each earned All-America honors for their efforts.
The 15th ranked Washington men's team placed 18th with a team score of 470, as Oklahoma State, coached by former Olympia prep standout Dave Smith, won the NCAA title with a score of 127 points.
Senior Kelly Spady led the Huskies with a 65th place finish (30:36). Colton Tully-Doyle was 72nd in 30:39, followed by fellow senior Jake Schmitt in 104th at 31:00.
Washington's other scorers were Cameron Quackenbush at 159th, in 31:27, followed by Max O’Donoghue-McDonald at 183rd in 31:42.
Jordan Swarthout (32:07) and Joey Bywater (32:46) rounded out Washington’s runners.
Among other Washingtonians in the race, Portland's Tommy Betterbed, a Gig Harbor HS graduate, and the fifth place finisher in last week's NCAA west regionals, crossed the line in a time of 31;02 good for 107th place.
Other Portland runners from Washington included Matt Frerker from Skyline HS in Sammamish, who ran 32:21.
Stanford's Jake Riley from Bellingham was 54th in 30:31, and teammate Miles Unterreiner from Gig Harbor was 117th in 31:06.
Oregon's Jordan McNamara, who went to school at Auburn Riverside, finished 179th in a time of 31;41.