Thursday, September 16, 2010

Huskies prepare to host Sundodger Invitational Saturday...

The University of Washington cross country team prepares to host the Sundodger Invitational Saturday morning at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, with close to a thousand athletes participating in a series of eight races.

Kicking off the morning is the women's 6k open race at 9am, followed by the men's open 8k at 9:40am. 

The number 3 ranked Washington women's team springs into action at 10:25 am, with several of its highly regarded freshman class running their first race as Huskies, including Foot Locker national champion Megan Goethals (left/photo by Paul Merca), along with true frosh Liberty Miller and Mackenzie Carter.

A large host of Husky women are expected to run Saturday, led by senior Kailey Campbell, who picked up her first career win in the dual meet against the Cougars. Sophomore Allison Linnell, seventh at the Sundodger a year ago, and sophomore Kayla Evans will both compete. They along with Campbell all ran at the 2009 NCAA Championships, where UW brought home the third-place trophy. Sophomore Lindsay Flanagan was 10th last year as a true freshman and a frequent member of UW's top-seven a year ago. Justine Johnson, coming off an excellent spring on the track, leads a group of five redshirt freshmen.

Upperclassmen Mel Lawrence, Christine Babcock, and Kenna Patrick are being held out of the Sundodger.


At 11:00 am, the men's invitational 8k race gets underway, with the Dawgs planning to run close to a full team.

Washington will be led by juniors Max O'Donoghue-McDonald and Cameron Quackenbush, and sophomore Joey Bywater. Those three ran as a pack in Ephrata, finishing within a second of each other to help UW defeat the Cougars. All three have NCAA Championships experience coming off UW's 18th-place finish a year ago, as does senior Jordan Swarthout, a two-time NCAA participant who is expected to compete.

Redshirt freshman Gareth Gilna showed major progress as UW's No. 4 runner vs. WSU and looks to build on that this Saturday. James Cameron was eighth at the Sundodger a year ago as a true freshman, and junior David McCary looks to break in the top-10 after placing 13th last year. Redshirt freshman Taylor Carlson could be another to watch as he has made major improvements from one year ago.

All of Washington's NCAA Division I schools--Seattle University, Gonzaga, and Eastern Washington--will be in attendance, with the exception of Washington State University, which is taking the weekend off.

Other NCAA D-I schools expected to run include Pepperdine, Nevada, Idaho, and Portland State.

Seattle Pacific will run a full squad, along with the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran.

After the men's invitational race, four high school races are on the docket over a 5k course starting at noon and running every half hour. Prep teams in attendance include Bellarmine Prep, Cascade, Davis, Garfield, Juanita, Kent Meridian, South Kitsap, and Wahluke.

LINKS:  Here are a couple of links that may be of interest to readers...first is an interview with former Seattle Pacific standout Jessica Pixler, courtesy of runcolo.com, with an update on how she is progressing at the University of Colorado.

Pixler is attending graduate school at Colorado, and has NCAA eligibility left in outdoor track.

You can read the story here...

Next is a link from Track & Field News via longandstrong.com in which former Gatorade and Oakley executive Bill Schmidt was asked on his thoughts about the USA Track & Field CEO position (this was written before Doug Logan was terminated).  You can read it here...

Here's a piece written in 1999 in soccertimes.com, in which Logan was characterized as one who tried to fit in with the soccer crowd, but was in the wrong sport.

Logan's reign as commissioner of Major League Soccer ended partly because, "he had a habit of making enemies with people he really needed to work with."

You can read it here...

UPDATE (11:45 am)--Here's letsrun.com's Weldon Johnson with his analysis on why Logan is gone...

Finally, here's an interview in RunningTimes.com with USATF Chief Public Affairs Officer Jill Geer on the end of the Logan era, which spanned just over two years.  You can read it here...

NOTE:  The University of Washington sports information office contributed to this report.

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