Friday, September 3, 2010

Huskies sweep Cougars in first known UW/WSU cross country dual meet...

EPHRATA, Washington--No Kendra Schaaf? No Mel Lawrence? No Christine Babcock? No Lauren Saylor? No super freshmen?

No problem!

Schaaf, second in last year's NCAA cross country meet, transferred to North Carolina over the summer, while Lawrence, Babcock and Saylor, who were on the 2008 national championship team, were held out of the meet.

University of Washington senior Kailey Campbell (left/photo by Paul Merca) from Ballard High School in Seattle made the most of her opportunity as she took command early and cruised through the 4-kilometer flat, grassy course surrounding the Ephrata High School soccer and softball complex to take home the victory in the first known dual cross country meet between the University of Washington and Washington State University.

After bolting out of the starting gate early, Campbell stretched out her lead to as much as 13 seconds before stopping the clock at 14:01, twelve seconds ahead of WSU freshman Ruby Roberts from Kingston HS.

The Dawgs used their depth to emerge victorious in the dual 24-33, as 2010 NACAC junior team member Lindsay Flanagan finished third in 14:16, followed by Kayla Evans in 14:22 in fourth, followed by Breanna Huschka in seventh at 14:43, and Alison Ponce rounding out the scoring in ninth at 15:06.

The Cougar scorers included Caroline Austin in fifth at 14:37, Allison Clark in sixth at 14:42, Emily Farrar in eighth at 14:54, and Sara Bobbe in twelfth at 15:11.

In contrast to Campbell's victory in the women's 4k race, the 20-plus starters in the men's 6k race ran in a tight pack for almost the first half of the race, with no one wanting to take command.

However, Washington's Cameron Quackenbush and Max O'Donoghue-McDonald, along with Washington State's Jono Lafler (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Justin Englund were positioned near the front of the peloton, poised to make a break once the racing began.

Shortly around 3 kilometers, Lafler slowly began accelerating the pace, with Quackenbush deciding to go with him, as they dropped Englund and O'Donoghue-McDonald.

Lafler, listed as a junior on the WSU roster out of Tahoma HS, began opening up on Quackenbush, and built a lead of five seconds. crossing the finish line in 18:23.

Washington's depth again prevailed over the Cougs as Quackenbush (18:28), Joey Bywater (18:28), O'Donoghue-McDonald (18:29), and Gareth Gilna (18:35) went 2-3-4-5, with Taylor Carlson finishing 11th in 18:54 to round out the Husky scorers.

Englund, who was up near the front early for WSU, faded to sixth in 18:40, while David Hickerson (7th, 18:49), freshman Kyle Boe from Vancouver's Columbia River (8th, 18:50), and freshman Mack Young from Redmond (9th, 18:53) rounded out the Cougar scorers.

"I was extremely pleased with the way everybody ran, especially with Jono winning the men's race, and with Ruby finishing second in the women's race. It was great to see," Cougar Head Coach Pete Julian said.

In assessing his team's performance against the Huskies, Julian added, "The best thing for me to take way from today was the way the freshmen ran, across the board. We recruited winners and competitors and this solidified what we considered an amazing freshman class. We saw athletes engage and not be intimidated. It was exciting."

His Husky counterpart Greg Metcalf said, "Both our teams ran well today, especially Kailey Campbell and our three veteran guys who ran a nice controlled race together."

"Kailey has come back as a senior and wants to make the most out of this year and it's always great to get that first career win. It's great to see all the progress Gareth Gilna has made since last spring, and nice to see some of the other youngsters like Taylor Carlson, Breanna Huschka, and Alison Ponce score points for us in an official race."

Both coaches were pleased with the turnout for the meet, held in Metcalf's home town of Ephrata, where he still owns school records in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs.

"It was great to see the town come out and support us today and hopefully we can continue to foster a new tradition with this meet," Metcalf said.

The Huskies' next meet is the Sundodger Invitational on September 18th at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, where it's expected that the vaunted women's freshman class, led by Foot Locker national champ Megan Goethals, and Nike Cross Nationals champ Katie Flood will make their debuts.

Washington State will compete on September 25th at the Community Colleges of Spokane Erik Anderson Invitational at Plantes Ferry Park in the Spokane Valley.

The UW release can be read here,
while the WSU release can be read here (note that times listed in this article were rounded up to whole seconds per cross country scoring rules; the race was hand-timed, but recorded in 1/100ths of a second, and is published in both schools' releases in 1/100ths).

NOTE: Thanks to the sports information offices of the UW & WSU for providing information for this article.

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