Friday, October 14, 2011

Huskies surprise everyone by winning Wisconsin adidas Invitational...

MADISON, Wisconsin--Just when you thought that the 2011 version of the Washington Huskies had absolutely no shot of winning a big meet, they do it.

Very few people outside the Husky program gave them much of anything going into the Wisconsin adidas Invitational, but the #24 Dawgs pulled off the upset, and probably vaulted themselves at least into the top ten teams in next week's USTFCCCA Division I poll after winning it all, beating 17 of the top 30 teams in the country in the biggest regular season meet of the year.

"Our goal coming in was just to run tough today," said Head Coach Greg Metcalf (cheering on Justine Johnson, #2762/photo by Mike Scott). "I think we did that. We really didn't have a perfect day but we were very solid. We wanted to work on some of the things that we didn't do well at the Griak meet, and I saw some improvements. It's a good midseason win for us but we've got some veterans that know there's plenty more to come."

Washington won with 199 points over the 6,000-meter course. Unranked Vanderbilt was also a surprise, placing second with 211 points. 14th-ranked Arizona was third (230), then two-time defending NCAA Champion Villanova, the nation's top-ranked team, was fourth with 232.

Sixth-ranked Stanford rounded out the top-five with 256 points. Second-ranked Providence, No. 7 New Mexico, No. 8 Syracuse, No. 9 Iowa State, No. 10 California, and No. 12 Oregon were also among the highly-ranked squads the Huskies outpaced.

The Huskies were led by sophomore Katie Flood's seventh place finish in 20:14, followed by Justine Johnson in 23rd at 20:38 and Lindsay Flanagan in 25th at 20:42. Senior Christine Babcock was 50th in 20:55, and Megan Goethals was 94th at 21:13 to round out the Washington scorers.

Defending NCAA champ Sheila Reid took the victory at 20:00 over Oregon's Jordan Hasay by two seconds.

This potentially makes the Pac-12 Championships in two weeks very interesting, with Colorado still the early favorite to win the first conference championship in the new 12-team league.

Courtesy of media partner Flotrack, here's the post-race interview with Katie Flood:

The men had a tough go, as the Huskies finished 31st in the 39 team field with 694 points, led by Joey Bywater's 46th place finish over the 8k course in 24:28.

Gareth Gilna was 88th at 24:45, followed by Aaron Nelson in 170th place at 25:17, then Robby Webster in 186th at 25:26, and Meron Simon in 204th at 25:36.

Lawi Lalang of Arizona took the individual win at 23:11, and the host Wisconsin Badgers won the team title with 66 points.

Results from the women's race at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational are available here, while the men's results are available here.

In Spokane, Andrew Kimpel was the individual men's winner and led the No. 20 Washington State men's cross country team to first place in the Inland Northwest Classic at Spokane Falls CC Friday.

Kimpel, a junior from Spokane, covered the 8,000m course in a course-record time of 24 minutes, 1 second. The men beat out eight other teams from around the Northwest in their final race before the Pac-12 Conference Championships in two weeks, hosted by Arizona State.

Right behind Kimpel was second-place finisher and senior teammate Jono Lafler, who finished with a time of 24:02. Andrew Gonzales (24:28) and Justin Englund (24:29) took the fourth and fifth place spots, respectively. Rounding out the Cougars' scoring lineup was Lee George at eighth (24:43.0) with Drew Jordan the next WSU man at ninth place (24:45).

The Cougar women's team ran the 5000m course at less than full strength, missing sophomore Ruby Roberts who has led the Cougar women in every race this year, and Allison Clark. The Washington State women took third place out of the nine competing teams, scoring 61 points and finishing behind Gonzaga (51) and Montana (54). The women's winner was Gonzaga's Lindsey Drake, who ran a course record time of 17:18

"It still hasn't really hit me yet," Drake said when asked about her victory. "I kind of let other people do the work this time and set me up for it in that last 200 (meters). I wasn't going to let myself get passed this time."

Complete results from the Inland Northwest Cross Country Classic are available here.

In Oregon City, Oregon, Peter VanNuland led the Redhawk men, finishing in 18th place in the men's four-mile run with a time of 21:28. Brothers Chris Auld and Dan Auld crossed the finish line in 20th place and 22nd place, respectively, with times of 21:34 and 21:36.

On the women's side, Meghan Arigo was the first Seattle U runner to cross the finish line, posting a time of 20:26 over the five-kilometer course. Amy Tolentino finished in 49th place with a time of 20:39, and Allison Prather finished in 53rd place in 20:52.

The SeattleU release is available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Wisconsin, the University of Washington, Washington State University, Gonzaga University, and Seattle University contributed to this report.

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