Friday, October 13, 2017

Washington women finish seventh in ultra-competitive Under Armour Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invite...

MADISON, Wisconsin—Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale (left/photo by Paul Merca) ran to a 14th place finish to lead the Huskies to a seventh place finish in the invitational section of the Under Armour Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on a calm but cloudy day at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course Friday afternoon.

The senior from Snohomish, who is the reigning Pac-12 conference champion, started slow and worked her way though the 227-woman field, crossing the line in 20:07.

Fellow senior Izzi Batt-Doyle was Washington’s second finisher in 20:35, followed by sophomore Kaitlyn Neal in 50th in 20:43.

Rounding out the scoring for the Dawgs were Anna Maxwell in 73rd in 21:00, and Emily Hamlin in 77th in 21:01, giving Washington a 54 second 1-5 split.

New Mexico won the team title with 87 points, led by three women in the top ten, with Ednah Kurgat leading the way for the Lobos.

Former Husky Charlotte Prouse was seventh overall in 19:55 for the winning New Mexico squad.

Another notable former Husky, Lindsey Bradley, now competing for Baylor, was 13th in 20:07, just ahead of Neale.

The Huskies actually tied for sixth with 257 points but lost a tiebreaker to Furman, thus finishing seventh. That was ahead of fifth-ranked Stanford which placed eighth with 292 points, and the Dawgs also beat out No. 14 Indiana, No. 17 Wisconsin, No. 18 Iowa State, and five more teams ranked between No. 20 and No. 28.

It was a bit of a rough go for both Washington State and Washington, both of whom had aspirations for a top ten finish, as the Cougars were 13th with 441 points, and the Huskies 14th with 445 points.

All-American Michael Williams led the way for the Cougars, finishing 39th over 8k in 24:15.  Chandler Teigen was 55th in 24:23, followed by Nathan Wadhwani in 96th at 24:43.

Jake Finney was 104th in 24:49, and Paul Ryan rounded out the scorers in 147th in 25:02, as Washington State’s 1-5 split was 47 seconds.

For the Huskies, Andrew Gardner led the way in 37th, running 24:14.  Andy Snyder was 91st in 24:40, followed by Johnathan Stevens in 99th at 24:45.

Colby Gilbert was 100th in 24:46, and freshman Tibu Proctor as 118th in 24:54, giving the Dawgs a 1-5 split of 40 seconds, despite missing both Fred Huxham and Talon Hull.

That said, both the Cougars and the Huskies beat several nationally ranked teams, which will come in handy when it comes time to select the at-large teams for the NCAA championships in mid-November.

The WSU men finished ahead of these higher-ranked teams from the latest poll: No. 13 Iona 17th, No. 14 Iowa State 16th, No. 15 Boise State 21st, No. 16 Illinois 28th, No. 18 Virginia 30th, and No. 28 Wisconsin 25th.

The Dawgs entered unranked but finished ahead of No. 13 Iona, No. 14 Iowa State, No. 15 Boise State, No. 16 Illinois, No. 18 Virginia, No. 21 Indiana, No. 25 Wisconsin, and No. 30 Columbia. 

Living up to its reputation as the country’s best invitational race, the huge Wisconsin fields featured 16 of the top-30 nationally ranked women's squads and 20 of the top-30 men's teams. 

In the women’s open or B section, Washington State’s Vallery Korir led from start to finish and took the victory in 20:37, a time that would have placed her 47th in the invitational race.

Korir, who is the younger sister of US world championships team member Leonard Korir, said afterwards that her win will give her the confidence to run with the top runners in the Pac-12 conference when they face off in two weeks in Springfield, Oregon.

About having to run solo in the race, she said, "The best thing about running by yourself is that it boosts your mental skills of running," 

The Cougs finished fourth in the open section with 111, as Colorado won the section with 35 points.  Washington prep standout Cayla Seligman from Issaquah was part of the winning Colorado squad, finishing 19th in 21:37.

Washington’s three entries in the B section were led by freshman Erica Schroeder in 13th in 21:28, one spot behind WSU’s Devon Bortfeld, who ran 21:26.

The Husky men were sixth in the open men’s race with 127 points, led by Gavin Parpart in 23rd in 25:12.  Stanford won the open mens title with 60 points.  Luis Vargas of NC State, competing unattached, won the race in 23:42.

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

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