Track & Field News Likes Huskies To Repeat
The newest edition of the venerable Track & Field News magazine is out now and contains a look ahead at the NCAA cross country season. Under the headline "Huskies In A Pack All Their Own", T&F News lists the Dawgs as the preseason favorites to hoist the championship trophy once again this November in Terre Haute.
The capsule on the Huskies reads: "At last year's nationals, Greg Metcalf's Huskies sealed their first national title with their 3-4-5 runners--Mel Lawrence, Katie Follett & Amanda Miller--only 4 seconds apart. Their 79-point total gave them a huge 52-point margin of victory."
West Virginia is slotted No. 2, while the rival Oregon Ducks are ranked third. Oregon took second behind the Huskies at Pac-10's, Regionals, and NCAA's last year.
The feature also takes a stab at predicting the Top-10 individual finishers at nationals, and three Huskies are forecast in the Top-10, starting with Christine Babcock at No. 3, Kendra Schaaf at No. 5, and Mel Lawrence at No. 10. The feat would seem hard to fathom for most teams but Washington's top-four all return (senior Katie Follett also has surefire Top-10 talent) and have all finished in the Top-25 at NCAA's.
On the men's side, after the Top-10 team capsules, a group of "other challengers" is listed, and includes the Husky men. Six of UW's top-seven competitors from last year's NCAA meet return on the men's side, while redshirt freshman Joey Bywater and a healthy Max O'Donoghue-McDonald should greatly help the men earn a third Top-20 finish over four years.
The official USTFCCCA preseason rankings are still a few weeks away on September 16.
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