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  • Oct 7 NCAA D-1 women's xc poll analysis posted

    Analysis of the 2003 NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country Coaches' Poll
    by Mike Scott,
    University of Rhode Island

    Updated: 7 October

    For the 7th consecutive year, I am analyzing the Women's Division I Coaches' Poll. Teams are listed according to their ranking in the current edition of the FinishLynx/NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY NATIONAL POLL, as conducted by the Women's Intercollegiate Cross Country Coaches' Association.

    As always, the complete version of this analysis is listed at:
    http://miscott.home.att.net/wxcanal

    Notes: Places listed in parentheses refer to finish at the 2002 NCAA D-1 XC Championships at Indiana State University, unless otherwise noted. Performances are from the 2002-03 year, unless otherwise noted. Performances at the Foot Locker High School Cross Country Championships are denoted by "FL".

    As always, I appreciate additions, corrections, and updates. Please send them to me at [email protected]

    Weekend Roundup:
    Notre Dame (10/3) -- Notre Dame debuted Molly Huddle and Lauren Kings, who finished 1-2, and won their home meet by 42 points over Wake Forest. The Deacons apparently ran without top runner Anne Bersagel, who would have finished 3rd or better since she typically beats teammate Anna Sherman who did finish 3rd; with Bersagel in the lineup, Wake Forest and the Notre Dame team that ran (neither Stephanie Madia or Loryn King have yet appeared for the Irish this fall) would have likely been in a dead heat. Penn State grabbed third, while Duke squad that was substantially different than the one that raced Great American the previous weekend finished 4th. Vanderbuilt grabbed 5th ahead of Washington.

    Murray Keating (10/4) -- Stanford's team finished together to notch a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 finish and score 15 points over the field.

    Paul Short (10/4) -- Georgetown dominated the field, scoring 28 points. Unranked West Virginia, led by Megan Metcalfe and Tara Struyck's 1-3 finish, grabbed 2nd ahead of the top-rated South team, Tennessee.

    Willamette (10/4) -- Marquette edged unranked Nevada, 50 to 52, for the win out in the Pacific Northwest.

    Cowboy Jamboree (10/4) -- Texas Tech downed Georgia and previously ranked Southwest Missouri.

    Loyola Lakefront (10/4) -- Wisconsin, running without Lilienthal, narrowly edged Nebraska, 31 to 32.

    Next Weekend:
    A fairly quiet weekend with little action at the national level is schedule. Teams are resting up for the 10/18 Pre-NCAA meet -- as well as for Chili Pepper and Penn State's National Invite.


    TOP THIRTY TEAMS:
    1. Brigham Young
    Patrick Shane's defending champion BYU Cougars have now won 4 of the last six NCAA team titles ('97, '99, '01, '02), including the last two crowns. NCAA steeplechase champs Michaela Mannova ('02) and Kassi Andersen ('03) return to lead the Cougars. Mannova, who finished 5th in both the '01 and '02 NCAA harrier races, redshirted the outdoor season but notched a swift 9:42.01 steeple while winning silver at this summer's Euro under-23 meet. In her absence, '02 USA Junior 1500 champ Andersen (7th) ran away with the steeple title in an NCAA meet record 9:44.95 before claiming silver at the USA championships. Also returning for BYU are Breanne Sandberg (41st), Lisa Antonelli (10:14.37s/c), Shalice Pugmire (10:32.88s/c), as well as a possible key for the Cougars' hopes of a three-peat: former two-time cross country All-American Laura Turner (26th '99, 31st '98) who served on an LDS mission in 2000 and 2001. Foot Locker finalists Ruth Graham (12th FL) and Amber Harper (13th FL) could help bolster the Cougars' lineup.

    BYU opened by running a "B" squad (BYU's website stated that they held out the top 5 or 6 runners) at the BYU Alumni Inv, where they 1-2-3-4-5'd the field with Antonelli, Suzanna Larsen, and Breanne Sandberg finishing together. Breane Sandberg won the 9/13 BYU Autumn Classic to lead a mostly "B" squad to an easy team win over cross state rival Weber State. Sandberg, Larsen, Rena Williams, Antonelli, and Jami Caldwell scored for the Cougars. BYU ran completely different "B" squad in Hawaii and fell to UCLA; of note for the Cougars were seasonal debuts for Michaela Mannova's (easy win) and Foot Locker finalist Amber Harper's (a bit back in 10th).

    "In over 20 years of coaching, I've never had a team miss a race," declared a still stunned Coach Shane when interviewed following his BYU squad missing the 9/26 Great American Race of Champions. "I can't blame anyone but myself. The other 15 teams all made it to the starting line on time." The understrength and likely demoralized Cougars -- still sans Anderson and Turner (who Shane assures me are fit and healthy) -- dominated the "B" race a little over an hour later, but their times would have likely placed them behind NC State and UNC. The Cougars are likely to debut their full squad at Pre-NCAAs.
    Meets: 10/10 AzSt, 10/17 Pre-NCAA, 11/1 Mountain West Conf (San Diego), 11/15 Mountain Reg (Ft Collins, CO)
    Returnees: Michaela Mannova (5th, 5th '01, 148th '00; 9:42.01s/c; '02 steeplechase champ), Kassi Andersen (7th; 2:08.10, 4:18.04 '01, 9:44.95s/c, '03 steeplechase champ, 2nd USA s/c, 1st '02 USA Jr 1500), Breanne Sandberg (41st; 16:22.59), Shalice Pugmire (10:32.88s/c), Aneta Lemiesz (2:05.30), Lisa Antonelli (10:14.37s/c), Laura Turner (26th '99, 31st '98; 16:38.67)
    Newcomer: Ruth Graham (12th FL; 10:02.7 3k, 10:46.87y); Amber Harper (13th FL; 4:37.95, 9:54.44 3k); Julie Cameron (2:12.83, 5:10.45i), Whitney McDonald (CA)

    2. Stanford
    Despite the loss of 3-time NCAA 5k champion Lauren Fleshman and mile standout Malindi Elmore as well as a coaching change, the Cardinal appears to be set for another run at the NCAA harrier crown. Following the departure of Stanford mentor Vin Lannana for greener pastures (well, at least Ohio), former All-American Dena Evans was promoted to Head Women's Coach. NCAA 10k champ Alicia Craig finished 3rd in Terre Haute last fall and will lead Stanford this fall and should be joined up front by teammate Sara Bei (57th). Jeane Goff and Anita Siraki round out the NCAA returnees for the Cardinal. Coach Evans scored big with this year's recruiting class, nailing down one of the fastest prep milers of all time Ari Lambie -- who also won the ever-competitive Foot Locker NE regional before succumbing to illness at the FL finals -- along with the talented Trotter twins -- Kathleen (2nd at Foot Locker championships) and Amanda. Stanford dominated its season opener at the 8/30 Bronco Invite with Sara Bei, Katy Trotter, Jeane Goff, and Amanda Trotter all finishing together in the top four spots; Craig and Lambie didn't appear at the opener.

    Like their rivals at BYU, Stanford's team's first serious outing -- at their own 9/27 invite -- didn't quite turn out as planned. Coach Evans split her squad between the 4K (Bei, Lambie, A. Trotter) and 6K (Craig, McWalters, K. Trotter, Goff, Siraki) races -- both teams, incidentally, would likely qualify as "A" teams under NCAA guidelines -- and were upset by Cal and UCLA respectively. Bei and Lambie simply dominated the 4K, while Craig destroyed the field over 6K.

    The Cardinal demonstrated their strength the following weekend with a dominating 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 finish at the 10/4 Murray Keating Inv; although they were racing a passel of unranked teams, Stanford's 7th crossed the finish line together with a 13-sec lead over the next runner.
    Meets: 10/4 Murray Keating, 10/18 Pre-NCAAs, 11/1 Pac-10 (Pullman), 11/15 West Reg (Portland)
    Returnees: Alicia Craig (3rd, 28th '01; 15:25.75, 32:40.03, NCAA 10k Champ), Sara Bei (57th, 89th '01; '00 FL Champ; 16:03.08; 13th out 5k; USA Jr '01 3k champ), Jeane Goff (128th, 4:26, 10:23.08s/c), Anita Siraki (110th, 2nd '00 FL' 9:47i); Kristen Cohoon (10:04.77; 17:08), Yfa Kretzschmar (2:10.05, 5:01.95y);
    Newcomers: Ari Lambie (22nd FL, 1st FL NE; 2:45.46NR, 4:20.2, 4:37.23y, 10:11.9y), Kathleen Trotter (2nd FL, 2:11.32, 4:50.32y, 10:30.47y, ) Amanda Trotter (2:11.37, 4:54.43y, 10:32.11y), Teresa McWalters, Julie Allen (11th '01 FL; 4:59.27y, 10:37.75y),

    3. Arizona State
    The Sun Devils finished 23rd in both '01 and '03 and return six from last year's NCAA squad. Amy Hastings will lead Arizona State this fall just as she led the US Junior Team at last spring's World XC Champs. ASU dominated their cross-state rivals Arizona at the 9/19 Dave Murray Invitation, with Amy Hasting leading a tightly-packed 22-second 1-5 spread (4.3K) that included Anna Masinelli, newcomer Jessica Crate, Desiree Davila, and Amanda Lyon. The same quintet surprised at Griak, notching a comfortable win with a 65-sec 1-5 spread over 6k; Hastings finished 3rd individually while Masinelli was 7th.
    Meets: 10/10 AzSt Inv, 10/18 Pre-NCAAs, 11/01 Pac-10 (Pullman), 11/15 West Reg (Portland)
    Returnees: Amy Hastings (92nd, 20th WJrXC), Desiree Davila (150th, 205th '01), Anne Marie Masinelli (157th), Jessica Scalzo (169th), Amanda Fitz-Gustafson (209th), Liz Lindgren (223rd), Jenny Aldridge
    Newcomers: Jessica Crate

    4. Michigan State
    The Spartans finished 11th in '01 and 12th in '02. Michelle Carson and Jamie Kryzminski lead all seven members back from last year's NCAA squad. Katie Anderson led Sarah Pepera, Brittany Ballard, Natalie Stein, and Cindy Durocher to a 1-5 sweep at the Saginaw Valley Open, with all five Spartans finishing together; neither Carson nor Kryzminski appeared. All-American's Carson and Kryzminski finished 1-2 at the Spartan Invite to lead Peppera, Stein, and Anderson to all finish among the top 7 with a 55-second 1-5 gap over 6k. The Spartan claimed runner-up honors at Griak behind Arizona State, with Carson finishing 4th and Kryzminski 9th; the 1-5 gap for Michigan State was 67-sec.
    Meets: 10/18 Pre-NCAAs, 11/2 Big Ten (MiSt), 11/15 GL Reg (Terre Haute)
    Returnees: Michelle Carson (27th, 34th '01; 16:24.59i), Jamie Kryzminski (47th, 106th '01; 9:31.35i, 16:17.50i, 32:52.87; 5th 10k), Sarah Pepera (95th, 10:27.37s/c), Cindy Durocher (124th, 208th '01, 62nd '99), Natalie Stein (173rd, 147th '01), Gail Stec (230th), Brittany Ballard (240th); Katie Anderson (116th '01), Megan Radermacher Michelle Rafferty
    Newcomers:

    5. Notre Dame
    The Irish came through big-time at the NCAA championships to claim 3rd behind the leadership of Molly Huddle (6th as a frosh!) and 2-time Cross Country All-American Lauren King (19th). Loryn King (76th), Stephanie Madia (78th), and Katie Wales (225th) also return from the '02 NCAA meet, while Megan Johnson is back after a redshirt year. Notre Dame opened by running a mostly "B" squad at the Valparaiso Inv, which won behind Jean Marinangeli's individual win. The Irish also won the 9/19 National Catholic Inv with a "B" squad, with newcomer Kerry Meagher leading Notre Dame with an individual win. Huddle and Lauren King debuted at the 10/3 Notre Dame Invite to lead the Irish to a win over Wake Forest (who were missing their #1; had All-American Bersagel ran, it would have been a virtual dead-heat); neither Loryn King nor Madia appeared at the Notre Dame Inv leaving the Irish with a 72-second 1-5 split consisting of Huddle, Lauren King, Meagher, Johnson, and Jean Marinangeli.
    Meets: 10/11 Bronco Open, 10/18 Pre-NCAAs, 10/31 Big East (NYC), 11/15 Great Lakes Reg (Terre Haute)
    Returnees: Molly Huddle (6th, 4th '01 FL; 4:20.50, 15:36.95), Lauren King (19th, 27th '01; 4:14.72), Loryn King (76th), Stephanie Madia (78th, 23rd '01 FL; 4:26.98), Katie Wales (225th); Megan Johnson (130th '01), Rachel Endress, Jean Marinangeli (17:12), Elizabeth Webster
    Newcomers: Amy Kohlmeier (CAN; 2nd Can Jr XC; 4:29.43, 9:52.01), Kerry Meagher (4:28), Jean Marinangeli (17:12)

    The rest of the analysis is posted at:
    http://miscott.home.att.net/wxcanal
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