Analysis of the 2003 NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country Coaches' Poll
by Mike Scott,
University of Rhode Island
For the 7th consecutive year, I am analyzing the Women's Division I Coaches' Poll. The top 5 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.
The complete version of this poll analysis may be found at:
Notes: Places listed in parentheses refer to finish at the 2002 NCAA D-1 XC Championships at Furman 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
TOP 5 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.
Meets: 9/6 Alumni Race, 9/13 BYU Autumn Classic, 9/20 Hawaii Invitation, 9/26 Great American, 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)
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.
Meets: 9/27 Stanford Inv, 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. 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.
Meets: 9/5 Valparaiso Inv, 9/19 National Catholic, 9/22 Central Collegiates (3-Rivers, MI), 10/3 ND Inv, 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)
NCAA indoor 5k champ Sara Gorton returns to lead the Buffs and is joined by Natalie Florence (22nd), Jackie Zeigle (138th), and Christine Bolf (186th) from the '02 NCAA harrier meet, as well as Laura Zeigle who missed most of last fall's campaign due to injuries, but showed good fitness while competing unattached last spring. 2001 NCAA runner up Renee Metiever transferred from Georgia Tech after missing all of last year due to a medical redshirt while Villanova transfer Kalin Toedesbusch will also help the Buffs. At the CU Time Trial, it's traditional for the returnees to keep cranking up the pace until only 7 runners remain, then permit the youngest among them to "win". This year, newcomer Shannon Sparks earned that honor followed by Bolf, Toedebusch, Florence, Gorton, and Metivier; Jackie Zeigle finished about 50 seconds behind, while neither Laura Zeigle nor Erika Odlaug appeared.
Meets: 10/04 Rocky Mountain Shootout, 10/18 Pre-NCAAs, 10/31 Big-12 (Austin, Tx), 11/15 Mountain Reg (Ogden, UT)
Returnees: Sara Gorton (10th, 8th '00; 4:15.48, 15:24.97; ind 5k champ, 3rd out 5k), Natalie Florence (22nd, 100th '01; 16:21.41, 33:40.46), Jackie Zeigle (138th, 7th FL; 5:02.45y, 9:41.23), Christine Bolf (186th); (returning from injuries): Erika Odlaug (2nd '01 FL; 17th '01 World XC; 10:35.13y '02), Laura Zeigle (3rd '00 FL, '01 USA Jr Champ; 4:28.85, 9:51.28),
Newcomers: Shanna Sparks; Renee Metiever (x-fer from GaTech; 2nd '01), Kalin Toedesbusch (x-fer from Villanova; 67th, 95th '01;)
'Nova finished 8th in Terre Haute. Marina Muncan, Ioana Parusheva, and Rebecca Mitchell should lead the Wildcats; Kalin Toedesbusch transferred to Colorado.
Returnees: Marina Muncan (35th; 2:06.29, 4:21.32), Ioana Parusheva (44th, 209th '01; 4:30.89, 10:37.72s/c), Rebecca Mitchell (83rd, 110th '01, 140th '00; 2:06.24, 4:21.00), Liz Gesel (116th, 19th '01 FL; 4:58.42y), Carre Joyce (217th, 180th '01, 202nd '00; 4:30.20, 10:52.53s/c), Kirsty Smith (227th; 10:55.01); Transferred: Kalin Toedesbusch (x-fer to Colorado; 67th, 95th '01;),