Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NCAA XC Top 31 Countdown: Women's #6- Oregon

Editor's note: For the next month, The Wood Report will be counting down projected team finishes in this year's NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, IN.

Head Coach: Andy Powell (9th Season)
2012 National Finish- 1st

Key Returners from 2012
  • Allie Woodward (So, 16:17 5k, 32:56 10k)
  • Annie Leblanc (So., 2:06 800m, 4:17 1500m)
  • Megan Patrignelli (Jr., 4:21 1500m, 10:09 3k Steeple)
  • Molly Grabill (So., 16:38 5k, 4:49 1600m (HS), 10:19 3200m (HS) )
  • Sarah Penney (Sr., 4:21 1500m, 9:51 Open 3k, 16:41 5k)
  • Abbey Leonardi (So., no. 7 runner in 2012, 9:47 Open 3k)
Impact Recruits/Transfers
  • Lindsay Crevoiserat (From UCONN, 9:09 Open 3k, 15:58 5k, 42nd NCAA XC '12)
  • Alli Cash (Fr., 4:45 1600m, 10:32 3200m, 40th NXN '11)
  • Therese Haiss (Fr., 4:50 1600m, 10:37 3200m) 
  • Nikki Hiltz (Fr., 4:42 1600m, 10:48 3200m, 17th FL Finals '11)
  • Kelly O'Neill (Fr., 4:37 1500m, 10:14 Open 3k)
  • Maggie Schmaedick (Fr., 4:35 1500m, 9:43 Open 3k)
  • Mel Newberry (From Princeton, 9:34 Open 3k, 16:35 5k, 10:18 3k Steeple)

Season Preview

Four of the seven athletes that made up the national championship winning team of 2012 have graduated. At most schools that would mean the next year would be a major rebuilding year. Let's get real, this is Oregon, there is no rebuilding year, it's more of an extreme makeover, cross country edition. Coaches Andy and Maurica Powell have brought in a very good recruiting class and have some key transfers along with quality girls who are ready to fill the shoes of their predecessors in 2013. 

In 2012, Oregon was basically unbeatable (except for a loss to Florida State at Pre-Nats). Jordan Hasay and Alexi Pappas led the Ducks in every race and their loss will definitely hurt Oregon. 

Allie Woodward is coming off of an amazing freshman campaign in 2012. Along side her 44th finish at NCAAs XC, she also proved her chops on the track running 16:17 and 32:56. Those are some outstanding feats for a freshman. Not to mention finishing 5th in the NCAA Outdoor 10000m. Now with a year of consistent top-level NCAA running under her belt, she is going to be one to watch for in 2013. 

Annie Leblanc is the other returner, besides Woodward, from 2012s National Championship winning team. Leblanc was also big time as a freshman last season where she finished 68th individually and helped secure the title for the Ducks. She too had a solid track season running 4:17 for 1500m. Leblanc is a good example of a middle-distance type girl that can step up and run 6k. 

The third returning freshman from 2012 whose name also starts with the letter "A," is Abbey Leonardi. Although she was not nearly as successful as her freshman teammates in 2012, Leonardi was still a crucial part to the national championship winning team. Leonardi was an outstanding high school athlete (4th FL Finals '11) and the experience she gained last season as a freshman will be huge for her confidence going into her sophomore season. 

Molly Grabill was awesome her freshman year for Oregon in 2011 where she was the no. 5 scorer for the majority of the season. Now coming off of a redshirt year, Grabill should be fit and ready to roll with her fellow sophomores and lead the Ducks in 2013. 

Sarah Penney and Megan Patrignelli are both capable cross country runners that had good track seasons this past spring. These two will be able to provide some veteran leadership to a very, very young Oregon team. 

What makes Oregon so scary is that the preview has not even reached the incoming recruits and transfers for the season that approaches. With an underrated recruiting class and some key transfers, many of these girls are instant offense for Oregon. 

The biggest transfer for the Ducks is Lindsay Crevoiserat, from Connecticut. Crevoiserat has the best track PRs of the bunch and has the highest national finish individually than any girl on the team. Crevoiserat is a tough runner that is perfectly suited for 6k. her 9:09 3k PR and 15:58 5k PR are top notch and after a redshirt outdoor season this spring, she should be fit and ready for an All-American bid in 2013. 

The incoming freshman for Oregon that will play key roles are Nikki Hiltz and Alli Cash. These girls both had injury-plagued high school careers taking away much of their senior year, so their PRs listed above come from their junior years. That being the case, their upside is very high. Hiltz and Cash both have very quality track PRs and proven abilities in cross country. These girls should figure into the Oregon top seven at some point during the season. 

Even with the blow of some of the biggest names in Oregon history gone, the Ducks have reloaded for 2013. The youth of this team, combined with the unreal talent, is what is so scary about Oregon this year. Crevoiserat, Woodward, Leblanc, Leonardi, and Grabill are all very young, but very good. Those five alone are capable of All-American on any given. day. Oregon is back, and they are a serious contender for a podium spot at NCAAs in Terre Haute this year, if not a repeat title. 

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, Newbery does not have XC eligibility left. However, Sarah Penney did get a fifth-year medical redshirt, so she is back for the fall (@OregonTF).