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ncaa football history

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									Tuesday, November 27, 2007                                                                                     The Daily Athenaeum   Sports n 


WVU women’s cross country
places ninth at NCAA Nationals
By Wil Leitner                            “But I would have to say this is          knows. They’re headed down a
Sports Writer                             the best team that has ever run           road that could produce the No.
                                          here.”                                    1 and 2 best ever here before they
   When so much was accom-                   The top 10 finish was the best         graduate.”
plished and everything came to-           in school history, a history that            It was West Virginia’s fourth
gether, it would be pretty difficult      had been highlighted by tremen-           time at nationals, with the pre-
to fathom the words to describe           dous runners like Charity Wa-             vious highest finish being 15th in
this season.                              chera and Meghan Metcalfe.                2004. The squad didn’t have one
   But for Coach Sean Cleary, the            Years later, it was Keri Bland         senior in its top seven all year, and
one word that came to his mind            and Marie-Louise Asselin who              the top five final scorers were all
was simply “remarkable.”                  both wore that same WV symbol             sophomores.
   The West Virginia women’s              on their jerseys as they made their          “As a coach, you have the phi-
cross country team roared into            own run toward becoming some              losophy that there’s no real luck
nationals like no team before             of the best runners the school has        in this sport,” Cleary said. “Ev-
them, as they finished ninth to           ever seen.                                erything that they have achieved,
top off a historic season.                   “They have surely established          they have earned.”
   “I have been kind of holding           themselves in the sport of cross             Asselin finished 14th with a
off saying it all year,” Cleary said.     country,” Cleary said. “Who               time of 20:39, while Bland was
                                                                                    the second Mountaineer to cross
                                                                                    in 23rd at 20:58.
                                                                                       Other Mountaineers counting
                                                                                    toward the team score included
                                                                                    Clara Grandt, Maria Dalzot and
                                                                                    Mandy McBean. Grandt placed
                                                                                    52nd in 21:23, with Dalzot cross-
                                                                                    ing the line in 21:58 for 121st place
                                                                                    and McBean finishing 165th with
                                                                                    a time of 22:30.
                                                                                       Stanford won its third national
                                                                                    championship in a row, as it went
                                                                                    wire-to-wire through the season
                                                                                    as the No. 1-ranked team.
                                                                                       The other teams in the top five
                                                                                    were Oregon, finishing second,
                                                                                    Florida State, finishing third, Ar-
                                                                                    izona State, fourth and Michigan
                                                                                    State, fifth.
                                                                                       Asselin and Bland were named
                                                                                    first team All-Americans, mark-
                                                                                    ing the first time the program has
                                                                                    ever had multiple All-Americans
                                                                                    in the same year.
                                                                                       “I would say that the future
                                                                                    looks bright, and if we’re not at
                                                                                    this level or better than this level
                                                                                    next year, they were going to
                                                                                    be pretty disappointed,” Cleary
                                                                        WV FLYERS
                                                                                    said.
Marie-Louise Asselin runs alongside other competitors at NCAA Nationals. As-
selin finished 14th overall, helping WVU place ninth.                                            frank.leitner@mail.wvu.edu


Pitt will try to play spoiler Saturday at WVU
By Brian Gawthrop                         the school’s history with 18 career       standing the importance of prepa-
Sports Writer                             touchdown receptions and needs            ration and then when the game gets
                                          only two catches to pass Rahsaan          here, have some fun, let it loose,
    With its 66-14 victory over Con-      Vanterpool for fifth on WVU’s all-        understand your responsibilities
necticut, the West Virginia Univer-       time receptions list.                     and just play good football.”
sity Mountaineers made quite a bit           Also, if WVU scores 48 points in          Wannstedt will use the Moun-
of progress in claiming some post-        its final two games, the 2007 team        taineers prestige as the main mo-
season hardware.                          will become the highest-scoring           tivation for his players.
    The win clinched at least a share     team in school history, overcom-             “Because it’s Pitt-West Virginia
of the Big East Conference Cham-          ing last year’s squad, who scored         and that they are Big East champs,
pionship for the fourth time in the       505 points.                               that’s motivation,” Wannstedt said.
last five seasons, as well as secur-         Incentive-driven                       “You’re always looking for some-
ing the conference’s automatic               With a bid into the National           thing if you’re struggling like we
berth in the Bowl Championship            Championship Game with a vic-             are.”
Series.                                   tory this Saturday against such a            Big East awards
    However, a victory over rival Pitt    tough rival, Rodriguez knows that            For the second consecutive
(4-7, 1-6) on Saturday could pro-         he won’t have to preach too hard          week, the Mountaineers took two
vide the Mountaineers (10-1, 5-           when it comes to motivating his           of the three Big East Player of the
1) with a trophy that every team          players for the final regular season      Week awards, with linebacker
in the country dreams of: the Na-         game of the year.                         Mortty Ivy chosen as the defen-
tional Championship.                         “This is an easy one to do,” Ro-       sive player for the first time in his
    “We’ve achieved one of our            driguez said. “I always know that         career. Kicker/punter Pat McAfee
goals,” WVU coach Rich Rodri-             the seniors’ final home game is a         was selected as the Special Teams
guez said, referring to the captur-       big deal for us, and Pitt in itself is    Player of the Week for the second
ing of the Big East title. “Now we        enough to get you motivated. I just       consecutive week and the third
have the opportunity to achieve           don’t want our guys to get too tight      time this season.
another one, but we know that it’s        and realize that there’s so much on
going to be a challenge.”                 the line. You’re better off under-                   brian.gawthrop@mail.wvu.edu
    This week’s battle is the 100th
meeting between the rival schools,
the longest-standing rivalry be-
tween two Big East schools. The
Panthers currently hold a 59-37-3
advantage in the series, but Rich
Rodriguez and crew have come
away victorious in four of the last
five contests.
    Kickoff is set for 7:45 p.m. and
the game will air on ESPN.
    Been there before
    As graduates from their respec-
tive schools, both Rodriguez and
Wannstedt know what will be in
the line this Saturday, even with
national championship talk set
aside.
    Rodriguez, a player for the
Mountaineers under Don Nehlen
from 1982 to1984, was 2-1 in his
playing career against Pitt and re-
members his experiences as a
player in past Backyard Brawls like
it was yesterday.
    “The intensity of it is so big, and
there’s always a lot at stake,” Rodri-
guez said. “But when I played, (the
game) was always early in the sea-
son, and the weather was nice, and
it seemed to have even more inten-
sity. There’s still some of that now,
and there’s probably added impor-
tance now because it’s also a con-
ference game.
    Wannstedt, on the other hand,
was 2-2 as an offensive tackle for
the Panthers from 1970 to 1973 and
admitted even now he still circles
this game on his calendar.
    Falling marks
    The records just keep shatter-
ing this year for the Mountain-
eers. Midway through the second
half, White and Slaton became
only the third pair of teammates
in NCAA football history to rush
for over 1,000 yards in consecutive
seasons.
    And with his 14-yard touch-
down catch midway through the
first quarter, wideout Darius Rey-
naud is on the verge of breaking
another West Virginia milestone.
The reception was No. 11 for the
senior, leaving him one shy of ty-
ing Chris Henry’s 2004 mark for
touchdowns in a season. Reyn-
aud is currently tied for fourth in

								
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