Arizona women’s cross country finishes second at Pac-12 Championship

Luke Davis

Arizona cross-country began its championship portion of the season on Saturday at the Robinson Ranch Golf Course in Santa Clarita, Calif.

The UA women placed second in the 6,000-meter race with 69 points.

Arizona junior Elvin Kibet placed third overall. The UA men finished in seventh place in the 8,000-meter race with 166 points.

Kibet had a time of 20 minutes and 11 seconds, and has been the UA women’s top finisher in each of the four races she has competed in this season. Senior Jen Bergman finished in seventh place with a time of 20 minutes and 25 seconds. Following Bergman was sophomore Nicci Corban, junior Amanda Russell and senior Elizabeth Apgar, who placed 18th, 20th and 21st respectively.

“I went into the race feeling very confident,” Kibet said in a press release. “This past week I was just preparing mentally. I knew I was physically fit and my coach [James Li] told me that I am just as good as the other top athletes in the conference.”

The Oregon women took first place with 47 points and the Stanford Cardinal finished in third with 82 points.

“I am pleased with how the women finished today,” Li said. “It was tough because we were really close to winning, but Oregon had a great race. Our ladies were hoping for a win but we didn’t quite get it. We came in and still performed really well.”

Colorado claimed its second-straight men’s title, totaling 49 points. Stanford took second place with 82 points and Oregon finished in third with 105 points. ASU totaled 109 points and finished in fourth place.

Lawi Lalang won the men’s race with a time of 22 minutes and 49 seconds, claiming his second-straight conference title. Lalang has yet to lose a cross-country race in his career at Arizona. Stephen Sambu finished behind Lalang in second place, with a time of 22 minutes and 50 seconds. The two led the entire race and finished in a dead sprint to the end with Lalang edging Sambu at the line.

“What can you say about Lawi and Stephen?” Li said. “They have great talent and great work ethics. Our men’s team has the talent, we just need to come through and compete better and do a better job.”