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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA cross country finishes eighth

The Arizona men’s and women’s cross country teams both finished in eighth place at the Pac-12 Conference Championships in Oakland, Calif., on Friday.

Facing a number of ranked schools, the Wildcats received strong performances from their top runners. However, Arizona’s times were too slow as a team to earn a top-place finish on either side.

Colorado won the men’s race while Oregon took first on the women’s side.

“Some people ran great, and then some people didn’t do well,” UA cross country head coach James Li said in a press release. “We really don’t see the team improving when that happens. I’m glad that some of the kids did really well, but it’s a disappointing Pac-12 finish. We thought we could be better and beat some of those teams. We are just running out of time this year in trying to put everything together.”

Senior Sam Macaluso was the top finisher in the men’s 8,000-meter race with a 24:23 time, good enough for 29th place. Right behind him was sophomore Collins Kibet.

The next two finishers were senior Kenji Bierig at 41st overall and freshman Bailey Roth at 50th. Sophomore Matthew Beer was the final scorer for the men, with a 71st-place finish.

“Sam did well, and our top four guys did OK — nothing too spectacular,” Li said. “If that fifth guy could come a bit closer, we would be in good shape, but we were just way too far.”The men tallied 204 points. In comparison, winner Colorado tallied 30.

For the women, senior Kristina Aubert was once again the top finisher, coming in 32nd in the 6,000 with a time of 21:06.

“Kristina was probably a little bit less than what she has been doing,” Li said. “She’s sort of hit a rough patch right now. The last couple of races haven’t been great for her.”

Junior Molly Callahan was the second Wildcat to cross the finish line at 34th place, followed by senior Amanda Russell in 39th. The final two scorers for the women were seniors Clea Formaz in 50th and Hanna Peterson in 59th place.

The women’s final tally was 200 points, far behind the top finishers.

“I think today, people like Amanda Russell and Molly Callahan really did well and had a good race,” Li said, “but overall, we weren’t good enough.”

The Wildcats now have two weeks to prepare for the all-important NCAA Regionals, which will determine qualification for nationals.

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Follow Ezra Amacher on Twitter.

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