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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    XC competes at only home meet

    Sophomore Victor Zazueta runs at the Dell Urich Golf Course on Friday at the Dave Murray Invitational, the Wildcats only home meet. Zazueta placed third overall on the mens side of competition.
    Sophomore Victor Zazueta runs at the Dell Urich Golf Course on Friday at the Dave Murray Invitational, the Wildcats’ only home meet. Zazueta placed third overall on the men’s side of competition.

    The Arizona men’s and women’s cross country teams ran in their lone home meet of the season Friday, but ASU’s squads slightly squashed the homecoming.

    Both UA teams finished in second place at the Dave Murray Invitational at Dell Urich Golf Course, while the Sun Devils claimed victories on both sides.

    The invitational opened with the men’s 6,000 meter race, in which sophomore Victor Zazueta, redshirt freshman Abdi Hassan and sophomore Mohamud Ige led the Wildcats.

    Zazueta was the first UA runner to cross the finish line, grabbing third place at 18:55.81.

    Hassan finished in sixth with a time of 19:11.26 and Ige finished 13th at 19:29.78.

    Although Hassan said he enjoyed the hilly course, he said there was more of a demand to perform well because it was a home meet.

    “”There’s always pressure when you’re at home,”” Hassan said. “”You have your families and friends watching you, and if you don’t do well, you feel like you’ve let them down.””

    But Hassan let nobody down as he had a very successful raceÿ- the first of his college career.

    Even with all the pressure, Hassan never showed any signs of nervousness.

    “”You just have to go out there and have fun,”” he said. “”I felt really good. I’m physically and mentally ready.””

    After the men finished their race, it was the women’s turn with the 4,000-meter run. The Wildcats had four runners finish in the top 10.

    The front-runner for the Wildcats was

    senior Irine Lagat, who finished in third place with a time of 13:46.42.

    Despite her finish, Lagat said she would have liked to have done better.

    “”I am not satisfied with that because as an athlete, it’s a competition. I’m not settling for third,”” Lagat said. “”Last year I came in fourth, and every year I try to do better. I want to do better. I want to run faster.””

    Lagat said she really enjoys the effort that the rest of the team has put forth and thinks things are looking up.

    “”As a team, we’ve been improving,”” she said. “”We have a lot of people who are so great and everyone is motivated. Everyone is working hard.””

    Following Lagat, the next UA runner to cross the line was sophomore Maggie Callahan, who placed sixth at 14:06.35.

    Freshman Hannah Moen (eighth, 14:16.65) and senior Shelly Splittberger (10th, 14:24.90) rounded out the Wildcat top-10 finishers.

    Freshman Hanna Henson finished next in 11th place at 14:25.62.

    One thing Lagat really likes about the team’s chances of success is the fact that all the freshmen are running very well.

    “”The new freshmen (Moen and Henson) are doing great and that gives us a lot of potential to do better than last year,”” Lagat said.

    Both Lagat and Hassan said they like UA’s chances of having a very triumphant season.

    “”Everybody’s excited about the season and everyone is working hard,”” Lagat said. “”We are going to be a lot better.””

    For Hassan, the expected success will come from the team meeting their set goals to get to the NCAA championship.

    “”I think we’re in really good position and have a great, great chance of placing (in the NCAA championships),”” Hassan said. “”It’s just a matter of trying to stay out of injury. But, we’re mentally ready, we’re feeling great, and we’re working really hard.””

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