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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Women’s XC dominates Dave Murray Invitational

The UA women’s cross-country team battled six other schools, a rough course and a blistering sun but still managed to conquer all and win the Dave Murray Invitational.

Hannah Moen won individually with a time of 16:56.65 in the 3-mile race. The team average for this meet was 17:14.36.

“”Looks good, I don’t think it’s nothing too unexpected,”” said head coach James Li. “”We really did affirm how great we could be. It was a really good team finish.””

The team finish that Li referred to had eight UA runners finish in the top ten. Moen captured first place followed by a runner from ASU. Wildcats Jennifer Bergman and Elvin Kibet were right behind as they crossed the finish line.

“”It was a lot of fun, I finished and it was just fun,”” Moen said. “”I felt really good. I think that this year we are going to be solid. Last year we were hoping to get to nationals. But this year we are already there, but we just want to do something there now.””

Moen admitted that her legs started to die a little toward the homestretch but Bergman yelled words of encouragement that gave her the motivation to keep running at full speed.

“”The smaller gap the better because once we get into these big races we can fit 50 people between your one and your two and then you’re going to be in big trouble,”” said assistant coach Erin Dawson.

Freshman phenom Kibet continued to impress the coaching staff. In only her second cross-country race she was able to capture fourth place.

“”I think she is running very well. Being a freshman and being so inexperienced in this kind of weather, I thought she did really well,”” Li said. “”I am just so proud of everyone on the women’s side. We finished so close together and it looked like a really good pack.””

Men slowly improving

Steven Sambu. Remember that name.

Sambu showed on Friday why he was the number one junior college runner in the nation last year. In just his first meet as a Wildcat, Sambu fended off top competition to capture first place in the 4.25-mile race.

As a team, the UA received second place just behind ASU. The team average was 21:42.45, which was five seconds behind ASU.

“”I feel comfortable, I feel good, I feel strong from the beginning,”” Sambu said.

There was a significant drop off after the first three runners. The next UA runner, Patrick Zacharias, was 1 minute and 33 seconds behind Sambu.

“”For the most part I am really happy,”” Li said. “”Freshman Pat (Zacharias) did great, I am really proud of Pat (Zacharias) today. For a freshman, he is running really well.

“”Other guys, some of them did well and some did not so well, which is not to out of the ordinary. We need to have good depth in order to have a better team showing.””

Zacharias finished in 11th place with a time of 21:41.14 in only his second meet as a Wildcat.

“”The guys look great,”” said assistant coach Erin Dawson. “”I am excited to see how he progresses this season. Pat Zacharias is an awesome freshman coming in and he is going to be a huge contributor to the team.””

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