The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

93° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona XC teams expect to win at championships

Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily WIldcat Cross Country runners Jen Bergman and Elvin Kibet compete in the Dave Murray Invitational on Sept. 16.

The Arizona cross-country teams expect wins this weekend at the Pac-12 Championships in Litchfield Park, Ariz., on Saturday. Head coach James Li believes men’s leader Lawi Lalang can win it all, and the No. 5-ranked women’s squad has a good chance to win as a team, with only No. 2 Washington ranked higher.

“Jen Bergman and Elvin Kibet on the women’s side have made tremendous improvement in breaking into the top tier of all levels of running,” Li said. “And I really believe Lawi is in a class of his own. He should be able to go and do his best and take care of business.”

Arizona women’s cross-country jumped nine spots in the rankings since its last race in Wisconsin and will compete against other Pac-12 ranked teams. In the top 20 are No. 2 Washington, No. 8 Stanford, No. 10 Cal, No. 11 Oregon and No. 16 Colorado.

The men’s team will race against Pac-12 ranked teams including No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 Colorado, UCLA at No. 20, followed by Oregon, Washington State and ASU in the top 30.

“Pac-12 is known for its distance programs,” Li said. “Both men and women’s sides will be loaded. You’re talking about half of the field at least are among the top 25 teams in the country.”

The Wildcats enter the championship portion of the season with the women’s team comfortably finishing in the top five in every meet this season and Lalang leading every race with a comfortable first place finishes.

“Last year we surprised everyone by being so close,” Bergman said. “So this year we know that we’re up there and we know we can go for it.”

Along with Kibet and Bergman, the women’s roster entered to race includes senior Hanna Henson, junior Elizabeth Apgar, sophomores Erin Menefee and Amanda Russell, and freshmen Haley Stenquist, Stephanie Bulder, Nicci Corbin, Clea Formaz, Kate Penney and Hanna Peterson.

Entered to race for the men are Lalang, senior Abdi Hassan, sophomores Patrick Zacharias and Noe Ramirez, junior Rory McLeod, redshirt freshman Sam Macaluso, and freshmen Dylan Souza, Thomas Valente and Kenji Bierig.

More to Discover
Activate Search