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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA cross country sweeps Dave Murray Invitational

The No. 12 Arizona women’s cross-country team, led by Junior Elvin Kibet, swept the 2012 Dave Murray Invitational at the Del Urich Golf Course in Tucson. The women’s team finished in first place overall with 15 points.

In the men’s event, Arizona senior Stephen Sambu had a dominant winning performance, which helped propel Wildcats to an overall victory with 22 points.

The win was Kibet’s second consecutive win at the invitational.

Kibet was just north of her course record time of 16 minuets and 22 seconds that she set last season, recording a time of 16:49.

“I felt really good,” Kibet said. “The first two miles I pretty much just chilled then pushed it for the final mile. But after this race I feel I am ready for anything and I believe in myself.”

Kibet finished 11 seconds ahead of sophomore Nicci Corbin in the women’s 3-mile race, and those two were followed by eight Wildcat runners.

On the men’s side, Sambu, a redshirt senior, won the 4.25-mile race by 16 seconds, posting a time of 20 minuets and 28 seconds.

“I was very happy with my performance,” Sambu said after his first cross country race since 2010. “I feel stronger and ready for the rest of the season.”

Sophomore Kenji Bierig finished third overall and freshman Nathan Kandie finished sixth.

The level of competition on Friday was not close to what it will be in the upcoming races, as the competition was primarily made up of local community colleges, but for the women to finish with a perfect score and beat second place Grand Canyon University by 50 points delighted head coach James Li.

“I think today went pretty good,” said Li. “We knew coming in it would be more of a time trial, but we still had some of our top runners not run but we’ll get there.”

Li was also excited about how Sambu ran. The redshirt senior sat out all of last season and did not compete in the team’s first meet in Flagstaff, Ariz.

“Stephen (Sambu) is looking great,” Li said. “He’s running nice and easy and looks ready for the coming weeks.”

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