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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “CC men, women both finish 2nd, meet goals”

    Arizona junior Lou Maturo competes in the annual Dave Murray Invitational last September in Tucson. Maturo was the only upperclassman on the mens team to make the trip up to Flagstaff on Saturday for the George Kyte Classic.
    Arizona junior Lou Maturo competes in the annual Dave Murray Invitational last September in Tucson. Maturo was the only upperclassman on the men’s team to make the trip up to Flagstaff on Saturday for the George Kyte Classic.

    The Arizona cross country teams entered Saturday’s George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff with a lot of unanswered questions about the men’s team’s youth; the status of the women’s top returner; and the altitude.

    By the time the race was over, all of those were answered. Both squads finished second to event host Northern Arizona, but both left the meet carrying a great deal of momentum toward their next meet in two weeks in Tucson.

    “”I thought that they did a fantastic job,”” said UA head track coach Fred Harvey. “”We went (to Flagstaff) with some particular goals in mind. Winning the competition is always important. That’s the same in any sport, you always try to win. But you ultimate goals take precedence over that.””

    The men’s team, slated to finish near the bottom of the Pacific 10 Conference because of its youth and overall inexperience, wanted to show that youth can win, too.

    “”I know that everyone thinks that we’re just a bunch of freshman,”” said junior Lou Maturo, the only upperclassman on the squad. “”I know that with age comes experience, but I’m completely confident in everyone and I believe in myself. To compete in the Pac-10, we just need to work hard and keep doing what we’re doing now.””

    Maturo finished the 8,000-meter course in 12th place with a time of 26:53, as the highest finisher for Arizona. Freshman Reed Blochberger and Spencer Carter finished 15th and 16th at 27:02 and 27:05, respectively. Sophomore Brian MacArthur (20th, 27:34) and freshman Mike Armon (23rd, 27:53) rounded out the scoring for the Wildcats.

    Coach Harvey had set a goal for both teams to have a one-and-a-half-minute split between the first runner to finish and the fifth one, and the men exceeded it. The first finisher, Maturo, and the fifth runner, Armon, finished almost exactly a minute apart. In fact, the split between Maturo and the team’s seventh finisher, Mark Molera, was only one minute and 18 seconds.

    “”That was absolutely a goal,”” Harvey said. “”That was (cross country head) Coach (James) Li’s emphasis to have groups of athletes running together, and as we progress through the season, we want to see that pack progress towards the front.””

    Maturo echoed Harvey’s sentiments.

    “”That was the whole point of the race, to see how we came together as a team,”” he said. “”I think that we have a lot of talent, we just have to work together.””

    The women’s team finished second despite having two athletes finish in the top five.

    Marissa Urban, whom Harvey called the team’s top returning athlete, finished second with a time of 17:36, and freshman Maggie Callahan finished fifth in her collegiate debut in 18:10.

    “”I’m really happy with (my finish),”” Urban said. “”(The race) was at 7,000 feet, so I should definitely be able to take time off. It’s still early in the season, but with training and interval workouts, I can get better.””

    Urban said she was questionable to compete because of an injury sustained last year and because the coaches wanted her to get in more training time.

    “”I’m still struggling through it,”” she said. “”I get treatment before races and I have to wear a compression sleeve, tiger balm and all this other stuff when I race … but it’s getting stronger.””

    Callahan’s finish set a personal record that far exceeded the team’s expectations.

    “”I’m really happy about it,”” Callahan said. “”It was a lot higher up than I thought.””

    “”She was amazing,”” Urban said. “”She’s just so fast, and as a freshman it was great.””

    Junior Angela Farr, sophomore Shelly Splittburger and freshman Kassidy Rede finished 14th, 15th and 16th, respectively, to round out the scoring for the Wildcat women.

    “”The women just missed the goal we set,”” Harvey said. “”But they did a great job.””

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