Cheseret places 2nd in Pac-10 Championships

Lance Madden

Arizona cross country head coach James Li predicted that his No. 25 men’s cross country team would place in the top three of eight teams in the Pacific 10 Championships in Palo Alto, Calif., on Saturday.

The Wildcats just made it.

The squad scored 107 points and placed third behind Stanford (second, 58 points) and Oregon (first, 53).

“”It was not a surprise,”” Li said. “”We knew Oregon and Stanford were going to be tough.””

Senior Robert Cheseret placed second overall in the 8-kilometer race with a time of 23:10.96, behind Oregon sophomore Galen Rupp (23:02.12). UA senior Obed Mutanya took fifth place with a clocking of 23:23.37.

“”Our athletes competed – not bad – but certainly not exceptionally well like we hoped for,”” Li said. “”That’s why we placed third. Overall, I think we performed pretty average.””

Last year, Cheseret led the Wildcats to a second-place finish in the Pac-10 Championships with a first-place finish, clocking at 23:57. Mutanya came in second place with a time of 24:13.

Although his time did improve since last year, Li said it didn’t matter.

“”Don’t look at the time,”” he said. “”I would never compare times from one year to another or from one course to another.””

On the women’s side, the team improved from last year’s ninth-place finish, finishing seventh out of 10 teams in the 6K run with 206 points.

Stanford finished first for the 11th consecutive time with 22 points. ASU finished second (51), and Washington finished third (96).

“”Seventh place is definitely an improvement from last year, and we’re just going to keep moving up and keep getting better,”” Urban said. “”We’re a really good school, we can’t be placing ninth in the Pac-10.””