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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

XC back at NCAA Champs

The No. 9 Arizona women’s cross country team and top men’s runner Stephen Sambu heads to Terre Haute, Ind. to compete in the NCAA National Championships today at 11 a.m.

Thanks to an at-large bid, the women are heading back to nationals for the second straight year after a surprise finsh last season. The goal all year was to make nationals and “”do damage,”” and now they are finally getting their chance.

“”We are ready for nationals,”” said sophomore Jennifer Bergman. “”We would really love to be on the podium, which is top four.””

This will be the second time this year that the team will compete in Terre Haute with its previous visit coming during the Pre-National Invitational. The teams will run the same exact course, which should be an advantage. During the Pre-National meet, the women were able to secure a second

place finish.

Sambu was not able to participate during the Pre-National because he had suffered a lower leg injury prior to the meet. He qualified as an individual because he finished in the top four during regionals, where his team failed to qualify.

Sambu has gotten praise all year from the coaching staff and the rest of the team as he racks up wins.

“”I think he is a top 10 runner in the country right now,”” head coach James Li said. “”I think he can eventually be top five.””

This will be the first time Sambu will face the toughest competition in the country. He started his career in Rend Lake Community College and is in his first year in the desert.

“”I am excited but very nervous too,”” Sambu said. “”I am happy and ready for nationals, but I am also very scared because it will be very tough.””

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