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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona to host cross country meet at Dell Urich Golf Course

Courtesy of Pac-12

The No. 12 Arizona women and unranked men’s cross-country teams will host the Dave Murray Invitational on Friday. They will compete against several Arizona community colleges and club teams at Tucson’s Dell Urich Golf Course in the Wildcats’ second race of the season and their only home meet. The women will begin their three-mile race at 5 p.m., and the men will follow with their 4.25-mile race at 5:45 p.m.
“It will be more of the start of the season for us,” head coach James Li said. “We’ll be holding out a few of our runners who are training for later races but most others will be there.”

The Dave Murray Invitational will not be one of the most competitive fields the Wildcats will face this season. However, it will give coach Li better insight into both teams.

The race will also be the season opener for senior Stephen Sambu, who redshirted the 2011 cross-country season. Sambu is one of the men’s strongest runners and will help the Wildcats be competitive in the Pac-12. Sambu won the Dave Murray Invitational in 2010 with a time of 20 minutes and eight seconds.
“This race is not as relevant when it comes to Pac-12 or national standings,” Li said. “But I would like to see the team get through this race and use it as preparation and to get into shape for more significant races.”

Three of Arizona’s top runners — sophomore Lawi Lalang, senior Jen Bergman and Sambu— will make their season debut.
Lalang went undefeated in 2011 and is the defending 2011 men’s individual NCAA cross-country champion.

Bergman also had a successful 2011 season, finishing sixth overall in the NCAA Championships, with a time of 20 minutes and 12 seconds.
“This race means more than the last one [George Kyte Classic],” Li said. “It’s in front of our home crowd and it’s a course that we are pretty familiar with.”
“This race is really good for getting everybody ready and prepared for the next race in Louisville, Ky [Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic].”

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