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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Cross country finish season opener as runners up at NAU

Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat UA Track competes in the 2014 Double Duel against Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University on May 5th.

The Arizona men’s and women’s cross country teams opened the season Saturday with runner-up finishes at the George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Senior Kristina Auburt was the top performer on either side, as she led the women with a first-place, 14:36.3 run in the three-mile race. A transfer from Arkansas State, Auburt finished over three minutes ahead of the second place finisher from NAU.

“Kristina, a transfer, her first race, she showed her form,” UA head coach James Li said in a press release. “It was impressive. NAU changed the course a bit, so we couldn’t compare it to previous trips, but how she dominated today’s competition — it was great.”

Senior Kate Penney was the second Wildcat to finish in the three-mile race and took fourth overall with a time of 15:21.0.

Not far behind was freshman Claire Green, who finished sixth overall with a time of 15:40.8, and senior Stephanie Bulder, who clocked a time of 15:50.7, good enough for 10th overall.

Finishing out the three-mile run for the Wildcats were junior Daylee Burr and freshman Chrissy Calain, who finished 22nd and 26th, respectively.

The women’s team tallied 43 points, just short of first-place ASU at 38 points, while NAU finished third with 47 points.

On the men’s side, senior Sam Macaluso was the top Arizona finisher in the 8K race with a fourth-place time of 23:02.3.

The next Wildcat to cross the finish line was senior Kenji Bierig, whose 23:24.1 time placed him ninth overall. Sophomore Matthew Beer finished a second later at 10th place.

Arizona’s last two scorers were senior Dylan Hopper and freshman Patrick Leary. Hopper came in 14th overall, and Leary was right behind at 15th.

“I wanted all the guys to go out together and make it more of a training opportunity,” Li said in a press release. “They all ran together for the first half or so of the race. Sam, Kenji and Matt Beer all ran well.”

Arizona continues its season with a home meet on Sept. 19, at the Dave Murray Invitational before traveling to compete in the Virginia/Panaroma Farms Invitational the following week in Earlysville, Va.

“It’ll be a challenge for us, but we have to answer that challenge,” Li said in a press release. “Both teams can be factors in the conference and be in the hunt for a bid to the NCAA Championships.”

—Follow Ezra Amacher @EzraAmacher

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