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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA cross country faces tough road at NCAA West Regionals

Zi Yang Lai

Arizona cross country athlete Collins Kibet (17) runs in the Dave Murray Invitational on Sept. 18.

The Arizona men’s and women’s cross-country team will be traveling to Seattle, Washington to compete in the NCAA West Regional Friday, Nov. 13.

This is the second straight meet in Washington that the UA cross-country teams will be competing in.

The Wildcats’ past meet, the Pac-12 Championships, was held in Colfax, Washington. At the meet, the men’s team placed ninth overall and was led by Collins Kibet.

Kibet will be looked at to lead the men’s team again this weekend as he has been the men’s team top finisher in the past five meets.

Collins placed 36th overall at the Pac-12 Championships in a very competitive 8K race.

The field of competitors will not get any easier as the Wildcats will be facing some of their fellow Pac-12 schools, along with the other teams in the NCAA West region division.

Some of the toughest competitors will include Stanford, Oregon, Washington, UCLA and Boise State. In the men’s competition, these teams are ranked No. 4, No. 7, No. 17, No. 20 and No. 24, respectively.

This meet will be different for the men’s team as they will be running in a 10K race, instead of the usual 8K they perform in.

The men’s team placed 14th last year in the race out of 29 teams.

Kibet lead the men’s team last year at the NCAA West regionals meet, finishing 35th overall out of 192 runners. Kibet finished the 10K with a time of 30:15.1, averaging a mile in 4:52.1 in the race.

The Arizona team will need to string together one of their best overall team performances in this meet to place high, yet they have been practicing hard and focusing on their individual performances to help contribute to their team’s overall performance.

On the women’s side, the Wildcats seek to improve from their performance at the Pac-12 Championships as well.

Molly Callahan led the UA and ran a time of 20:44.2 in the 6K race, finishing 31st at the Pac-12 Championships. Look for Callahan to lead the way once again as she has experience in the upcoming meet.

Callahan was the women’s team top finisher in the NCAA west regionals in 2014. Callahan placed 39th overall out of 230 runners.

Callahan ran a time of 21:13.8 averaging a mile time of 5:41.6 in the race.

The Arizona women’s team will also be facing tough competition as they will be competing against schools such as Oregon, Boise State, Stanford and Washington. All these schools are in the top 25 with the rankings of No. 4, No. 9, No. 11 and No. 12.

The meet will be run on the Jefferson Park Golf Course. The women will race first at 12:00 p.m., competing over 6K. The men’s race will begin at 1:00 p.m. and cover 10K.

Follow Hunter McAdams on Twitter.

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