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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Men’s, women’s cross country sweep Dave Murray Invitational

Tyler+Baker+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AMaria+Larsson+crosses+the+finish+line+on+Friday.
Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / Arizona Daily Wildcat Maria Larsson crosses the finish line on Friday.

Arizona won first place in both races at the Dave Murray Invitational Friday.

The first race of the day was the men’s 4.25 mile, which the UA won and swept the first three places. Freshman Collins Kibet took first place with a time of 21:29.89. Coming in second overall was junior Sam Macaluso, who made his debut with a time of 21:34.01. Third place overall was junior Kenji Bierig, who also made his season debut with a time of 21:58.23.

The men’s team won the Division I section with 19 points. NAU took second place with 45 points, while ASU had 69 points, good for third place and Grand Canyon University finished in fourth place with 99 points.

Kibet started his career strong when he finished fourth at the George Kyte Classic in the season’s other meet.

“This is what I have been longing for since I came out of high school and not having anyone to train with, so it’s nice to train with guys, teammates and other teams, guys of the same age and see how we can compete,” Kibet said. “I really like it.”

The meet was the only time the Wildcats will compete in Tucson this year and was at Dell Urich Golf Course.

“Collins’ first win as a Wildcat and as a freshman, it’s great,” head coach James Li said. “It wasn’t a particularly competitive race but it was great for him to win, and next time will be a much bigger test for him and the rest of our team.”

The women’s three-mile race followed, scoring almost as well as the men. Arizona freshman Maria Larsson won first-place with a time of 16:31.73.

“This is my second run in college and my first win so it means a lot,” Larsson said. “To do it here in Tucson is an amazing feeling. There were a lot of people here and they were cheering and that felt good.”

Junior Nicci Corbin was second overall with a time of 16:39.68. Coming in third for the Wildcats, and taking fourth place overall was junior Hanna Peterson with a time of 17:14:19.

The UA women’s team won the Division I section with 19 points, while ASU racked up 40 points and second place. NAU finished third with 85 points and Grand Canyon University had a total of 120 points for fourth place.

Li said he is expecting even more from the Wildcats at this week’s meet in Minneapolis.

“We still have girls that are capable of stepping up even more,” Li said. “And that’s what we need if we really want to be a top finisher at the NCAA Championships.”

—Follow Makenzie Thiel @makenziethiel

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