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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

XC conference preview

Both the men’s and women’s Arizona cross-country teams will head to Long Beach, Calif., for the Pacific 10 Conference Championships today with the gun sending off the men at 3 p.m. and the women at 4 p.m.

The No. 17 women will get their chance to uphold their national ranking as they enter the Pac-10 Championships ranked for the first time in eight seasons. 

The team, led by junior Maggie Callahan, has had a strong 2009 campaign thus far, bursting onto the national scene in the Pre-NCAA Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind. There, Callahan finished 18th individually and was aided by strong performances from freshmen Lauren Smith and Cami Jackson, who finished in 39th and 50th places, respectively.

“”We’ve been doing a lot of work in workouts in staying close together as a pack,”” sophomore Hannah Moen said to Arizona Athletics. “”If we can continue doing that … there’s no doubt that we will make it.””

Sophomores Moen and Hanna Henson, along with freshman Jennifer Bergman, will give head coach James Li’s team added depth if the freshmen don’t succumb to the pressure of their first conference meet. The Wildcats will go up against the No. 1 ranked Washington team in the 6,000-meter route.

For the men, junior Mohamud Ige will look to lead the pack. He won the men’s individual race in the Dave Murray Invitational in Tucson, but was injured during the following race, the Notre Dame Invitational.

Injuries and sickness have held the men’s squad back this year, and the Wildcats will rely upon senior Dylan Fitzpatrick and junior Victor Zazueta to keep pace with Ige if they hope to show better than last year’s seventh place finish in California.

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