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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA cross country set to begin 2016 season, build upon 2015

Zi Yang Lai

Collins Kibet (17) runs the course at the 2015 Dave Murray Invitational on Sept. 18, 2015.

What a time to be an athlete.

After a hot summer of intense training sessions, diet management and spending hours in the gym, everything is finally starting up again. With fall sports right around the corner, the start of cross country season is rapidly approaching and the players are ready to run.

This year’s cross country men’s team will feature five freshman. However, with a group of seniors that consists of Matthew Beer, Jeff Gautreau, Collins Kibet and Patrick Leary, there will be plenty of experience.

With a solid group together, the men are hoping to build upon their 2015 season.

The 4-mile was one of the most successful races for the UA team last season. Senior Collins Kibet finished in second place at the U of A Cross Country Twilight event with a 4-mile time of 20:52. Patrick Leary finished fourth at the ASU Cross Country Invitational with a time of 20:56.3. 

With both members returning and a talented young group behind them, the Wildcats are hoping to see further success in the 4-mile this season.

The men’s team has three second-place finishes and one first-place finish last year. They finished the 2015 season with a ninth place finish at the Pac-12 championship.

The women’s team lacks the senior leadership with only two upperclassmen on its roster.

Kayla Ferron, a red-shirt junior, and Claire Green, a junior, will provide the leadership required for a successful season. Due to the lack of upperclassman, the team will look for solid production form sophomore Addi Zerrenner.

Last season, Zerrenner placed second at the Dave Murray Invitational with a time of 16:55 at the 2.6-mile event, and finished second at the George Kyte Classic with a time of 15:11.9 in the 3-mile.

The women’s team had two third-place finishes, two second-place finishes and one first-place in 2015. The ended the year with an eighth-place finish at the Pac-12 championships and a 14th-place finish at the NCAA western regional.

The first home meet is scheduled for Saturday. In a few days, both teams will get the opportunity to show how much work they’ve put in during the summer.

Follow Varun Iyer on Twitter.

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