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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Lalang wins men’s Pac-12 XC Championship

LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. — The Arizona cross-country team’s Lawi Lalang won the men’s race in the inaugural Pac-12 Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Litchfield Park, Ariz., while the women’s team finished fifth.

Lalang broke his fourth course record in four races and earned the Wildcats their 11th individual cross-country championship in the 8,000-meter course. He beat second-place finisher Chris Derrick of Stanford by eight seconds with a time of 22:37, the fastest winning time in conference history since 1969.

“I was confident,” Lalang said. “The course was nice and flat. I feel I am prepared for anything. The plan was to stay with them for the first 4k and after the 4k just to take off. I think I will take it easy for right now and prepare for nationals.”

Arizona’s young men’s team finished in eighth place, while the nationally ranked No. 5 women’s team was disappointed with the results.

“As a team we didn’t do as well as we wanted,” junior Jen Bergman said. “We really wanted to win. To win we would’ve all had to have been on and had a good race. But just not everyone was on today.”
The No. 6 Colorado men and No. 16 Colorado women took the team titles.

Bergman was Arizona’s top finisher in the 6,000-meter race with a time of 20:00. Sophomore Elvin Kibet placed a 13th, finishing in 20:25. Kibet was followed by junior Elizabeth Apgar in 19th place. Senior Hanna Henson finished 28th with a time of 20:52, and freshman Nicci Corbin was the fifth scoring Wildcat, coming in at 38th place with a time of 21:09.

“I’m kind of disappointed, but this is not going to bring me down,” Kibet said. “I am working hard and I know I am capable of doing better than that, but I am just going to keep my head up and support my team.”

On the men’s side, Lalang was followed by the UA’s second finisher, sophomore Patrick Zacharias, who came in 24th with a time of 23:55. Freshman Kenji Bierig crossed the line at 47th, followed by sophomore Noe Ramirez in 69th place, and redshirt freshman Sam Macaluso rounded out the scoring for the Wildcats in 72nd place.

“On the men’s side we have an extremely young team. Pat and Kenji came through running really well as young runners,” said head coach James Li. “As our young runners get stronger, we will get better next year. I am really, really pleased. We made great strides with the younger group this year.”

For the women, No. 16 Colorado came in first with 50 points. Second place went to Washington with 71 points and No. 8 Stanford rounded out the top three with 73 points. Arizona placed fifth with 126 points. Katie Flood of Washington won the individual title for the 6k women’s race.

“It was not the best day for the women’s team today,” Li said. “We’ve done very well this year and achieved a lot. But you win some, you lose some. I’m not going to be too worried about it. I’m not going to take anything away from our ladies.”

Both teams will compete in the NCAA West Regional Championships on Nov. 11 in Palo Alto, Calif. The men will run a 10,000-meter course and the women will compete in a 6,000-meter.

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