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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Cross country seeks Pac-10 pride

    The Arizona men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete in the Pacific 10 Championships tomorrow in Palo Alto, Calif. with only each team’s reputation on the line.

    “”This is a race just for the bragging rights in the Pac-10 Conference,”” UA head coach James Li said.

    The No. 25 men’s team will compete against seven other teams, including No. 5 Stanford, No. 7 Oregon and No. 26 Washington, while the women’s squad will be one of 10 scheduled to compete, including No. 1 Stanford and No. 8 Arizona State.

    Even if neither team picks up the pace after sub-par results in their last races, it will not hurt their chances for qualifications into the NCAA Championships Nov. 20.

    Representing the Wildcats on the men’s side will be nine runners, including seniors Robert Cheseret and Obed Mutanya, and one alternate in the 8-kilometer race.

    “”We have a good chance to place in the top three, I think,”” Li said.

    After placing ninth out of 36 teams, the team was disappointed with its last performance in Terre Haute, Ind., at the Pre-NCAA meet Oct. 14.

    “”Since Pre-(Nationals) I think we’ve all had time to reflect and really analyze what we were missing from that race,”” junior Chris Ogle said. “”We know exactly what we have to do in terms of staying together as a group.””

    It’s something the team failed to do last time out.

    Although Cheseret placed second out 243 runners in the 8-kilometer race and Mutanya took fourth place, the rest of the team didn’t finish until after senior Moses Mpanga crossed the line in 60th, with junior Kenny Frank coming in 101st and Ogle 126th.

    This meet, however, Li’s expecting much better results.

    “”At Pre-Nationals, there were a lot of teams there and it was a different type of competition,”” he said.

    For the women, junior team captains Emily McGregor and Angelina Cabrera will lead the young squad into the 6K, where the team will be challenged to run faster than they did in the Pre-NCAAs, where they placed 34th out of 37 teams.

    “”We certainly would like to have our women’s team compete at a higher level than the last meet,”” Li said, “”and I think we’re definitely capable of doing that.””

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