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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Cross country begins season in Flagstaff tomorrow

    The Arizona men’s and women’s cross country teams begin their seasons tomorrow at the George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff, where they will take on ASU and host NAU.

    Although both UA squads have been training hard early in the morning, the meet will be a low-impact introduction to the season, runners said.

    UA head coach James Li said it will be more of a “”warmup race”” used as training to get the runners ready for the later, “”more important races.”” It will primarily be a race for the less experienced runners to get their feet wet.

    Senior Robert Cheseret won’t run competitively until the third meet of the season to ensure his health. He plans to acquire sufficient training time after running well into the middle of the summer, last racing competitively in Rethymno, Greece, in mid-July.

    “”I am nervous,”” Cheseret said about his postponed debut, “”but (my teammates) make me feel that I’m going to be ready.””

    Outside of viewing this as a preparatory match, the men’s team strives to open the season as well as it did last year. The team placed first at last season’s USF Invitational, with senior Obed Mutanya taking the individual title.

    Mutanya said he isn’t worried about repeating the act.

    “”I’d like to see how the first race goes,”” he said, “”and then I can predict the rest of the season.””

    The women’s team is in a similar situation to the men’s team in that it will have a light break into the season. The race will be a 5-kilometer run as opposed to the usual racing distance of a 6K.

    The squad is also using this extended weekend as a time for a team bonding retreat. The mid-70-degree weather of Flagstaff is a good environment to start building team chemistry before hitting it hard the rest of the season as a unified team.

    Furthermore, the top five runners, including top junior Emily McGregor, will be absent from this race, McGregor said.

    McGregor, like Cheseret, is in the process of rebuilding herself physically through training after taking some time off to recover from a stress fracture suffered during track and field season and the passing of her twin sister this summer.

    “”Its hard to get back into it,”” McGregor said. “”It’s good to take some time off, but I’m coming back.””

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