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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    All-region Cheseret and Mutanya lead cross country to NCAA Championships

    Welcome back, gentlemen.

    A year removed from placing 10th nationally, seniors Robert Cheseret and Obed Mutanya, who were named to the All-West Region Cross Country team on Wednesday, lead the No. 23 Arizona men’s cross country team to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., today.

    This is Cheseret’s fourth all-region award and Mutanya’s second.

    “”I think it shows our effort,”” Cheseret said.

    The two runners have always been close on the course and serve as the pack leaders.

    Mutanya placed third overall in the Western Regionals Oct. 11 with a time of 30:14.64. Cheseret took eighth place 17 seconds later.

    “”He’s always pushing me in training,”” Cheseret said. “”And racing, Obed has been very consistent, always close to me.””

    The runners’ achievements and athleticism have earned great acclaim from their teammates as well.

    “”Robert and Obed, in my mind, are world-class runners,”” junior Chris Ogle said. “”They’re amazing, and they run well together. Robert is probably the most professional runner I’ve ever seen. And Obed has been right there with him. We’re all really proud of those guys.

    Seniors Moses Mpanga, who placed 27th at regionals and Eric Chavez (56th) and juniors Chris Ogle (64th), Kenny Frank (69th) and sophomore Jason Colavito (95th) complete the pack in the 32-team, 8K race.

    “”I think we can place in the top 15 teams,”” UA head coach James Li said. “”We need to have Eric Chavez, Chris Ogle and Kenny Frank to move up a little bit more than they did in regionals, and then I think we’ll do well as a team.””

    Not only is this the last race of the season, but it is the last collegiate race for four of the seven Wildcats.

    “”We’re tapering going into it, so our legs feel better,”” Ogle said. “”It’s the last meet. I don’t think anyone’s going to leave anything out there. Everybody’s pretty committed.””

    The weather will come into play on top of the pressure to perform.

    “”We’re from Tucson, and it’s going to be in Terre Haute, Indiana, which is colder than anything else on earth,”” Ogle said of the 41-degree forecast.

    To prepare for the frosty conditions, the team has been running at 5:30 a.m., “”before the sun comes up,”” to get used to running in the cold.

    The squad arrived in Terre Haute Friday, giving them the whole weekend to get used to the weather.

    “”With an experienced team, we know just what to expect,”” Cheseret said.

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