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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats head to Tempe for ASU Invitational

Zi Yang Lai

Arizona cross country athlete Matthew Beer (15) runs in the Dave Murray Invitational on Friday, Sept. 18.

The Arizona men’s and women’s cross country team will be heading to Tempe to compete in the ASU Cross Country Invitational starting at 4:20 p.m. Friday at the Papago Golf Course.

This will be the UA’s final meet before the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships.

The men will be competing in the four-mile race and the women will be running in the three-mile race.

The ASU Cross Country Invitational will be a change of pace for Arizona after competing in the Pre-Nationals meet, a competition that schools from all over the country came to run.

Arizona associate head coach James Li is looking forward to giving some of the runners who do not usually compete the opportunity to run in the meet.

“[I’m] not going to run most of top runners this meet; it is a pretty low-key meet,” Li said. “It’ll give some of the developing runners another chance to race.”

Li said he would be holding out the top five or six runners on both the men’s and women’s team, something he said is a common cross country practice as he expects ASU to do the same.

Without the top runners competing, the men’s team will be represented by Matthew Beer, Jeff Gautreau, Alex Hart, Patrick Leary, Jonas Legernes, Daniom Tecle and Brendan Tinoco.

Beer is familiar with the ASU Cross Country Invitational, helping last year’s Arizona men’s squad take second overall while finishing sixth individually in the men’s race.

Taryn Estavillo, Kayla Ferron, McKenna Gaffney, Margie Moyer, Tiffany Riley and Kirsten Vergara will be competing on the women’s team.

Ferron is also familiar with this meet. She placed second last year and helped the women take first overall.

Li said Arizona has been training hard this week in preparation for this meet and the championships to follow. The coach said he is seeing improvement from his team but knows they can still perform better.

“We are making progress,” Li said. “The guys and girls in general are better and improving their times on the one hand; on the other hand, we still have a long ways to go and there are a lot of runners finishing ahead of us.”

This meet provides the younger and less experienced runners an opportunity to make improvements and have a good individual performance.

“Cross country boils down to individual performances,” Li said.

See the results on Arizona Athletics’ website following Friday’s event.

Follow Hunter McAdams on Twitter.

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