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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona cross country makes improvements ahead of Pac-12 Championships, take second overall in ASU Invitational


Courtesy of Arizona Athletics

Arizona cross country athlete Kayla Ferron runs in the ASU Cross Country Invitational on Friday, Oct. 23. Ferron finished second in last year’s event for the women and finished first this season.

The Arizona men’s and women’s cross-country teams competed in the ASU Cross Country Invitational on Friday at the Papago Golf Course in Tempe.

Both the men and the women’s teams took second overall.

The women’s team competed in the three-mile race and the men’s team competed in the four-mile race.

Kayla Ferron led the women’s team, placing first overall in the three-mile race with a time of 17:46.47. Ferron had finished second overall at this meet in the same race last year.

McKenna Gaffney, who finished fifth with a time of 18:27.24, was the next Wildcat to finish after Ferron. Kirsten Vergara finished in seventh place with a time of 18:40.26, while Taryn Estavillo came in 10th with a time of 19:16.14. Margie Moyer finished the race with a time of 20:41.18, earning a 20th place finish, and Tiffany Riley came in right behind her in 21st place with a time of 21:28.97.

The men were led by Patrick Leary, who ran a time of 20:56.30 to earn a fourth-place finish in the four-mile race.

Jeffrey Gautreau ran a time of 21:11.72 to finish in sixth place. Matthew Beer, who finished in sixth last year at this meet, took 12th with a time of 21:36.62. Brendan Tinoco finished in 14th place running a time of 21:57.27, while Alex Hart finished in 18th place with a time of 22:10.89. Daniom Tecle rounded out the Arizona finishers and the top 20, coming in 20th with a time of 22:26.37.

All three Arizona schools finished in the top three, as ASU won the event and NAU finished third in both men’s and women’s.

The Wildcat women were unable to defend their title at the event, but Arizona head coach James Li said he liked the improvements his runners made.

“I’m really happy that we have people making good progress,” Li said. “I’m happy that they are doing better, especially if you compare to the beginning of the year. I’m happy for Kayla [Ferron] to get a win, but I’m more proud of her progress.”

Arizona’s next meet will be in Colfax, Washington, as they travel north to compete in the Pac-12 Championships.

“We have a few more days to go until Pac-12 Championships, and if our kids can keep improving, we’ll be okay,” Li said.

The Pac-12 Championships are Friday at 10:30 a.m. and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

Follow Brandon James on Twitter.

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