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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona cross-country thrives at Greater Louisville Classic

Arizona’s No. 12 women’s cross-country team won the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday and the unranked men finished in seventh-place.

The women earned a first-place finish in the 5,000-meter race with 71 points. Junior Elvin Kibet led the Wildcats to victory in her second consecutive first-place finish with a time of 16 minuets and 51 seconds.

Sophomore Nicci Corbin, senior Jen Bergman, senior Elizabeth Apgar, and junior Amanda Russell finished 11th, 12th, 19th, and 28th, respectively.

“It was tremendous for our women’s team to come here and beat all those teams, especially No. 1 Washington,” head coach James Li said in a press release. “It was great for her [Elvin Kibet]. She stayed really patient and then took off the last mile.”

The Wildcats defeated 30 opponents on Saturday, six of which were ranked. The No. 1 overall ranked Washington finished in second-place and No. 8 Vanderbilt claimed sixth place.

Sophomore Stephanie Bulder, junior Erin Menefee, sophomore Clea Formaz, junior Melanie McGrath, and sophomore Molly Callahan also competed in the race for the Wildcats but their results were not factored into the team score.

“This was a significant win,” Li said. “It’s still early in the season but this one gives us a lot of comfort heading into the latter part of the year. If we can keep things like this, we’ll be in great shape.”

The Arizona men earned a seventh-place finish in the 8,000-meter race. The Wildcats finished with a total of 236 points. Arizona sophomore and defending NCAA individual cross-country champion Lawi Lalang, made his 2012 debut with a first-place finish and a time of 22 minuets and 33 seconds. Senior Stephen Sambu finished in second-place with a time of 22 minuets and 36 seconds.

Sophomore Kenji Bierig, freshman Nathan Kandie, and sophomore Sam Macaluso finished 51st, 76th, and 124th respectively.

Senior Rory McLeod, sophomore Thomas Valente, junior James Eichberger, and freshman Christopher Tansey also ran for Arizona but results were not factored into team score.

Even though Lalang is the defending champion and Sambu is a veteran, Li still was impressed by what the two accomplished on Saturday, breaking the course record by nearly 35 seconds.

“Lawi [Lalang] and Stpehen [Sambu] ran terrific races,” Li said. “ They took charge from the start and never looked back. They look really strong.”

Li believed the rest of the men ran a solid race, but Arizona is still trying to build the depth of their roster.

“We still aren’t quite there,” Li said. “But they did well. We still need to get our fourth and fifth guys stronger, when we do that, the men’s team will be a contender too.”

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