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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


XC opens season in Flagstaff

The Arizona men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel north to participate in the George Kyte Classic meet at Buffalo Park in Flagstaff, Ariz., tomorrow.

The meet provides Arizona an opportunity to compete against the Lumberjacks, ASU, and seven other schools. The No. 8 women begin their 5,000-meter race at 1:30 p.m. with the men starting their 8,000-meter race at 2:15 p.m.

“(The George Kyte Classic) is our first meet of the season, so we kind of use it as a tune up,” said coach Erin Dawson, who is assuming all of the head coaching responsibilities as head coach James Li is off at the 2011 IAAF World Championships for Track and Field in Daegu, South Korea. “We will run our B-squad and give our freshmen a chance to line up in a UA jersey and get a little experience at the collegiate level.”

Several true freshmen, such as Kenji Bierig, Dylan Souza, Thomas Valente, Daylee Burr, Nicci Corbin, Kate Penney, and Hayley Stenquist, have the opportunity to run for the Wildcats this weekend.

“It’s a good chance for them to … see what it’s like to run against the college ranks in a low-key meet before we go into some of the bigger meets later in the season,” Dawson said.

Juniors Melanie McGrath and Katherine Howard will provide additional experience for the team, while sophomores Rory McLeod and Erin Menefee, and redshirt freshman Sam Macaluso, will round out the rest of the team.

The meet may be just a glorified preseason meet for the Wildcats, but Dawson still expects the team to win.

“We should win on both the men’s and the women’s side,” Dawson said. “We should take it.”

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