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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mutanya takes first at home

    Senior Obed Mutanya races to victory at the Dave Murray Invitational  Friday at the Dell Urich Golf Course at Reid Park. Although the event wasnt officially scored by the NCAA, both the Arizonas mens and womens teams placed second to the respective ASU squads.
    Senior Obed Mutanya races to victory at the Dave Murray Invitational Friday at the Dell Urich Golf Course at Reid Park. Although the event wasn’t officially scored by the NCAA, both the Arizona’s men’s and women’s teams placed second to the respective ASU squads.

    The fourth-annual Dave Murray Invitational proved to be a strong outing for Arizona’s No. 8 men’s cross country team and senior Obed Mutanya, who won the event Friday at the Dell Urich Golf Course at Reid Park.

    Mutanya led the men to a second-place finish, which the Arizona women’s team duplicated, as both teams fell to ASU.

    The Wildcats nonetheless finished ahead of NAU, Central Arizona College, Pima College, Paradise Valley College and the Anasazi Track Club in an event not officially scored by the NCAA.

    “”I did whatever it (took) just to win the home meet,”” said Mutanya of this season’s only race in Tucson. “”The hills were tough on me and made me really tired, but when you hear everyone cheering your name on the sidelines, you want to run harder.””

    Joining right along with the spirit section was close friend and senior teammate Robert Cheseret, who didn’t participate Friday but will make his racing debut in Saturday’s Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis.

    “”Obed did really well today, and I’m excited to run with him next race,”” Cheseret said.

    Mutanya, who was neck-and-neck with Central Arizona’s Tyson David midway through the 6-kilometer race, pulled ahead in the latter stages, finishing eight seconds ahead of David with a time of 17:51.8.

    “”If I can run like (I did Friday) next week in Minnesota, I will be in good shape,”” Mutanya said.

    Arizona’s next six runners finished within a minute of one another.

    Senior Moses Mpanga finished fifth with a time of 18:23.6, followed by junior Chris Ogle (eighth , 18:40.5) – who lost one shoe at the mile marker – senior Eric Chavez (12th , 18:52.4); senior Kenny Frank (13th, 18:56); sophomore Jason Colavito (16th, 19:04.6); and junior Ben Eid (19th, 19:11.6).

    Winning both the team events, the No. 20 ASU men’s team claimed six of the top 10 spots, while the Sun Devils’ No. 9 women’s team had eight of the top 10 runners.

    “”I don’t think we had the team effort that we would have liked,”” said UA assistant coach Amy Skieresz-Wilson, who oversaw both teams with head coach James Li out of town. “”There were some great individual performances. … But on the whole, (neither) team ran as well as they should have.””

    UA sophomore Marissa Urban was the top finisher for the Arizona women, coming in seventh place with a time of 13:44.8 in the 4-kilometer race.

    “”I really surprised myself today,”” Urban said. “”I felt tired, but I felt strong at the same time. It’s pretty intense racing at home because it’s your home turf and you want to do well to protect it.””

    Sophomore Shelly Splittberger finished 11th with a time of 14:44, followed by senior Ashley Ippolito (14th, 14:51.8); freshman Tiffany Sorrell (15th, 14:52.1); and juniors Angelina Cabrera (16th, 14:53.8) and Danelle Onate (18th, 14:59.8).

    “”We had a pack, which is great, but the pack wasn’t at the front of the race,”” Skieresz-Wilson said. “”It was the first race of the year for a lot of the (runners), so sometimes it takes a race or two to get under your belt and get things figured out.””

    Skieresz-Wilson said she feels that adjustments can be made fairly easily this early in the season.

    “”We can build on this race,”” she said. “”Hopefully, when we go to Minnesota, things will be a lot better in terms of competing as a team. We can find what we need to fix, and we’ll be fine as long as we fix those things.””

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