Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
No. 2 XC Women Take First at Grand Canyon Invite
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 06, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Oct. 6, 2012

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 TUCSON -  University of Arizona Wildcat No. 2 women's and men's cross country team competed at the Grand Canyon Invitational on Saturday. The race took place at Estrella Mountain Regional Park in Goodyear, Ariz.

The women's squad continued their winning ways, taking first place overall with 26 points (1-2-3-8-12). Junior Melanie McGrath led the way for the Arizona women, taking first place in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 18:15.2. This is the second race of the season that McGrath has been the Wildcats' top finisher. McGrath also led Arizona at the George Kyte Classic. Sophomore Kate Penney took second place overall, clocking a time of 18:20.2. Sophomore Molly Callahan's time of 18:32.9 was good for third place. Sophomore Hanna Peterson earned an eighth-place finish, posting a time of 18:56.8. Junior Hannah Moen finished in 12th place, clocking a time of 19:08.4. Sophomore Daylee Burr also ran for the Wildcats, she took 49th place with a time of 20:51.6.

"I'm really happy with Melanie (McGrath) coming back and running a strong race today," head coach James Li said. "I'm really happy for Kate (Penney) and her running so well. Going there, we wanted to give everyone a chance to race and we did that. We saw progress with some of the ladies and that's really good."

For the women, New Mexico State took second place with 47 points. Cerritos Community College finished in third with 104 points. Arizona State's total of 104 points was good for fourth place. Grand Canyon took fifth place, totaling 116 points.

On the men's side, the team earned a seventh-place finish overall with 179 points (24-29-35-44-47). Sophomore Thomas Valente led the way for the UA men, taking 24th place in the 8,000-meter race and posting a time of 25:59.6. Freshman Michael Parkes finished in 29th place with a time of 26:17.7. Freshman Christopher Tansey's time of 26:40.6 was good for 35th place. Sophomore Braden Timpe took 44th place, posting a time of 27:06.2. Junior Kevin Jani posted a time of 27:14.4, good for 47th place.

"The guys need some work," Li said. "I think some of the young guys didn't approach the race the best possible way. Like I said, everybody gets a chance and hopefully they will learn from this experience. Some of them are primary middle-distance runners and it is hard for them to run the longer distances, that is probably a contributing factor."

For the men, New Mexico State earned a first-place finish with 38 points. Cerritos Community College totaled 57 points, good for second place. Arizona State took third place with 57 points. Grand Canyon's 160 points was good for fourth place. Northern Arizona totaled 166 points, earning a fifth-place finish.

The Wildcats will return to action at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on October 12th in Madison, Wisc.