Oct. 12, 2012
The women's team earned a third-place finish overall in the women's 6,000-meter race, totaling 242 (7-23-46-73-93) points. The Wildcats were led by junior Elvin Kibet who clocked a time of 19:53 and took seventh place. Senior Jen Bergman earned a 23rd-place finish, clocking a time of 20:07. Senior Elizabeth Apgar's time of 20:26 was good for 46th place. Sophomore Stephanie Bulder posted a time of 20:41, taking 73rd place. Junior Erin Menefee clocked a time of 20:47 and finished 93rd place. Also running for the UA women were junior Amanda Russell (113th; 20:53) and senior Melanie McGrath (249th; 21:43).
Iowa State's women won with 109 points. Stanford totaled 181 points, good for second place. Washington finished in fourth place and earned 252 points. Cornell earned a fifth-place finish with 264 points.
"The women had a great race," head coach James Li said. "Once again, I am so impressed by the improvement of the ladies as a whole. Everyone ran so much faster. Today it made such a big difference that our fourth, fifth and sixth girls ran so much faster than they did last year on the same course. They made such a big difference for our team. The competition was really good, a high quality meet and we still managed to finish third. I'm really happy about it and I think we performed really well. I'm so proud of the girls who improved so much, Stephanie (Bulder), Erin (Menefee), and Amanda (Russell). With Elvin (Kibet) and Jen (Bergman) continuing to be our top runners, we're just going to keep moving towards championship season."
On the men's side, the team earned a 25th-place finish, totaling 608 (1-2-90-251-264) points. Sophomore Lawi Lalang and senior Stephen Sambu continued the trend of 1-2 finishes for the duo. Lalang defended his meet title, clocking a meet-record time of 23:03. Lalang broke his own course record of 23:10, set on October 14, 2011. Sambu clocked a time of 23:07, good for second place. Sophomore Kenji Bierig clocked a time 24:14, taking 90th place. Freshman Nathan Kandie clocked a time of 25:17, taking 251st place. Sophomore Sam Macaluso's time of 25:28 was good for 264th place. Arizona's sixth runner was sophomore Thomas Valente who took 289th place with a time of 26:19.
For the men, Stanford won with 135 points. Iona finished in second place with 145 points. Oklahoma's score of 166 points was good for third place. Texas totaled 267 points and finished in fourth place. Arkansas claimed fifth place, earning 308 points.
"Lawi and Stephen tried to run more of a tactical race, and hold back early on," Li said. "They looked great after about 5K when they made their move. The two of them are looking really great. It was another course record for Lawi, which is incredible. Kenji (Bierig) ran a really good race, he ran about three minutes faster than he did on the same course last year. After that, we were hurting pretty bad. We have to regroup and hopefully get some guys back from injury. I'm still hopeful that we can have a men's team make it to the NCAA Championships."
The Wildcats will begin the championship portion of the season on October 27th in with the Pac-12 Championships in Los Angeles, Calif.