Sept. 29, 2012
The women's squad earned a first-place finish in the 5,000-meter race with 71 points (1-11-12-19-28). No. 1 Washington took second place with 80 points. Michigan State and Arkansas tied for third place with 135 points. Penn State totaled 161 points, good for fifth place.
Junior Elvin Kibet earned a first-place finish with a time of 16:51.71, her second-straight win of the season. Kibet's margin of victory was 3.43 seconds. Sophomore Nicci Corbin was UA's second finisher, taking 11th place with a time of 17:05.41. Senior Jen Bergman made her 2012 debut, clocking a time of 17:05.87 and earning a 12th-place finish. Senior Elizabeth Apgar finished in 19th place, posting a time of 17:14.17. Junior Amanda Russell's time of 17:20.95 was good for 28th place and Arizona's fifth scorer.
Also running for the UA women were sophomore Stephanie Bulder (41st; 17:31.89), junior Erin Menefee (68th; 17:47.75), sophomore Clea Formaz (113th; 18:05.64), junior Melanie McGrath (123rd; 18:11.43) and sophomore Molly Callahan (166th; 18:26.99).
"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. "It was a pretty good breakthrough race for Elvin (Kibet). Of all the big races she has run in her cross-country career, this is her first win. It is a really good win for her, running against NCAA Champion's like Katie Flood (Washington), it was great for her. She stayed really patient and then took off the last mile and nobody could respond. "This was a significant race, 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."
On the men's side, Arizona earned a seventh-place finish in the men's 8,000-meter race, totaling 236 points (1-2-49-72-112). Iona took first place with 47 points. Columbia totaled 110 points, good for second. Georgia earned a third-place finish, good for 143 points. Missouri's 152 points placed them in fourth. Texas finished in fifth place with 16 points.
Sophomore Lawi Lalang made his 2012 debut on Saturday and picked up right where he left off from 2011's NCAA Championship. He clocked a time of 22:33.57, good for his seventh-straight victory, dating back to last year. Senior Stephen Sambu finished right behind his teammate with a time of 22:36.37, good for second place. Sophomore Kenji Bierig finished in 51st place, clocking a time of 24:44.17. Freshman Nathan Kandie's time of 25:01.47 was good for 76th place. Sophomore Sam Macaluso finished in 124th place, posting a time 25:29.59.
Senior Rory McLeod (142nd; 25:44.17), sophomore Thomas Valente (160th; 25:54.22), junior James Eichberger (180th; 26:06.52) and freshman Christopher Tansey (182nd; 26:07.10) also ran for the UA men's squad.
"Lawi (Lalang) and Stephen (Sambu) ran terrific races," Li said. "They took charge from start and never looked back. They look really strong. They broke the course record by about 35 seconds. They were really impressive. The rest of the guys ran a solid race, we still aren't quite there 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."
The men's and women's cross country squad will return to action on October 6th for the Grand Canyon Invitational in Goodyear, Ariz.