TUCSON – On Tuesday, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) released the week five national poll. Since the USTFCCCA was established in 1995, this marks the first time the University of Arizona women’s cross country team has been ranked No. 1 in the national poll.
The women’s squad entered the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 19, as the No. 3 team in the nation. Competing against a loaded field, including Providence who was No. 1 at the time, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 9 Michigan State and No. 28 Iowa State. The Wildcats won with a total of 117 points. Arkansas’ tally of 136 points was good for second place, giving the Arizona women a comfortable margin of victory.
On Saturday, sophomore Kayla Beattie led the first-place team; she took seventh place overall in the 6,000-meter race and posted a time of 19:56. Freshman Maria Larsson’s time of 20:07 was good for 15th place. Junior Nicci Corbin finished in 18th place, clocking a time of 20:09. Senior Elvin Kibet was the fourth finisher for the Wildcats, taking 21st and posting a time of 20:12. Junior Hanna Peterson’s time of 20:41 was good for 56th place and she was the fifth and final scorer for the Wildcats. The UA women’s team won their fourth race out of four races this year. They did not field a team at the Thunderbird Classic.
In the women’s national poll, five other Pac-12 schools join Arizona. Oregon fell six spots to No. 12, Washington dropped nine spots to No. 13, Colorado slid four spots and sits at No. 16, Stanford fell nine spots to No. 20 and Arizona State jumped to No. 26 after being unranked previously. In the USTFCCCA West Region, the UA women are ranked No. 1 as well.
On the men’s side, the Pac-12 has four schools in the national poll. Colorado jumped one spot to No. 1 in the country. Oregon remained fourth in the country. Stanford jumped 16 spots to 13th. Washington climbed to No. 25 after not being in the week four poll. The Arizona men’s cross country team is No. 10 in the USTFCCCA West Region.
Per the USTFCCCA, with Colorado and Arizona both representing the Pac-12 at No. 1 in their respective polls, the duo is the first pair of simultaneous No. 1 teams from the same conference since Stanford’s men and Washington’s women capped off a 23-week stretch of Pac-12 teams holding the polls’ top spots in week seven of the 2009 season.
The cross country program returns to action for the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday, Nov. 2 in Boulder, Colo. In 2012, the women’s team earned a runner-up finish. The women’s program will be looking to claim their first ever conference championship.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat men’s and women’s cross country, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and follow @ArizonaTrack on Twitter.