Wildcats Take On Elite Fields At Pre-NCAA Meet
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 11, 1999
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The Meet: The University of Arizona men's and women's cross country teams will compete at the NCAA Pre-Meet this Saturday, Oct. 16, on the Indiana University Cross Country Course in Bloomington, Ind. The men's 8,000m race will get things underway at 10 a.m. (EST), and the women's 5,000m race follows at 11:15 a.m.

Who's Going?: Competing for the Arizona women (No. 15 in the nation) will be: Mandee Ash, Kimberly Bates, Jennifer Burris, Tara Chaplin, Erin Doherty, Katrin Engelen, Kristen Parrish and Maia Wright. The men (No. 6) will field a team of: Mike Cramer, Micheil Jones, David Lopez, Jeremy Lyon, Brent Pederson, Tom Prindiville, and Steve Smith. The Wildcats will face some of the top teams in the nation at the meet. Short of the NCAA Championships, this will be this will be the most competitive field Arizona has faced this season. Highlighting the competition on the women's side are No. 1 Stanford, No. 4 Arizona State, No. 3 BYU, No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 6 Georgetown and No. 7 Colorado. The men will also have stellar competition with No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 5 Colorado and the No. 6 Wildcats.

Going Polling: The Arizona men are ranked No. 6 in this week's MONDO Cross Country poll. The Wildcat women moved from being unranked in the preseason poll to No. 15 in the Finish Lynx poll this week.

On the women's side: Sophomore Tara Chaplin steps into the top slot in the Arizona lineup this season after an excellent freshman season as the No. 2 runner on the squad. Sophomore Erin Doherty and junior Katrin Engelen have been the Wildcats' No. 2 and 3 runners this year, while senior Kristen Parrish has been nursing a left leg injury. Sophomore Jennifer Burris, freshman Kimberly Bates and senior Maia Wright give the Wildcats quality depth at the bottom of their order.

And for the men: Senior Micheil Jones has stepped into the No. 1 slot in the men's lineup, and proven to be one of the best runners in the nation this year. Junior David Lopez and sophomore Steve Smith have been solid in the No. 2 and 3 spots for the Wildcats. Seniors Jeremy Lyon and Brent Pedersen lead a core of returners including senior Mike White, and sophomores Tom Prindiville and Mike Cramer have also been part of a tight Arizona pack this season.

Head Coach Dave Murray: Murray is the dean of coaches at UA, as he is entering his 33nd year. He has coached three NCAA Cross Country champions and more than 100 All-Americans in Track and Field and Cross Country.

Last Meet: The Arizona men finished second, while the women were seventh at the Stanford Invitational. Micheil Jones took home the men's title, and Tara Chaplin was the women's top finisher in 11th.

In Review: The Arizona men and women both took home the titles at the Aztec Invitational, hosted by San Diego State, on Sept. 18. The men were led by Micheil Jones, who won his second straight race, while Tara Chaplin won the race on the women's side... The Arizona men's team won the team title at the Asics/UC-Irvine Invitational in Huntington Beach, Calif. The Wildcat women finished second to Arizona State at the meet. Individually, Arizona took home both titles, as Micheil Jones and Tara Chaplin won the first cross country races of their Arizona careers. Jones outdistanced himself from the men's field, winning the 8,000m event in 24:35.20. Chaplin won a tighter race, finishing the 5,000m course in 17:32.10. The Arizona men finished in a tight pack after Jones, with David Lopez, Steve Smith and Brent Pedersen finishing seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively. Tom Prindiville finished 11th. For the women, Katrin Engelen was 10th, Kristen Parrish was 13th, Erin Doherty was 20th and Kimberly Bates was 25th.

No Ordinary Jones: Senior Micheil Jones entered the season with the difficult task of replacing last year's No. 1 runner, Abdi Abdirahman, who was one of the best distance runners in UA history. Jones, however, has proved that he is quite capable himself. This year, Jones has captured the individual titles at his first three races. On Oct. 2 at the Stanford Invitational, Jones won the race in 24:19, outkicking the field by over 80 meters. He also won at the Asics/UCI Invitational and the Aztec Invitational. During the track and field season, he showed that he has developed into a fine distance runner, running 13:52.46 in the 5,000m at the Cardinal Invitational at Stanford. His time ranks No. 9 in UA history, and it qualified him to run at the NCAA Championships where he finished 20th. Jones also has very good speed, which he showed by finishing third in the 1,500m at the Pac-10 Championships after winning his qualifying heat at the meet.

Sophomore Sensation: Tara Chaplin had one of the best freshmen seasons in UA history last year when she competed in five NCAA Championship events - '98 XC, '99 Indoor 3,000m and 5,000m, and '99 Outdoor 5,000m and 10,000m. She finished fourth in UA's first four cross country meets of the season, behind only teammate Amy Skieresz. Chaplin finished 12th at the Pac-10 Championshps, 14th at the NCAA West Regional and 64th at the NCAA Championships. During the track and field season, Chaplin earned two All-America honors, finishing 10th in the Indoor 5,000m and 10th in the Outdoor 10,000m. She also won the Pac-10 title in the 5,000m. Chaplin won the first cross country title of her career, the Asics-UCI Invitational, Sept. 6. It did not take long for her to win her second career title, the following week at the Aztec Invitational.

Slew of Seniors: Both the Arizona men's and women's cross country teams have several seniors competing for them this year. The women's team is lead by the veteran experience of Kristen Parrish - who has run in the top three for the past three seasons - and Maia Wright - a fifth-year senior who has added quality depth in the past. On the men's side, Jeremy Lyon and Brent Pedersen give the Wildcats much needed experience. Lyon has shown in both track and cross country that he is a solid runner for the Wildcats, and will be near the top of the line-up this year. Pedersen transferred to UA from Hawai'i Pacific last season and was a solid runner, finishing as the Wildcats' No. 5 runner at the NCAA Championships.

1999 Arizona Cross Country Results

Asics/UC-Irvine Invitational
Saturday, Sept. 11
Central Park/Huntington Beach, Calif.
1st Place
1.	Micheil Jones	24:35.20
7. 	David Lopez	24:51.10
8. 	Steve Smith	24:53.10
9. 	Brent Pedersen	24:56.30
10. 	Tom Prindiville	24:58.40
19.*	Mike Cramer	25:17.80
43.*	Rick Weis	26:15.70
51*	Jeremy Lyon	26:41.80
65.*	Wade Juntunen	27:15.30

Aztec Invitational
Saturday, Sept. 18
Balboa Park/San Diego, Calif.
1st Place
1. 	Micheil Jones	25:04
3. 	David Lopez	25:18
4. 	Steve Smith	25:20
5. 	Tom Prindiville	25:22
6. 	Brent Pedersen	25:24
9.*	Mike Cramer	25:53
13.*	Rick Weis	26:16
18.*	Jeremy Lyon	26:36
23.*	Wade Juntunen	27:03

Stanford Invitational
Saturday, Oct. 2
Stanford Golf Course/Palo Alto, Calif.
2nd Place
1. 	Micheil Jones	24:19
2. 	David Lopez	24:48
11. 	Steve Smith	24:57
12. 	Tom Prindiville	25:01
14. 	Mike Cramer	25:04
16.*	Brent Pedersen	25:10
38.*	Jeremy Lyon	25:50
45.*	Rick Weis	25:59
88.*	Mike White	26:52

* - Non-Scorers

Women Asics/UC-Irvine Invitational Saturday, Sept. 11 Central Park/Huntington Beach, Calif. 5,000m 2nd Place 1. Tara Chaplin 17:32.10 10. Katrin Engelen 18:25.60 13. Kristen Parrish 18:27.10 20. Erin Doherty 18:40.40 25. Kimberly Bates 18:43.80 27.* Jennifer Burris 18:44.70 37.* Maia Wright 19:05.60 43.* Mandee Ash 19:17.70 Aztec Invitational Saturday, Sept. 18 Balboa Park/San Diego, Calif. 5,000m 1st Place 1. Tara Chaplin 17:21 7. Erin Doherty 18:15 10. Katrin Engelen 18:21 11. Jennifer Burris 18:24 12. Kimberly Bates 18:26 15.* Kristen Parrish 18:36 24.* Maia Wright 18:53 26.* Mandee Ash 19:01 Stanford Invitational Saturday, Oct. 2 Stanford Golf Course/Palo Alto, Calif. 5,000m 7th Place 11. Tara Chaplin 17:29 37. Erin Doherty 18:03 46. Jennifer Burris 18:12 47. Katrin Engelen 18:13 59. Kimberly Bates 18:27 62.* Maia Wright 18:37 73.* Mandee Ash 18:49 102.* Kristen Parrish 19:12 * - Non-Scorers

Murray's Musings: "This week's meet, especially for the women is going to be huge in terms of us moving on the NCAA Championships. It is the only chance other than our last meet for us to compete against some of the better teams from outside of our region. I have not doubt that it is going to be a very good race for both the men and the women because of the quality fields they have coming in. It is also going to give our top runners (Micheil Jones and Tara Chaplin) a chance to run against some of the best runners in the nation. On the men's side, Stanford looks like they are one of the best teams and Colorado is right behind them, so this is going to be a good test to see how our men stack up against them. Everyone is running very well right now, except for Kristen (Parrish) who has been bothered the last couple of weeks with a muscular pain in her (left) leg. She is going to be a definite key for us, this weekend and for the rest of the season. She is capable of being our No. 2 runner when she is healthy, but lately she has been running as our No. 5 or 6 lately."

1999 Pacific-10 Conference Championships: USC will host the '99 conference meet at El Dorado Regional Park in Long Beach, Calif. The meet will be held on Oct. 30, with the women's race getting things underway at 11 a.m. (PDT). The men's race follows.

1999 NCAA West Regional: This year's NCAA West Regional will be hosted by the University of Portland. It will be held at Blue Lake State Park in Gresham, Ore. on Nov. 13. The men's race goes off at 10 a.m. (CST) and the women's race will follow.

1999 NCAA Championships: Indiana University will host this year's NCAA Championships. The meet will be held on Nov. 22, at the IU Cross Country Course in Bloomington, Ind. UA will also compete in the NCAA Pre-Meet on Oct. 16, in Bloomington. The women's race starts at 11 a.m. (CST) and will be followed by the men's race.

Arizona Schedule Hotline: For a weekly update on Arizona's sports schedules, call 520-621-0909.