Prindiville Leads Cross Country Team to 3rd Place Finish at Pac-10 Championships
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 28, 2000
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Women's and Men's Teams Both Finish Third

SEATTLE, Wash. (Oct. 28, 2000) -- University of Arizona junior Tara Chaplin won the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Cross Country title on October 28 in a very fast time and large margin over the rest of the field.

Chaplin completed the 6,000-meter Lincoln Park course in 20 minutes, 10 seconds, eclipsing the course record by 39 seconds. Chaplin's nearest competition, Arizona State's Lisa Aguilera finished 10 seconds back in 20:20.

Chaplin's performance led the women's team to a third place finish with 79 points. Stanford won the team title with 51 points, and Arizona State was second with 67, while the Wildcats edged Washington, which finished fourth with 83.

"Tara just ran a great race and really separated herself from the field late in the race," head coach Dave Murray said. "She beat the course record by 39 seconds, and ran fantastic. She worked her way up to the front about a mile in, and then she and Lisa Aguilera took off after a mile-and-half. With about 1,500 meters left, Tara just dropped (Aguilera) and went on to win.

The title is the second Pac-10 crown of Chaplin's career. As a true freshman, she won the 1999 5,000m title at the Pac-10 Track and Field Championships. Washington's Gillian Palmer set the previous Lincoln Park course record in 20:49 at the Sundogger Invitational earlier this season.

Junior Tom Prindiville ran the race of his cross country career to finish fifth and lead the Arizona men's team to a third place finish, as well, in Seattle. The Wildcat men finished with 70 points, four behind Oregon in second. Stanford won the title with 21 points. Cardinal runner Jonathan Riley won the men's 8,000-meter race in 23:29.

"Tom has been running very well in practice, and I had a feeling that he was going to run very well up here," Murray said. "This is a flat, fast course, and he really took advantage of it with his speed.

Prindiville was the Wildcats' No.1 runner for the first time in his career, covered the course in 23:50. Senior David Lopez finished ninth in 24:00, junior Steve Smith placed 11th (24:04), junior Mike Cramer was 13th (24:13), and freshman Andrew Carlson finished 32nd (24:48).

Senior Katrin Engelen led the rest of the women's team through the course, finishing eighth (20:50). Engelen has been sick for the past week and did not practice much of the time. Sophomore Nicole Gurnicz was the team's third finisher in 19th (21:24), while sophomore Kimberly Bates was 25th (21:42), and junior Jennifer Burris placed 26th (21:44).

Non-scorers for the Arizona men were senior Rick Weis in (33rd/24:49) and freshman Mike Howard (43rd/25:13). Junior Erin Doherty was the sixth runner for the Wildcats (34th/22:14), and freshman Beth Hoge was the seventh (38th/22:59).

The Wildcats take next weekend off before traveling to the NCAA West Regional, the qualifying meet for the NCAA Championships, Nov. 11, in Fresno, Calif.