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Wildcat Cross Country Has Superb Showing at Notre Dame Invitational
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 10/06/2000
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The University of Arizona men's and women's cross country teams both had excellent performances against some of the country's best teams at the Notre Dame Invitational Friday on the Burke Memorial Golf Course.

The men's team finished second out of 22 teams with 116 points, while the Arizona women finished third out of 31 with 145 points. Stanford won both the men's and women's title with 23 and 35 points, respectively. Michigan was second on the women's side with 143 points.

Arizona's biggest accomplishment at the meet was beating several teams from other NCAA regions that will likely qualify for the NCAA Championships from their respective regional meets later this season. By beating them at this meet, Arizona enhanced its chances to earn at-large berths to the NCAA Championships if either team does not qualify automatically.

The third place finish by the Arizona women was also impressive because of the absence of their No. 1 runner, junior Tara Chaplin, who did not compete while resting up for the Pre-NCAA meet next week.

Senior Katrin Engelen was the team's top finisher at the meet, placing 13th in 17 minutes, 33 seconds on the 5,000-meter course. Junior Erin Doherty was the team's No. 2 finisher, as she ran one of the best races of her career to finish 21st (17:43). Sophomore Kimberly Bates finished 28th (17:55), freshman Beth Hoge was 38th (18:07), and sophomore Nicole Gurnicz finished 45th (18:12).

"Our women all ran extremely well. To finish third at this meet without Tara, our No. 1 runner, was a great achievement," head coach Dave Murray said. "We beat a number of teams who are not from our region, but will probably qualify automatically from their regions (for the NCAA Championships)."

The men's team finished second on the strength of a solid team race from its top five runners on the 5-mile course. Junior Mike Cramer was the team's top finisher in seventh place (24:17). Junior Tom Prindiville ran one of his best-ever races for the second straight week to finish 15th (24:35). Senior David Lopez was 18th (24:40), junior Steve Smith placed 33rd (24:59) and freshman Andrew Carlson was 45th (25:07).

"Overall, our top five men ran a very good race," Murray said. "We also beat some good teams in that race that were either ranked ahead of us or will probably qualify for the NCAA meet out of their regions."

Non-scorers for the Arizona men were senior Rick Weis in 60th (25:23) and freshman Mike Howard in 69th (25:31). The women's non-scorers were junior Jennifer Burris (57th, 18:22), sophomore Harisimiran Khalsa (104th, 18:49) and freshman Andrea Schwartz (153rd, 19:14).

The Wildcats are in the midst of their first back-to-back competitive weekends of the season. They run again next Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Pre-NCAA Invitational. The race will be run in Ames, Iowa, on the course that will host the NCAA Championships Nov. 20.

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