Cold Weather Slows Wildcat Cross Country at NCAA Championships
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 20, 2000
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AMES, Iowa - The wind chill was 15-below-zero with gusts of up to 40 miles per hour Monday, hampering the efforts of the University of Arizona men's and women's cross country teams at the NCAA Championships. The men's team finished 12th, and the women were 19th in the inclement weather on the Iowa State Cross Country Course.

Arkansas won the men's title with 83 points, edging Colorado, which finished second with 94 points. Providence (121), Stanford (149) and Wisconsin (167) rounded out the top five. The Wildcats finished with 419 points. Providence's Keith Kelly finished in 30 minutes, 14.5 seconds to edge Farleigh Dickenson's Stephen Ondieki for the individual title.

Colorado's Kara Grgas-Wheeler won the women's individual title in 20:30.5 and led the Buffaloes to the team crown with 117 points. Brigham Young (167), Stanford (198), Boston College (214) and Georgetown (247) also finished in the top five. The Wildcats accumulated 476 points in 19th place.

"We didn't have that good of a day, but the weather played a part of that," head coach Dave Murray said. "It was about 15-to-20 below with the (wind) chill, and that really effected some of our people, especially the women who ran first. Everyone had to run in the weather, but I think it is more of a disadvantage for the warm-weather schools."

Three Wildcat men finished in the top-100, led by senior David Lopez in 70th place, running 31:27.8 on the 10,000-meter course. Juniors Tom Prindiville, Mike Cramer and Steve Smith were the Wildcats' next three runners in 89th (31:39.8), 96th (31:43.8) and 124th (31:55.8), respectively. True freshman Andrew Carlson was the Wildcats' No.5 runner in 161st (32:17.1).

"Our men ran very solid. No one had a great race, but no one really collapsed," Murray said. "David, Tom and Mike all finished in the top 100, and Steve was not far behind, so it was a good race, but just not good enough."

Junior Tara Chaplin led the women's team with a 45th place finish, running 21:32.2 on the 6,000-meter course. Senior Katrin Engelen finished 91st (21:55.8), while juniors Jennifer Burris and Erin Doherty were 122nd (22:09.2) and 179th (22:42.4), respectively. Sophomore Nicole Gurnicz was the team's No. 5 runner in 183rd (22:44.5).

Non-scorers for the Arizona men were freshman Matt McInvale (185th, 32:26.8) and senior Rick Weis (221st, 32:59.5). Sophomore Kimberly Bates (199th, 22:54.0) and freshman Beth Hoge (243rd, 24:14.4) were the women's non-scorers.

"Overall, we had another good, solid season," Murray said. "We ran very well throughout the year, and had some nice team and individual finishes. We didn't run great here (at the NCAA Championships), but we did not run badly. It still was a quality season."

Complete results can be found on the NCAA Championships' website.