Sept. 14, 2002
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of Arizona's men's and women's cross country teams opened the 2002 season in San Diego, Calif. at the Aztec Invitational. The meet, hosted by San Diego State, featured some of the nations top teams, such as Arkansas, Northern Arizona, USC and San Diego State. The UA men placed second behind the No. 5 NAU Lumberjacks. The Wildcat men scored 63 points to NAU's 16. On the women's side, the Wildcats placed sixth with 161 points.
Junior Mark Anderson, who placed fifth overall, led the Wildcat men in their second-place team performance. Anderson broke up the NAU sweep of the top-five places by distancing himself from the Lumberjack's No. 5 runner, Charlie Koeppen. Anderson was clocked at 25:46 on the 8,000-meter course. Anderson was followed by junior Eric Bohn, who placed 12th with a time of 26:45. Sophomore Josh Ludwig was the No. 3 runner for the Wildcats. Ludwig placed 14th in the standings and clocked a time of 26:52. Junior Wade Juntunen wasn't far behind in 15th place, finishing with a time of 26:56. The final scoring runner for the Wildcats was 17th-place redshirt-freshman Aaron Powell. Powell completed the race in a time of 27:03. The Arizona men also had help from junior Craig Pansing (20th, 27:49) and redshirt-freshman Jin Daikoku (26th, 28:30).
On the women's side, the Wildcats were led by freshman Jenny Sears. She completed the 5,000-meter course in 19:38 to claim 24th place. She was followed by redshirt-freshman Adrienne Goeller, who placed 28th with a time of 19:57. The No. 3 runner for the Wildcats was redshirt-freshman Robin Tierney. Tierney finished 30th while clocking a time of 20:09. She was followed by redshirt-freshman Michi Hirakawa-Wong, who clocked a time of 20:33 to claim 36th place. The final scorer for the Wildcat women was redshirt-freshman Susan Mortensen. Mortensen covered the course in 21:02 and finished 43rd. Redshirt-freshman Jen Ford (45th, 21:09) and senior Harisimran Khalsa (47th, 21:30) rounded out the top-seven for the Wildcats.
After a strong showing for the UA men, they will look to continue their success as the season rolls on. The Wildcat women succeeded in going to San Diego and gaining some experience for the young team. Both teams expect to improve and continue their success in the coming meets. The Wildcats will be off next weekend as they prepare for the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, September 28 in Minneapolis, Minn. The Wildcats will face even tougher competition in Minnesota.
*Did not score.