TUCSON – The University of Arizona Wildcat men’s and No. 1women’s cross country teams ran in the NCAA West Regional on Friday in Sacramento, Calif. The men ran 10,000 meters at Coal Creek Golf Course while the women ran 6,000 meters. The women’s team continued their undefeated season and won the NCAA West Regional, automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.
The top two teams from each of the nine NCAA Regional Championships held on Friday automatically advance to the NCAA Championships. An additional 13 men’s and 13 women’s teams will be extended at-large bids on Saturday. Also, the top four individuals not on the top two regional teams will be guaranteed selection to the NCAA Championships, provided that they have finished in the Regional top 25. Two additional individuals will receive at-large bids on Saturday.
Senior Elvin Kibet led the women’s team; she took eighth place in the 6K with a time of 19:39. Sophomore Kayla Beattie finished just behind Kibet, also clocking a time of 19:39 and taking ninth place. Freshman Maria Larsson’s time of 19:43 was good for 10th place overall. Junior Nicci Corbin finished in 12th place with a time of 19:54. Junior Stephanie Bulder was the final scorer for the UA women; her time of 20:39 was good for 45th place. Senior Erin Menefee’s time of 20:49 was good for 58th place. Junior Hanna Peterson finished in 105th place and clocked a time of 21:27.
“I think it went well,” head coach James Li said. “We really stressed that we wanted the girls to run as easy as possible. Winning wasn’t the goal that we set for everyone, we just wanted to qualify for the NCAA championships. We went out pretty relaxed and the top four girls still ran really nicely as a group. That sealed it for us, four girls in the top 12, it’s hard to lose. They did a good job, everybody felt great. Eight more days until the NCAA Championships. We are really trying to save some to make sure we do well then. Everyone is happy and excited and feels strong.”
The women’s team won with 84 points. Stanford took second place with 94 points and automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships as well. Oregon finished in third place with 120 points. San Francisco’s tally of 140 points was good for fourth place. Washington totaled 162 points and finished in fifth place.
On the men’s side, junior Sam Macaluso finished in 39th place overall with a time of 30:40. Freshman Collins Kibet finished in 57th place with a time of 31:02. Sophomore Jonas Legernes’ time of 31:22 was good for 71st place. Junior Kenji Bierig had a time of 31:42, good for 90th place. Junior Thomas Valente was the final scorer for the Wildcats, taking 107th place and posted a time of 32:06. Sophomore Dylan Hopper posted a time of 32:43 in the 10K race, coming in 134th place.
Stanford took first place with 53 points. Oregon finished in second place with 64 points. Portland tallied 92 points. Boise State’s 117 points was good for fourth place. Arizona State took fifth place after totaling 184 points. Arizona finished 14th place with 362 points.For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat men’s and women’s cross country, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and follow @ArizonaTrack on Twitter.