The women's 5,000-meter race will begin at 1:30 p.m. and the men's 8,000-meter race will follow at 2:15 p.m.
Aug. 30, 2012
The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 14 women's and men's cross country teams will open the 2012 season at the George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff, Ariz. on Sept. 1. The competition will be held at Buffalo Park. The women's 5,000-meter race will begin at 1:30 p.m. and the men's 8,000-meter race will follow at 2:15 p.m.
Along with Arizona, Arizona State, Dixie State College, Estrella Mountain C.C., Grand Canyon Univeristy, Northern Arizona, Pima C.C., Scottsdale C.C. and Southern Utah will be running on Saturday.
In the 2012 USTFCCCA preseason national poll, the Arizona women are ranked No. 14. Arizona is one of five Pac-12 teams to earn a spot in the rankings. Oregon is No. 1, Washington is No. 2, Stanford is No. 8 and Colorado is No. 13.
The Wildcat men are unranked in the national poll but sit at No. 8 in the NCAA West Region poll. Four Pac-12 squads are in the national poll. Colorado is ranked fifth, Stanford is ninth, Oregon is 22nd and UCLA is 30th. The men's squad holds the No. 8 spot in the NCAA West Region.
On the women's side, sophomore Stephanie Bulder, freshman Molly Callahan, sophomore Clea Formaz, junior Melanie McGrath, junior Erin Menefee, junior Hannah Moen, sophomore Kate Penney and sophomore Hanna Peterson will toe the line for Arizona.
For the men, sophomore Dylan Hopper, freshman Nathan Kandie, senior Rory McLeod, freshman Michael Parkes, freshman Chris Tansey, freshman Braden Timpe and sophomore Thomas Valente will sport the Cardinal and Navy. In total, six athletes will be making their Wildcat debut on Saturday.
In 2011, Lawi Lalang turned in one of the most impressive seasons in collegiate history. Lalang managed to go undefeated in six races on the year. His average margin of victory was 22.5 seconds. At the NCAA Championships, Lalang took the lead after 4K and essentially ran the rest of the race by himself, winning with a 10K time 28:44.1, missing the course record by only three seconds. He was UA's first NCAA Cross Country Champion since Martin Keino in 1994, the third champion overall. Lalang won the Roy Griak and Wisconsin adidas Invitationals, setting course records at both. He also set a course record at the Pac-12 Championship, claiming that crown as well. Lalang was namedUSTFCCCA West Region Athlete of the Year. He was also named the USTFCCCA National Men's Athlete of the Year, the Pac-12 Athlete of the Year and Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year.
The Wildcats will log some miles this season with trips to compete at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic in Louisville, Ky., the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Madison, Wisc., the NCAA West Regional Championships in Seattle, Wash., and they will return to Louisville for the NCAA Championships.
Arizona welcomes back 17 women from the 2011 season while the men have nine returning letterwinners on this season's squad. Inlcuded in those returners are All-American Jen Bergman, 2011 Pac-12 and NCAA Champion Lawi Lalang and 2010 NCAA Championships runner-up Stephen Sambu.
Head coach James Li and assistant coach Maureen Huber have brought in five new men for the 2012 season.
In 2011, the women's squad earned a fifth-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships, a runner-up finish at the NCAA West Regional Championships and a 19th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. On the men's side, the squad finished eighth at the Pac-12 Championships.