The men's 8,000-meter race will start at 12:40 p.m. CDT while the women's 6,000-meter race will begin at 12 p.m.
Oct. 10, 2012
University of Arizona Wildcat No. 2 women's and men's cross country teams will compete in the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Friday, Oct. 12. The competition will be held at Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course. The men's 8,000-meter race will start at 12:40 p.m. CDT while the women's 6,000-meter race will begin at 12 p.m.
Arizona will compete in arguably the most loaded field of any meet this year besides the NCAA Championships. The Wildcats will go up against Arizona State (M: NR, W: NR), Arkansas (M: 19), California (M: NR, W: NR ), UCLA (M:27, W: NR), Columbia (M:17, W: 23), Georgia (M:24, W: NR), Iona (M: 5, W: NR), Michigan (M: 25), New Mexico (M: 28, W: NR), Northern Arizona (M:18, W: NR), Oklahoma (M: 4), Penn State (M: NR, W: 14), Princeton (M: 11, W: NR), Providence (M: NR, W: 28), Stanford (M: 8, W: 7), San Francisco (W: 20), Syracuse (M: 10, W:NR), Texas (M: 22), Vanderbilt (W: 12), Virginia (M: 29, W: NR), Washington (M: NR, W: 3), Wisconsin (M: 1, W: 29) and many others.
"We're excited for the meet," head coach James Li said. "It's going to be a meet that is of higher caliber than the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic. Even though Louisville was very good, this meet should be even better overall. It's just another stop in the quest for a strong championship season that starts right after this week. We're going to Wisconsin for some strong results and to get people more racing experience."
In the USTFCCCA national poll, the Arizona women sit at the No. 2 spot. They are joined by two other Pac-12 teams in the top five and four overall in the top 30. Washington fell two spots to No. 3, Oregon dropped one spot to No. 4, Stanford fell one spot to No. 7 and Colorado fell three spots to No. 18.
The Wildcat men are unranked in the national poll and they sit at No. 9 in the NCAA West Region poll. Four Pac-12 schools are in the national poll on the men's side. Colorado stayed at No.7, Stanford moved up one spot to No. 8, Oregon climbed eight spots to No. 15 and UCLA moved up three spots to No. 27.
On the women's side, senior Elizabeth Apgar, senior Jen Bergman, sophomore Stephanie Bulder, junior Amanda Russell, junior Erin Menefee, sophomore Kate Penney, sophomore Clea Formaz, junior Elvin Kibet, junior Melanie McGrath and sophomore Molly Callahan will toe the line for Arizona. In 2011, the women's squad earned a third-place finish with Kibet leading way and taking a 12th-place finish. The women's team will look to continue this year's winning streak in Madison; they have earned first-place finishes in their last three meets.
"Since Louisville we've had to deal with some minor injuries," Li said. "Just to be conservative, we're going to hold back Nicci Corbin this week; I don't feel it's good for us to push the envelope. Our team could be a little different from the last race but I don't think it will affect us that much. All the girls are doing a good job and improving so much. Stephanie (Bulder), Elizabeth (Apgar) and Melanie (McGrath), I'm still very hopeful for her to come through and run a really good race. She's been looking very strong in training. They will run the first 6K of the year, that will be different as well but I believe our team will still do well there."
For the men, sophomore Kenji Bierig, senior Stephen Sambu, senior Rory McLeod, sophomore Thomas Valente, freshman Nathan Kandie, sophomore Lawi Lalang, sophomore Sam Macaluso and sophomore Jonas Legernes will sport the Cardinal and Navy. In 2011, Lalang won the men's 8K race in 23:10.8, a course record.
"We're looking for Nathan Kandie, Sam Macaluso and Kenji Bierig to run better," Li said. "Lawi (Lalang) and Stephen (Sambu) couldn't run any better, in terms of scoring team points, they could not do any better. If we could close the gap a little bit, then we would be in good shape."