The women's cross country team finished in sixth place at the NCAA Championships while Stephen Sambu and Lawi Lalang earned a 2-3 finish.
Nov. 26, 2012
The University of Arizona Wildcat men's and women's cross country teams wrapped up the 2012 campaign at the NCAA Championships on Saturday. The women earned a sixth-place finish and senior Stephen Sambu
and sophomore Lawi Lalang
had a 2-3 finish.
The women's team started the season at the George Kyte Classic with a third-place finish. Junior Melanie McGrath led the way for Arizona, taking third place in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 17:06.0. She led a 3-10-15-17-21 finish for the Wildcats.
At the Dave Murray Invitational, Arizona's women earned a first-place finish with ease. The Wildcats claimed the first 10 places and the 12th as well. Junior Elvin Kibet led the way with a first-place finish in the three-mile race and posted a time of 16:49.
The women's squad continued their winning ways at the Greater Louisville Classic with Kibet leading the way once more. She clocked a time of 16:51.71, good for first place in the 5K race. Senior Jen Bergman and sophomore Nicci Corbin finished in 11th and 12th, respectively.
Arizona won the Grand Canyon Invitational with McGrath pacing the Wildcats once more. She took first place overall in the 5,000-meter race, posting a time of 18:15.2. Sophomore Kate Penney took second place and sophomore Molly Callahan finished in third place.
In a loaded field at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational, the women's squad earned a third-place finish in the 6,000-meter race. Kibet took seventh place with a time of 19:53 and led a 7-23-46-73-93 finish for the Wildcats.
In his 11th year at Arizona, head coach James Li led the women's squad to a runner-up finish at the Pac-12 Championships, which is the team's second runner-up finish in three years. Kibet's time of 20:11 in the 6,000-meter race and a third-place finish was the team's best. The Wildcats finished 3-7-18-20-21 and tallied 69 points. Kibet was a second-team all-conference honoree last year. This is the second-straight year Bergman has been a first-team all-conference honoree.
At the NCAA West Regional, the women tied for second place but ended up losing the tie-breaker and the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. Bergman was the top finisher for the ladies, clocking a time of 19:52 and finishing in sixth place in the 6K race.
After receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, the women claimed sixth place and boasted two All-Americans in Kibet and Bergman. Kibet clocked a time of 20:03.3 and finished in 19th place, earning All-America accolades. Bergman earned All-America honors for the second-straight year, finishing in 29th place with a time of 20:07.9.
On the men's side, they started the season with a fourth-place finish at the George Kyte Classic. Kandie finished in ninth place in the 8,000-meter race with a time of 25:50.8. He led a 9-19-25-26-29 finish for Arizona.
At the Dave Murray Invitational, Sambu won the men's 4.25-mile race with a time of 20:28 and led the men's team to first-place finish overall. The men totaled 22 points and finished 1-2-3-5-11.
Lalang made his season debut at the Greater Louisville Classic and did not disappoint, winning the 8,000-meter race with a course-record time of 22:33.57. Sambu earned a runner-up finish with a time of 22:36.37. The men's squad finished in seventh place overall (1-2-49-72-112).
The men's team finished in seventh place at the Grand Canyon Invitational and totaled 179 points (24-29-35-44-47). Sophomore Thomas Valente was the top finisher for the men; he took 24th place in the 8,000-meter race and posted a time of 25:59.6.
At the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational, the team finished in 25th place overall (1-2-90-251-264). Lalang earned another first-place finish, defending his meet title and clocking a meet-record time of 23:03 in the 8,000-meter time. Sambu's time of 23:07 was good for second place.
Lalang and Sambu continued the trend and finished 1-2 at the Pac-12 Championships. Lalang won his second-straight title with a time of 22:49 in the 8,000-meter race. Sambu finished in second place, clocking a time of 22:50. The team finished in seventh place overall.
At the NCAA West Regional, Lalang and Sambu were named automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Championships after another 1-2 finish for the duo. Lalang won the 10,000-meter race with a time of 29:02. Sambu posted a time of 29:38, good for a runner-up finish. The men's squad finished in 10th place overall (1-2-69-83-115).
Sambu and Lalang each earned All-America honors for the second time in their careers. Sambu came in second place at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships, clocking a time of 28:38.6 in the 10,000-meter race. Sambu also earned a runner-up finish in the 2010 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Lalang earned a third-place finish, posting a time of 28:51.8. Lalang finished in third place, in his 11th cross country race it marks the first time he has not finished in first place.
Lalang was named the Pac-12 Male Athlete of the Year and the USTFCCCA West Region Male Athlete of the Year for the second-straight year. Lalang and Sambu were first-team all-conference selections.