Wildcat Cross Country Off to NCAA Championships

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Nov. 14, 2001

The Meet: The men's and women's cross country teams both earned bids to the NCAA Championships in Greenville, S.C. The women automatically qualified by finishing second at the NCAA West Regional last Saturday, Nov. 10, in Tucson. The men placed sixth at the meet meaning they had to wait for an at-large bid, which they received last Monday. The meet will be hosted by Furman University on Mon., Nov. 19. The men's 10K will get underway at 11:00 a.m. EST. The women's 6K will follow at 12:15 p.m. EST.

Who's going?: The Wildcats will send the same runners who competed in the West Regional for Arizona. The men will take Mark Anderson, Mike Cramer, Kyle Goklish, Matt McInvale, Thomas Opio, Tom Prindiville, and Kyle Goklish. Running for the women will be Kim Bates, Jennifer Burris, Tara Chaplin, Erin Doherty, Nicole Gurnicz, Beth Hoge, and Abby Peters.

Chaplin Chases Title: Arizona senior Tara Chaplin led the Wildcat women to a second-place finish at this past week's NCAA West Regional. She captured the individual women's title with a lead of twelve seconds over Stanford's Lauren Fleshman. She took the lead early in the race and kept advancing farther from the field. In the end, she was able to hold off the last-minute efforts of Fleshman and Arizona State's Lisa Aguilera.

Murray's Musings: 'This is the ultimate meet of the year. You train all summer and fall to get to the point to run in the national championships. Our first goal is to get there, and our second goal is to score high. We have reached our first goal. Now we go for the second one.'

'We have the potential to be top 10 teams, especially the women. The men hope to break into the top 10. They are very capable if they run well. In the last several meets, they have had good performances. The top three run well, and the next two run okay. They switch around a lot. Hopefully, we can get five or six of their best performances.'

'We are excited about going to the national championships. It is good that we show consistency of sending both the men and the women to the national championships. Our continued consistency is good for the program.'

'Everyone is healthy. It's just a matter of going, getting on the line, and running the best we can. Tara Chaplin has the best chance if she runs like she did at regionals. She hasn't been able to put it together at the championships the past couple of years. This is her last year. Hopefully, she can go out with a strong finish.'

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