UA Men Place 4th, Women 6th at Pac-10 Championships

Nov. 1, 2003

PULLMAN, Wash. - The University of Arizona's men's and women's cross country teams traveled to Pullman, Wash. for the 2003 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships Saturday. The Wildcat men were expected to be a three-team battle for second place and came up a bit short in the cold weather. The men's squad placed fourth overall in the team standings with 109 points. The UA women's squad used a tight pack to finish sixth in the team standings with 179 points. The women had six runners finish within one minute of each other. The No. 1-ranked Stanford men's and women's squads swept the team and individual titles.

Freshman Robert Cheseret led the men's squad with a third-place finish on the hilly 8,000-meter course on the Washington State University golf course. An individual Pac-10 title wasn't out of reach, but two Stanford runners were able to edge Cheseret at the finish line. Cheseret crossed the line at 24:35.80, which was less than two seconds behind Ian Dobson of Stanford, the race winner. Junior Jonah Maiyo posted a strong performance for the Wildcats, as well. The junior college transfer finished fifth in 25:06.20 to help out the Arizona cause.

Senior Matt McInvale came through big for the Wildcats as the team's No. 3 finisher. McInvale placed 27th in the individual standings, clocking a time of 25:55.80. Senior Kyle Goklish has been the Wildcats' consistent No. 3 runner in 2003 but was hampered by the cold weather. Goklish finished 42nd as the Wildcats' No. 4 runner. He finished with a time of 26:26.40. Not far behind him, was junior Mike Howard. Howard was 43rd in 26:26.70 to round out Arizona's scoring.

The men's squad was also helped out by the efforts of three other runners. Senior Eric Bohn was 51st, finishing with a time of 26:38.00. Junior Jin Daikoku placed 57th in 27:01.80, followed by freshman Eric Chavez in 61st with a time of 27:14.40.

Junior Beth Hoge was the team leader for the UA women on the challenging 6,000-meter course. Hoge posted a 28th-place finish in 23:20.10 to propel the Wildcats to their eventual sixth-place team showing. Hoge was closely followed by sophomore Adrienne Goeller, who finished 30th in 23:21.10. Sophomore Michi Hirakawa-Wong wasn't too far behind the duo, finishing 36th with a time of 23:39.00.

Sophomore Amber Steen continues to come on strong for the Wildcats after dealing with injuries for the past two years. Steen was the No. 4 finisher for Arizona, claiming 46th place in 24:02.00. Freshman Karen Langdorf was right on Steen's heels, posting a 47th place finish in a time of 24:04.60 to close out the Wildcats' scoring efforts.

The UA women's efforts also were complemented by senior Nicole Gurnicz (49th, 24:10.20), freshman Ashley Ippolito (60th, 24:51.20) and sophomore Jenn Ford (65th, 25:02.50).

The Wildcats next meet will be the NCAA West Regional Championships in Portland, Ore. on Saturday, November 15. The regional will determine which teams receive the automatic berths to the NCAA Championships on November 24.

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