Arizona women capture NCAA runner-up team finish, five Pac-12 teams finish in top 20
A stellar year for Arizona ended with a second place overall team finish at the 2013 NCAA cross country championships in Terre Haute on Saturday. It was the first runner-up finish in a season full of victories for the Wildcats.
Led again by senior Elvin Kibet, Arizona followed the strategy of running strong as a pack. Kibet was followed by Nicci Corbin (22), Maria Larsson (42), Kayla Beattie (90), and Stephanie Bulder (112) to round out the team score of 197 points to follow first place Providence's 114-point spread.
The Colorado women, who jumped to No. 5 in the final USTFCCCA Coaches poll after winning the mountain region meet last week, finished seventh overall with 265 points. The Buffs were led once again by Olympic steeplechaser Shalaya Kipp who finished 9th individually. The remaining top five scorers were Abbey Levene (59), Melanie Nun (68), Erin Clark (97), and Carrie Verdon (132).
The Stanford Cardinal, who were ranked 18th prior to nationals, surprised everyone with an 11th place team finish. 2013 Pac-12 Conference champion Aisling Cuffe made a huge move through the mud in the final 400 meters, earning a fourth place individual finish in 20:09. Teammates Jessica Tonn (16), Cami Chapus (95), Megan Lacy (143), and Rebecca Mehra (160) came through the finish to earn 322 points for the Card.
The Oregon Ducks earned a 14th place team finish with a 340-point spread. The Ducks were rounded out by leader Annie Leblanc (66), Megan Patrignelli (70), Maggie Schmaedick (81), Molly Grabill (101), and Abbey Leonardi (142).
Washington earned a 17th place team finish with a tight pack led by Megan Goethals (80). Katie Flood followed (84) along with Liberty Miller (96), Amy-Eloise Neale (121), and Katie Knight (128).
Individual qualifiers representing the Conference made big statements in the front pack. Coming off of a runner-up finish at west regionals, Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State finished in 20:20 over the 6k course for an eighth place individual finish. Kelsey Santisteban of California was not far behind as the Golden Bear earned her first All-American honor with a tenth place finish in 20:21.