Skieresz takes crown at Pre-NCAA

By Joel Flom
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 21, 1996

Some of the top runners in the country were in Tucson on Saturday, but it was the hometown hero who stole the show.

Arizona sophomore Amy Skieresz breezed to a first place finish at the Pre-NCAA Invitational, distancing herself early in the race from the rest of the pack and finishing well ahead of freshman Kim Mortensen of UCLA. Skieresz has taken home the individual title in all four of Arizona's meets this year. Dating back to last year she has won eight of her last nine races, the exception being her second place finish at the NCAA Championships last year.

"At the start I went out to see how I felt and get a feel for everyone that was running," Skieresz said. "I was feeling good and decided to run my own race."

The 6th-ranked UA women took fifth in the 5,100-meter event, held at the Dell Urich Municipal Golf Course, with a point total of 177. Fourth-ranked Villanova took home the team title with a score of 65, and No.2 Colorado took second with a total of 103.

Individually, UA sophomore Emily Nay took 15th, freshman Kristen Parrish was 32nd, junior Virginia Camacho took 58th, junior Tone Bratteng placed 77th, senior Viola Schaffer was 115th and junior Kelly Chavez was 139th.

"This was a good preview," Arizona head coach Dave Murray said. "We were able to work out some bugs."

On the men's side, Nebraska was able to place 1-2 with juniors Cleophas Boor and Jonah Kiptarus in the 8,600-meter event. The UA men were lead by senior Jon Pillow, who placed 40th overall.

"There is a lot of pressure with running at home," Pillow said. "We tried our best."

Junior Bob Keino, usually Arizona's top runner, had an uncharacteristically poor race. Murray said that Keino said he felt dead from the beginning, and just felt weak throughout the entire race.

The men, who are still battling injuries, placed 20th in the field of 31 teams. Second-ranked Stanford took home the team title with a score of 53, and were followed by No.6 Colorado with 110 points.

Arizona finishers were Pillow (40th, 27:51), freshman Micheil Jones (64th, 28:18), sophomore Jeff McLarty (127th, 29:15), junior Chad Wenger (135th, 29:19), Keino (146th, 29:35) and freshman Jeremy Lyon (186th, 30:47).

"We are still hurting on the men's side," Murray said.