Arizona Daily Wildcat
Even without No. 1 runner junior Tara Chaplin and facing cold, windy conditions, the women's cross country team finished third at the Notre Dame Invitational last Friday.
Its performance was even more impressive considering the team faced 31 other teams including No. 1 ranked Stanford.
Continuing to garner more respect this season, the Wildcat women may have proven their No. 14 ranking to be a bit too low.
"We ran extremely well," UA head coach Dave Murray said. "Especially without Tara."
The women earned 145 points, just two behind second place finisher Michigan. Murray said the two points would have easily been made up if Chaplin had run.
Senior Katrin Engelen - Arizona's No. 2 runner - was the Wildcat's top finisher in 13th place with a time of 17 minutes, 33 seconds. Arizona's second runner was junior Erin Doherty who came in 21st and clocked in at 17:43.
Another aspect Murray was pleased with this weekend was the experience each player gained by running in an important meet without their team leader, Chaplin.
"It's good we ran without Tara," Murray said. "All the girls stepped up and ran real well."
On the men's side, the No. 10 Wildcats continued their strong team effort finishing second behind powerhouse Stanford.
Led once again by junior Mike Cramer, who finished seventh with a time of 24:17, Arizona had its top three finishers within the first 18 runners. Junior Tom Prindiville finished in 15th place with a time of 24:35 and senior David Lopez was 18th in a time of 24:40.
"It's good that we beat some quality teams like North Carolina State and Notre Dame," Prindiville said.
For the second meet in a row both Wildcat teams faced adverse conditions with the cold, windy air in South Bend, Ind.
"It was really cold, a little windy and chilly," Lopez said. "But every team has to run in the same conditions."
For the first time this season the Wildcats faced Stanford, and both the men's and women's Cardinal teams lived up to their No. 1 reputations.
On the men's side Stanford garnered 23 points separating themselves from second place Arizona by 93 points. Stanford's women had an even larger discrepancy with a 108 points between themselves and Michigan.
"Stanford has some outstanding runners," Murray said. "They completely dominated the meet."
For the men, Prindiville was more adamant about the Cardinal's win.
"They beat us pretty good, we're not to happy about that," Prindiville said.