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Cross country teams open season tomorrow


By Ryan Casey
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 2, 2005
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The Arizona cross country teams open their season tomorrow in San Francisco with eyes on the upcoming Pacific 10 Conference season.

Arizona head coach James Li said he looks forward to learning a lot about his squads tomorrow at the San Francisco Invitational.

"It's going to be great to get things underway," he said. "Hopefully (the meet will) answer a lot of questions about our team, as well as our athletes."

Coaches and players alike said they are ready to get started on the season after a grueling practice schedule, but Li said other emotions would also be involved in the meet.

"There will probably be some degree of nervousness, which is totally natural," he said. "Being the first competition of the year, what we do in this meet has no bearing on what we do in the Pac-10 or at (the NCAA Championships)," Li said. "Basically, it's a training meet - trying to see where everyone's at."

Pac-10 foes California and Stanford will compete in the meet, as well as non-conference opponents St. Mary's, San Jose State, San Francisco State, Pacific, Sacramento State, Santa Clara, UC-Santa Cruz and host San Francisco.

Li said that while his teams can use the meet to gain experience, he is cautious of injury.

Meet info:

San Francisco Invitational
Tomorrow, 10 a.m.
San Francisco

"Regardless, a couple of our top runners might be held out," he said. "At this point it's going to be better for their training and for the season."

One of those athletes held could be sophomore Mohamed Trafeh, the Pac-10's reigning Newcomer of the Year.

"The guys on this team are in great shape," he said. "I'm excited (for the season)."

His teammate, 2004 Pac-10 Athlete of the Year Robert Cheseret, said he is equally pumped for the season to start.

"I'm very excited," he said. "We have people returning, and then we have newcomers, too - and they'll be pretty strong."



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