By Jason Kleinman
Josh Fields/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Arizona's junior cross country runners Robert Cheseret (122) and Obed Mutanya (130) finished in first and second place, respectively, over the weekend at the Pac-10 Championships held at the Del Ulrich golf course. The Wildcats finished the season in second place behind perennial powerhouse Stanford.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 31, 2005
Cardinal top men's cross country for title
Junior Robert Cheseret of the Arizona men's cross country team raced to his second straight individual men's title at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships on Saturday morning at Dell Urich Golf Course.
Cheseret easily won the 8,000-meter race under the warm Tucson sun with a time of 23:57. Teammate Obed Mutanya finished 16 seconds later to come in second.
"It feels very good," Cheseret said. "I wanted to go out there and defend my title."
The win gave Cheseret seven individual Pac-10 Championship titles with Arizona, five in track and two in cross country.
Senior Jonah Maiyo finished ninth with a time of 24:32, but Arizona fell short of a team title, much to Wildcat head coach James Li's displeasure. The Wildcats finished with 78 points, while Stanford won the event with 46.
"I can't say I am very pleased, to be honest," said Li, who was looking to coach the Wildcats to their first men's team title since 1999. "Those two (Cheseret and Mutanya) definitely did a good job, but you have to keep in mind it's a cross country team, not a group of individuals."
Junior Moses Mpanga and sophomore Kenny Frank also scored points for Arizona, finishing 28th (25:14) and 38th (25:25), respectively.
The Arizona women finished ninth overall with 208 points.
Redshirt sophomore and team captain Emily McGregor was the first Wildcat to finish, coming in at 33rd with a time of 22:15.
"I am happy timewise, but placingwise, I wanted to do a lot better," she said. "I could have felt a lot better, but I have two more weeks to get better and prep for our regional race."
Junior Ashley Ippolito finished in 35th place with a time of 22:29.
Stanford won its 10th consecutive women's team title in the 6,000 with 34 points. The Cardinal's Arianna Lambie won the race with a time of 20:20, while Amy Hastings, last year's winner, came in second with a time of 20:40.
Also scoring for Arizona were senior Fanice Chepkorir (45th, 22:44), junior Karen Langdorf (57th, 23:12) and freshman MacKenzie Edwards (63rd, 27:23).
Up next for the Wildcats is the NCAA Western Regional in Palo Alto, Calif., on Nov. 12.
Several runners, including Cheseret, said they look to use this race to gear up for regionals.
"I ran a good time," Cheseret said. "I think it's going to be a good foundation and good motivation that is going to make me ready for regionals and nationals."