Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 14, 2005
Domination was the key word Saturday in Palo Alto, Calif., as the No. 9 Arizona men's cross country team took first place at the NCAA Western Regional.
The Wildcats placed four runners in the top six places for the 10,000-meter race and finished with a total of 33 points, easily ahead of No. 4 Stanford (80 points).
Arizona's win put an end to Stanford's streak of 10 consecutive NCAA Western Regional titles and also earned them an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 21.
"It's a significant win," said Arizona head coach James Li. "It's been a long time since we won a regional, but that was the goal all season long. We believed we could do this, and they all came through. We pretty much dominated."
Arizona was led by juniors Robert Cheseret and Obed Mutanya, who had a respective one-two finish for the second consecutive race.
Cheseret won the individual title with a time of 30:03.3, with Mutanya trailing close behind, finishing at 30:05.7.
Senior Jonah Maiyo and sophomore Mohamed Trafeh finished in fourth and sixth, respectively, with times of 30:19.8 and 30:23.
Junior Moses Mpanga finished 20th with a time of 30:31.1
"Everyone ran reasonably well," Li said. "Robert and Obed have been stable all season. The progress Jonah has been making is amazing."
The Arizona women did not compete as a team in the 6,000, but they were represented by redshirt sophomore team captain Emily McGregor and junior Ashley Ippolito.
McGregor finished in 29th place (21:20) and Ippolito placed 67th with a time of 22:06, but neither qualified for the NCAA Championships.
"We knew we were a long shot," Li said. "I am very proud of the job they did. It was a much stronger race, because (Stanford's) is not a particularly easy course, but they ran faster than they have all season, and I am really proud of them."
Information taken from arizonaathletics.com.