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UA Sports Roundup: Cheseret takes 9th at NCAAs

CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA sophomore Robert Cheseret, left, cruises to victory during the Dave Murray Invitational in September.
By From staff and wire reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
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UA sophomore distance runner Robert Cheseret finished ninth overall at the 2004 NCAA Championships yesterday, finishing less than 29 seconds off the individual championship pace set by Wisconsin's Simon Bairu.

Cheseret was the Pacific 10 Conference's leading individual cross country finisher, coming in at a time of 31:05.8 on the 10,000-meter course.

UA senior Beth Hoge was the only other runner the UA sent to the championships, held in Terre Haute, Ind., and hosted by Indiana State University. Hoge was the 182nd women's entrant to cross the finish line, coming across with a time of 22:41.7 on the 6,000-meter course.

Hoge, competing in her final cross country event for the Wildcats, has been the women's team's top runner in all six races this season. Hoge, of Bismarck, N.D., won the ASU Invitational hosted by Arizona State, one of her three top-20 finishes, and earned her bid to the NCAA Championships by finishing 20th overall at the NCAA West Regional.

The Arizona runners enter the picture on the individual front. Cheseret's top-10 finish comes as no surprise, as the native of Kenya was considered to be a strong contender for the men's individual title. Cheseret carded three top-five finishes in four races this season and also took home a victory at the Pac-10 Championships and a runner-up finish at the NCAA West Regional.

Colorado swept the team events, taking the men's and women's championships back to Boulder, Colo.

SAUL LOEB/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA men's basketball head coach Lute Olson has discusses formations with junior forward Isaiah Fox during the Wildcats' 83-66 victory over Wright State last week in the second round of the preseason NIT.

Both UA basketball teams drop in newest rankings

The UA men's basketball team saw its preseason ranking of 10th overall fall to No. 18 this week in the first regular-season release of The Associated Press poll.

The Wildcats (2-1) fell eight spots after a convincing 78-60 road loss at the hands of unranked Virginia.

Arizona also dropped to No. 17 in yesterday's release of the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, from their season-opening spot of 11th.

The Wildcats take the court again Wednesday against Michigan in the semifinals of the preseason National Invitational Tournament, an event Arizona has won three times while holding a 14-1 all-time NIT record.

The Wolverines, who along with Virginia are on the cusp of breaking into both polls, are listed among teams also receiving votes.

Arizona has been ranked in 287 consecutive regular-season AP polls. The Wildcats started the 2001-'02 preseason unranked, but early victories over ranked opponents immediately vaulted Arizona back into the national spotlight.

The UA women's basketball team also saw its AP rank fall this week, as the Wildcats (2-1) dropped from 22nd to 25th following their blowout loss to Ohio State Wednesday.

The Buckeyes, who dropped from 10th to 11th after defeating Bowling Green, Saint Joseph's and Arizona before falling to then-No. 11 Notre Dame, defeated the Wildcats 78-45 in the semifinals of the preseason Women's NIT. Notre Dame won the title over Ohio State, improving its rank five spots to No. 6.

Wake Forest leapfrogged Kansas to take the top spot in the men's AP and coaches polls - after the previously top-ranked Jayhawks survived a scare from unranked Vermont - while Tennessee, Louisiana State and Georgia give the Southeastern Conference a trifecta at the top of the women's AP poll this week.

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UA Sports Roundup: Cheseret takes 9th at NCAAs
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