By Drew Sibr
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The Arizona men's and women's cross country teams' final preparation for the postseason will come Sunday afternoon at the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sunday's race across the University of Michigan golf course is a prelude to the Pacific 10 Conference Championships (Oct. 29 at Stanford) and the NCAA District Championships.
Sunday's race will also give the Wildcats a glimpse of the NCAA's other top teams from the eight cross country regional districts. Arizona, the host of the District VIII Championships Nov. 12, will compete against seven top 20 teams in Ann Arbor.
"We're definitely in the championship season now,"
Arizona coach Dave Murray said. "Every meet now has major implications on how we will finish the season."
Among the teams scheduled to compete at Michigan: Air Force, Boston College, Clemson, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington and Western Kentucky.
The Wildcat men, ranked No. 7 in the NCAA Division I coach's poll, are looking to win their third meet of the season.
Led by All-America senior Martin Keino, who has been the top collegiate finisher in all three races Arizona has run this year, the Wildcat men are going for their second straight team title.
Keino, who hails from Eldoret, Kenya, led all runners at the Oct. 1 Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. He finished the 8,000-meter course in 24 minutes and 23 seconds, and led the Wildcats to the men's team title.
Keino's supporting cast on the Arizona men's team includes his younger brother, Bob Keino, a Wildcat freshman. Bob Keino has finished each race this season in the No. 2 position for Arizona, right behind Martin.
Both Keino performances are crucial to the success of the Arizona men's team, which boasts a very strong lineup that includes sophomores Margarito Casillas and Jon Pillow, juniors Jeff Haynes and Art Jimenez, and senior Bryan Winter.
The 17th-ranked Arizona women's cross country team will run a 5,000-meter race Sunday in Ann Arbor against some of the nation's top women's teams, including fourth-ranked Stanford.
The Wildcat women are led by senior team captain Suzanne Castruita, junior Lisa Quaintance and sophomore Viola Shaffer.
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