By Jason A. Vrtis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
For Arizona sophomore Bob Keino and junior Viola Schaffer, it was a great way to begin a cross country season.
At the Jammin' Invitational in Brea, Calif., Keino won the men's race and Schaffer the women's, the first collegiate titles for each.
Schaffer, who paced the Wildcats by finishing with a time of 17 minutes, 29 seconds, found herself trailing UA freshman Amy Skieresz with 1,200 meters to go, but battled back to pass Skieresz with 400 meters left in the race. Skieresz, who competed in her first collegiate race, finished behind Schaffer at 17:32. Skieresz ran well enough to beat Southern Methodist's Katie Swords, the 1995 NCAA 10,000-meter champion, who placed third at 17:46.
"Viola showed why she is one of the top runners in the nation," said UA head coach Dave Murray.
Freshman Emily Nay, also competing in her first collegiate race, placed fifth at 18:03.
"I think our two freshmen showed what kind of runners they are, and that they are a very important part of our team," Murray said.
Other UA women and their finishes: senior Ann Colonna, ninth, 18:26; sophomore Virginia Camacho, 12th, 18:45; senior Lisa Quaintance, 19th, 19:05; sophomore Kelly Chavez, 24th, 19:14; and sophomore Tone Bratteng, 27th, 19:26. Arizona won the meet with 29 points; SMU was second with 12 points.
Sophomore Bob Keino, who ran behind his brother Martin Keino last season, stepped out of that shadow and helped lead the UA men to a second-place finish, one point behind Fresno State. Keino finished in a time of 24:24 to easily outdistance the rest of the field.
The rest of the UA men, however, got off to a slow start, allowing Fresno State to build a big lead that the Wildcats were unable to overcome.
"We should have won pretty handily, but for the first time out, I felt we ran well," Murray said.
Junior Margarito Casillas, who found himself in the middle of the pack after half of the race, placed fourth at 24:55. Freshman Jeff McLarty finished eighth at 25:11 and senior Jeff Haynes finished ninth at 25:18, giving the Wildcats four finishers in the top 10. Junior Jon Pillow, the last scorer for the Wildcats, finished 15th at 25:45.
Next weekend Arizona travels to Champaign, Ill., for the University of Illinois Invitational.
Read Next Article