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Arizona cross country takes ‘big step’ with Pac-12 Championships performance


The Arizona Wildcats cross country teams competed Friday at Pac-12 Championships in Riverside, Calif., where the women placed ninth and the men finished seventh.

In the women’s 6K, Grace Driskill was Arizona’s top finisher with a time of 20:31.2, good for 49th place. Sailor Hutton finished close behind in 51st place at 20:41.2.

Alisa Lyesina was the third Wildcat to cross the finish line, placing 56th with a time of 20:47.5. Mia Chavez clocked in at 21:10.8 to finish 71st, and right behind her was Johnnie Mitchell, who ran a 21:11.9 to finish 72nd.

Colorado won the women’s race with a team score of 66. Arizona had a score 256.

The ninth place by the women is an improvement from last year, when the UA came in 12th at Pac-12 Championships.

In the men’s 8K, Ian Sanchez Lopez Arizona with a time of 24:13.6 for 37th place.

About 30 seconds later, a trio of Wildcats began to cross the finish line, led by Cooper Quigley in 49th place at 24:43.5, Noah Jodon in 50th at 24:51.5 and Iker Sanchez Lopez in 51st at 25:00.5. Brennan Foody finished 61st at 25:16.4.

Stanford took home the men’s title with a score of 22. Arizona posted a score of 213.

The men’s seventh place showing was their best finish at Pac-12 Championships since 2012, when they also finished seventh.

Both the women and men finished ahead of ASU, securing Arizona two Territorial Cup points.

Arizona coach Bernard Lagat called the showing a “big step” for the program.

“Today was a great showing by the Wildcats,” said Lagat. “We had the women’s team finishing ninth overall and the men’s team finishing seventh overall. That is a big, big-time step because we have young and talented athletes who were not even running here last year.”

Arizona next competes at the NCAA Western Regional Championships in Chambers Bay, Wash., on Nov. 11.

“The team is really looking forward to running again at the West Regionals which is coming up in about two weeks,” said Lagat. “We’re going to take it one day at a time. We had a good showing today but it’s going to be even better as we go forward.”