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Wildcat Men Finish 10th at NCAA Championships, Women 27th

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The University of Arizona men's cross country finished 10th at the NCAA Championships at the Indiana University Cross Country Course today. The Wildcat women were 27th. Arkansas won the men's title with 58 points, while Brigham Young captured the women's crown with 72 points.

The men's team ran a solid race, finishing with 346 points. The Wildcats were led by junior David Lopez, who was Arizona's top individual finisher in 55th place (31:31.10). Sophomore Steve Smith was 71st (31:46.40). Sophomore Mike Cramer was 74th (31:49.40), senior Brent Pedersen was 82nd (31:54.10) and sophomore Tom Prindiville was 163rd (32:54.30). Senior Micheil Jones, who was the team's No. 1 runner throughout the season, finished 231st (34:15.80).

The men did, however, improve from a 16th place finish at last season's NCAA meet.

"We are disappointed with the way that things turned out," said Head Coach Dave Murray. "We thought that we could have run much better than we did. But we can't downplay our season because we still had a top 10 finish at the meet. Our goal every year is to finish in the top 10, but I think that we could have been higher this season. Micheil just had one of those days that you hope never happens. He kind of lost it after the first mile or so."

The Arizona women finished with 608 points, led by a 33rd place finish (17:27.40) by sophomore Tara Chaplin. Sophomores Erin Doherty and Jennifer Burris were 145th (18:17.80) and 158th (18:22.20), respectively. Junior Katrin Engelen was 190th (18:39.80), freshman Kim Bates was 225th (19:05.60) and freshman Mandee Ash was 242nd (19:40.00).

"Tara ran a very good race," Murray said. "The kids were ready to run, but we just did not run up to what we could have."

The Wildcats concluded their season with the meet. The track and field season begins Jan. 29 at the Silver State Games in Reno, Nev.

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