Oct. 29, 2011
LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. - The Cal men finished fifth and an injury-impacted Golden Bear women's squad took seventh at the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships run Saturday at the Wigwam Golf Course outside Tempe.
Junior Collin Jarvis paced the men's team by placing 11th with a time of 23:34 over 8000 meters, up from a 22nd-place showing last year. The result marked the fourth time in four races this season that Jarvis has led the Bears across the finish line.
Freshman Chris Walden had a strong conference meet debut as Cal's No. 2 runner, taking 19th in 23:50. Maxime Chevee (30th), Matt Miller (38th) and J.P. Slater (45th) also scored for the Bears, with Simon Schmidt (48th) and Matt Petersen (71st) rounding out the lineup.
No. 6 Colorado claimed the men's race with 46 points, followed by fourth-rated Stanford with 53 points. No. 23 Oregon was third (93), followed by No. 20 UCLA (122) and Cal (140). Cal finished ahead of two ranked teams - No. 22 Washington State and No. 25 Arizona State.
"It was a great competitive meet for the inaugural Pac-12 Championships," Cal head coach Tony Sandoval said. "There were some really good teams beating up on each other on a hot day in Arizona. The men stepped up to finish fifth, beating a couple of ranked teams. UCLA was 18 points ahead of us, but we were even with UCLA through our top 3 runners and we're closing the gap. That's very encouraging because the Bruins have a number of at-large points for NCAA qualifying."
Added Jarvis after his race: "I think we put it together better, and it's a good indicator for regionals. This is the most competitive conference in the nation, so to do as well as we did today, I'm really happy with it, and I know I can speak for the rest of my team in saying the same."
Cal's women were without leading runner and All-American Deborah Maier, a two-time first-team all-league choice, who sat out the competition to rest a sore ankle so that she will be ready to run at the NCAA West Region meet in two weeks. The regional championship will help determine whether the 10th-ranked Bears earn an invitation to the NCAA Championships in mid-November.
"The women ran shorthanded without Deborah, and their race was significantly hotter than for the men," Sandoval said. "Deborah rolled and ankle recently, and we decided to hold her out. The women didn't respond well to the heat. Chelsea Reilly was our top runner, but she struggled, as did others. She was eighth with 300 meters to go before fading."
Reilly ended in 20th place in 20:36 on the 6000-meter course. Still, the result was her best ever at the conference meet, with her previous high being 28th as both a freshman and a junior.
Sophomore Elisa Karhu finished 33rd in 21:00, followed by seniors Taylor Dutch (40th) and Taylor Bryson (43rd) and junior Keena Kohl (58th). Freshmen Kelsey Santisteban (68th) and Kathleen Uyttewaal (90th) completed the list of runners.
Sixteenth-rated Colorado won the event with 50 points, ahead of No. 2 Washington (71), No. 8 Stanford (73), No. 11 Oregon (89) and No. 5 Arizona (104). Cal had 190 points in seventh.
"We are encouraged by the men's continued improvement, and we have a tradition of racing well at regionals," Sandoval said. "The women have a large number of at-large points and I'm confident we will return to form."
Next up for the Bears in the West Regional meet Nov. 12 at Stanford.
Pac-12 Cross Country Championships
Men's Results (8000m)
Team Results - 1. Colorado 46; 2. Stanford 53; 3. Oregon 93; 4. UCLA 122; 5. California 140; 6. Washington State 148; 7. Washington 153; 8. Arizona 190; 9. Arizona State 195.
Women's Results (6000m)
Team Results - 1. Colorado 50; 2. Washington 71; 3. Stanford 73; 4. Oregon 89; 5. Arizona 104; 6. Arizona State 168; 7. California 190; 8. Utah 205; 9. Oregon State 249; 10. UCLA 288; 11. Washington State 291; 12. USC 384.