Men's cross country, Valente take first in Mesa
The men’s cross country team and junior Thomas Valente won the Thunderbird Classic in Mesa, Ariz., on Saturday.
Valente finished first in the 8,000-meter race, with a time of 24:48.5. Next for the Wildcats was junior Braden Timpe, who came in second place with a time of 25:15.7.
Freshman Travis Thorne finished third with a time of 25:20.9. The rest of the men’s team finished shortly behind: Sam Willis (5th, 25:38.4), Jeff Gautreau (8th, 26:14.1), Brendan Tinoco (9th, 26:20.9) and Michael Cox (10th, 27:11.3).
Arizona is No. 12 in the regional poll. There are five Pac-12 teams in the top 30 of the national poll: Colorado is second, Oregon is fourth, UCLA is No. 21, Stanford is No. 29 and ASU is No. 30.
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat Sam Macaluso (left), Thomas Valente (center) and Brandon Timpe (right) run in the Dave Murray Invitational on Sept. 20, 2013 in Tucson.
Arizona was the only Division I program to field an entire team, thus winning the men’s competition with 15 points. The No. 3 women’s team had two runners, freshman McKenna Gaffney and junior Daylee Burr, compete in the 5,000 meter race.
Gaffney had a time of 18:31.1, which was good enough for fifth place among the Division I competitors. Burr had a time of 18:52.4 to take sixth place overall.
“I’m really happy with the entire women’s team today,” said head coach James Li. “They ran a really strong race against good competition.”
The Wildcats competed against Aftershock Distance Club, ASU, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Arizona Christian University, Diné College, Estrella Mountain Community College, Mesa Community College, Pima Community College and Navajo Technical University.
Four other Pac-12 teams are also ranked in the national poll, with Washington No. 4, Oregon No. 6, Stanford No. 11 and Colorado No. 12.
The Wildcat women are No. 1 in the West regional poll. The Wildcats’ next meet is the Wisconsin Cross Country Invitational on Saturday in Madison, Wis.
— Follow Makenzie Thiel @makenziethiel