Arizona cross country plays host to the Dave Murray Invitational

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File Photo | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona cross-country athletes run among their counterparts from other schools on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 in the 2014 Dave Murray Invitational.

Arizona cross country will be competing in its first home meet of the season today.

The team will host the 2015 Dave Murray Invitational at Dell Urich Golf Course. Competing alongside the Wildcats in the invitational are ASU, NAU, Benedictine University at Mesa, Mesa Community College and Pima Community College.

This will only be Arizona’s second meet of the season, serving as another opportunity for the runners to develop.

When associate head coach James Li was asked about how he felt the team did in the first meet, held in Flagstaff on Sept. 5, he said “[we] felt pretty good about it. The kids ran well, and there were some surprises.”

Overall, Li said he was pleased about the meet.

The most important aspect about the team’s first meet was making sure the new runners got some experience.

“Most of them were excited and happy that they went through the first meet,” Li said.

The runners were also able to challenge themselves in their first collegiate meet.

“It was at a higher altitude than most of the runners were accustomed to,” Li said. They survived that. They did better than expected. This leads to more confidence, and they will now be more comfortable about the season and running in college.”

The team only had a 13-day break in between meets.

Li said that he puts emphasis consistency and improvement. Li stated that “some of the runners had good training sessions” in the practices leading up to their first home meet.

Li also mentioned that some of the runners had fallen ill and recovered before the meet. In general, Li thought “it was a good week of practice.”

Li recognized that the Dave Murray Invitational was scheduled at the beginning of the season, making it not the most important meet. He compared it to an “NFL preseason game.”

With that said, Li anticipates using the whole team, saying “it is the first time we will run everyone that we can run,” once again emphasizing that “[he] would like to see the athletes making progress and continue to improve.”

Li also said Collins Kibet and Molly Callahan will be running today. Kibet finished first in the 4.25 mile race last year at the Dave Murray Invitational.

On the women’s side last year at the Dave Murray Invitational, Callahan took second in the 4.25 mile race.

They both will be seen as top competitors in their races this Friday.

The meet will take place at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Dell Urich Golf Course in Tucson.


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