Men and Women both finish in 8th at Pac-12 Cross Country Championship
Arizona cross country athlete Collins Kibet (17) runs in the Dave Murray Invitational on Sept. 18.
The 2016 Pac-12 Conference was one of the most competitive meets of the year, with over 20 teams gathering to compete.
The men’s team finished at eighth place for the day with a total score of 234 points. Senior Collins Kibet, who finished with a time of 25:00 in the men’s 8K, led the Wildcats and clocked in at 23rd for the day.
The women’s team, competing in the 6K event, ended the day at eighth place overall as well, finishing ahead of Oregon State, Washington State, USC and rival Arizona State University.
The women were led by runners Addi Zerrenner and Claire Green, finishing with times of 20:47 and 21:07, respectively. The performances from Zerrenner and Green were enough to earn 10th and 18th place.
After crossing the finish line, both Zerrenner and Green were overwhelmed with emotion. Green’s exhaustion kicked in immediately and she fell to the ground and had trouble breathing.
“I was really, really dizzy,” Green said. “When I crossed the finish line, I was out of it.”
Green was immediately helped up by her teammates, who congratulated her on her 18th-place finish and proceeded to help her to the tent, where she gathered herself after the race.
Overall, Claire Green was not satisfied by her performance, but she was content with the day because of the performance of her teammate Addi Zerrenner.
“I didn’t race as smart as I could have for that first 2K,” Green said. “I’m disappointed. I know I definitely could have done better, but Pac-12 isn’t really about individual performance, it’s about the team. This is just one of those days where I just feel so blessed to be on the team that I’m on. Addi got up there in that top 10, which is amazing, because that was one of our goals as a team.”
As soon as Zerrenner crossed the finish line, she took a look at the scoreboard and saw that she finished within the top 10. Almost immediately, she ran to her mom in tears of joy, amazed by the moment.
“My mom is my best friend, and she’s never gotten to see me run a college cross-country race,” Zerrenner said. “I saw her on my second lap and my jaw dropped. During the last 200, when the Stanford girl tried to get me, I was like, ‘I want to make my mom proud.’ ”
Zerrenner’s drive to make her mom proud served as a personal motivator, and it helped Arizona finish in eighth place for the day.
“Top 11 wouldn’t cut it,” Zerrenner said with a smile. “I needed to get top 10.”
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