Arizona cross country looks ahead to Pac-12 championships

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Chloe Hislop | The Daily Wildcat University of Arizona sophomore Keelah Barger at the cross country meet on September 13. Barger finished in the first ten runners.

It’s hard to believe the Pac-12 championships are already here for cross country, but, indeedthey are, and University of Arizona cross country team is traveling to Oregon ready to show off its speed.

The UA men and women are racing their fellow conference teams and, after the women's last race in Indiana, it’s not a far stretch to expect them to win it.

Arizona’s Jennie Baragar-Petrash has been leading the way for the Wildcats this season and going into the Pac-12, that same expectation is set. Baragrar-Petrash was able to place third in her last race against high competition, and it’s quite possible she could get a similar outcome at this race if she is able to maintain enough energy to use her speedy kick that many racers just aren’t able to handle.

As for the men, Coach Li has repeatedly pointed out that his main goal for them is to consistently get better. They succeeded with this in their last race, putting more than just Villarreal in the top 100, so hopefully that constant improvement can be showcased at the upcoming races. In addition, many eyes will be set on Arizona’s runner Carlos Villarreal, a top runner in the group of Pac-12 runners, and it will be interesting to see what he does individually. It’s his third race of the season, so he’s definitely back in top shape.

Overall, the Pac-12s will be very telling for the UA. There are high expectations for the women to go out and finish at the top and there's plenty of excitement in the air for as to how Villarreal will finish.

There is hope from Arizona fans to continue to see the Arizona men improve. The Pac-12s will determine it all.


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