The Arizona women’s cross country team went into the season simply hoping to make it to the NCAA West Regional Championships and, in addition to having made it, the Wildcats took fifth place amongst the over 30 teams competing.
In Washington, the Wildcats were able to gather a score of 188 to secure them the fifth place team finish at the race. As a team, their average speed was 20:47 for the 6k race.
Jennie Baragar-Petrash was the top finisher for the Wildcats, coming in at a speedy 2:25.6 in the 6k. Baragar-Petrash finished No. 18 out of the 246 women competing. Shortly after Baragar-Petrash crossed the finish, Arizona’s Kayla Young came in at 20:38.8. To score the next few points that got the Wildcats that fifth place finish, in came running Elizabeth Lansing, Keelah Barger, Bailey Johnson, Alaina Kautz and Lauren Neugeboren.
The overall performance of the Arizona cross country team was very impressive, given that they were not the favored team to place in the top five. In fact, the NCAA posted that the teams to watch for top five finishes were Stanford, Oregon, UCLA, Portland, Washington and Boise State. The Wildcat runners proved them wrong and finished the race reminding racers and spectators not to forget about Arizona.
In addition to Arizona’s performance, Stanford took first place and seems to be on quite the roll. Stanford won Pac-12 Championships two weeks ago and took away this win very smoothly having their runners right up front through the whole race. Because of this, it’s to be expected that Stanford has a strong chance of winning the NCAA Championships coming up soon.
Overall, it seems the rain and cold weren’t too large of a speed bump for the racers at the NCAA Regionals, as all the runners raced and finished strong.
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