October 16, 1998
TEMPE, Ariz. - Both the men's and women's squads of Arizona State University finished second at the 1998 ASU Cross Country Invitational held at Freestone Park in Gilbert, Ariz. The 15th-ranked Sun Devil women finished second to No. 24 UCLA while the men trailed only top-ranked Stanford.
ASU senior Priscilla Hein captured her third top-10 finish of the season, placing second to Northern Arizona's Rikki Pederson. Pederson won the women's individual crown in 17:34 with Hein five seconds behind. ASU sophomore Kelly MacDonald picked up the first top 10 finish of her career, placing seventh. UCLA finished in five of the meet's first 13 places to score 32 points, well outpacing the Sun Devils who finished with 79 points.
On the men's side, ASU's youth showed why the Sun Devils freshmen class is rated as the best in the nation as three freshmen finished in the top 10. Of ASU's top five finishers, all were freshmen. Juan Chavira (25:12), Fasil Bizuneh (25:14) and Ronnie Buchanan (25:17) finished 8-9-10 in the race with fellow freshmen Isaiah Festa (16th) and Kris Alexander (22nd) also scoring points for ASU. Stanford's Brent Hauser, the second-place finisher at 1998's NCAA 10,000-meter championships, won the meet in 24:53. Fellow Cardinal Jon Riley and Thomas Murtey placed second and fourth, respectively.
"I'm quite pleased," said ASU head coach Walt Drenth. "I think both our men and women have shown this season that we can be very competitive at the conference and national level."
ASU and the rest of the Pac-10 is two weeks away from the Pac-10 Championships in Eugene, Ore. ASU will compete in the NCAA West Regional in Fresno, Calif., November 15.