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UCI Runs Today in Cross-Country Finals

November 24, 1986|BARBIE LUDOVISE

The presence of the UC Irvine men's cross-country team in today's NCAA Division I championships at Tucson, Ariz., represents a school first, but Coach Vince O'Boyle wants his team to do more than merely participate.

"It is an honor and we are thrilled to be here," said O'Boyle, who expects the Anteaters to finish between 10th and 15th overall. "But we don't just want to just be here. The first five (runners) have been (racing) close together, and our top guys are capable of being right up there."

Irvine is led by seniors Richard Graves and Ralph Garibaldi, who placed eighth and 15th, respectively, in the NCAA District 8 race last week that qualifies runners for the finals. Following closely behind them this season have been Rod Curry, Rick Wilhelm and Gus Quinonez.

The UCI women's team failed to qualify, but Jill Harrington earned a spot in the finals as an individual by finishing eighth at the District 8 meet.

"Jill's run in many national races before," O'Boyle said. "People have underestimated her ability all along. And she'll be able to key off a lot of top women from our region, too."

That would include two former Orange County high school runners, Polly Plumer (University) and Kathy Kiernan (Los Amigos), who run for UCLA.

Plumer, a senior, finished fourth last year and is one of this year's favorites.

Also running for UCLA is Mark Junkermann, formerly of Los Alamitos High School. Junkermann was sixth at the District 8 meet and will run as an individual.

There will be 22 teams competing in the men's and women's races. The women's race begins at 11 a.m. The men begin at 12:15 p.m.

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