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.