UCLA Women Fourth, Bruin Men Sixth At Pac-10 Cross Country Championships

Oct. 27, 2001

UCLA's women's cross country team, ranked No. 22 in the U. S., placedfourth and the Bruin men's squad was sixth, at the 2001 Pacific-10 CrossCountry Championships, held Saturday (Oct. 27) on the Pavilion Lakes GolfCourse in Scottsdale, AZ. The temperature was in the 90s at race time.

Stanford, ranked No. 1 in the nation in the women's division and No. 2 inmen's, won both team titles. In women's team scoring, the Cardinal won with27 points, followed by No. 11 Arizona (64), No. 7 Arizona State (79), No. 22UCLA (107), No. 13 Washington (109), Washington State (155), USC (168),Oregon (210) and California (259). The Bruin women are hoping to pair thisfourth-place conference finish with a strong NCAA West Region Qualifyingeffort to qualify as a team to the 2001 NCAA Championships. The last time theBruin women qualified as a team to the NCAA was in 1998 and '99. Last season,the UCLA women placed sixth at the Pac-10.

In the men's division, Stanford took the team crown with 28 points,followed by No. 19 Arizona State (75), No. 20 Oregon (78), No. 13 Arizona(96), No. 24 Washington (102), UCLA (148), Washington State (163) andCalifornia (192). The Bruin men are without three of their top runnersbecause of injury. In 2000, the UCLA men also placed sixth at the conferencemeet.

In the women's 6000m individual race, the winner was Stanford's LaurenFleshman (20:08.1). UCLA's top finisher was junior Elaine Canchola, whoplaced 16th, with a time of 21:43.8. The Bruin women had three other runnersin the Top 25 - sophomore Valerie Flores (19th, 21:52.7), freshman CarolynShea (20th, 21:53.5) and freshman Alejandra Barrientos (23rd, 22:03.9).Barrientos has been UCLA's top runner all season but has recently recoveredfrom the flu.

Rounding out the UCLA's top seven women's runners were sophomore LenaNilsson (29th, 22:31.6), in the first major cross country race of her career,freshman Lori Mann (30th, 22:39.9) and sophomore Jessica Mann (39th, 23:13.6).

'We got strong performances from Elaine (Canchola), Valerie (Flores) andCarolyn (Shea),' said Bruin head coach Eric Peterson. 'After being sick,Alejandra (Barrientos) is still rounding into form and this was Lena's firstmajor race. And even though we didn't run our best race, we did finish aheadof Washington, a team that is nationally-ranked ahead of us. Over the nexttwo weeks, we are just going to continue to improve, get well and getstronger. We are looking for an even better performance at the NCAA WestRegional in two weeks.'

In the men's 8000m race, the individual winner was Stanford's GrantRobison (24:04.0). The Bruins' top runner was senior Bryan Green, who placed18th in a time of 25:11.7. Green, the No. 1 UCLA men's runner, has also justrecovered from the flu and continues in his quest to qualify as anindividual, for the second consecutive season, to the upcoming NCAAChampionships.

Also running well for the Bruin men was true freshman Ben Aragon, whofinished 19th (25:12.3). UCLA's other men runners were - senior JustinPatananan (29th, 25:49.3), junior Phil Young (39th, 26:16.5), freshman PuneetMahan (43rd, 26:33.2), freshman Seth Neumuller (48th, 26:42.1) and freshmanReggie Oronoz (53rd, 27:49.8).

'Because of our injuries, we weren't expected to finish high in the men'steam standings,' said Peterson. 'But we gave a gutsy performance and was ableto finish ahead of Washington State, a team that received Top 25 votes lastweek. This squad is young and not at full-strength, but this performancegives a promising outlook for the future. This team grew up a lot today anddid a good job.'

Looking ahead, UCLA will compete in the NCAA West Region Qualifying meeton Sat., Nov. 10 at Tucson, AZ. The 2001 NCAA Championships will be held inGreenville, SC on Monday, Nov. 19.

2001 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships

Men Team Scoring                    Women Team Scoring 1. Stanford 28                      1. Stanford 272. Arizona State 75                 2. Arizona 643. Oregon 78                            3. Arizona State 794. Arizona 96                           4. UCLA 1075. Washington 102                   5. Washington 1096. UCLA 148                         6. Washington State 1557. Washington State 163         7. USC 1688. California 192                       8. Oregon 210                                        9. California 259MEN (8000m) -Top Five 1. Grant Robison, Stanford 24:04.02. Fasil Bizunch, Arizona State 24:06.43. Donald Sage, Stanford 24:11.44. Jason Fayant, Washington 24:17.75. Ian Dobson, Stanford 24:26.3

WOMEN (6000m) -Top Five1. Lauren Fleshman, Stanford 20:08.12. Sara Bei, Stanford 20:17.43. Tara Chaplin, Arizona 20:19.64. Everlyn Lagat, Washington State 20:48.05. Alicia Craig, Stanford 20:56.0

UCLA Men Runners UCLA Women Runners18. Bryan Green, 25:11.7 16. Elaine Canchola, 21:43.819. Ben Aragon, 25:12.3 19. Valerie Flores, 21:52.729. Justin Patananan, 25:49.3 20. Carolyn Shea, 21:53.539. Phil Young, 26:16.5 23. Alejandra Barrientos, 22:03.943. Puneet Mahan, 26:33.2 29. Lena Nilsson, 22:31.648. Seth Neumuller, 26:42.1 30. Lori Mann, 22:39.953. Reggie Oronoz, 27:49.8 39. Jessica Marr, 23:13.6

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