UCLA Trains Through This Weekend

Oct. 29, 2001

Eric Peterson's UCLA cross country teams will train through this weekend, preparing for the upcoming NCAA West Region Qualifying Meet on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Tucson, AZ.

The Bruin women are rated No. 17 in the U. S. this week, moving up five places from their previous ranking of No. 22. At Tucson, the UCLA women's squad will be running for an at-large bid to the 2001 NCAA Championships, at Greenville, SC on Monday, Nov. 19. Under Peterson, the last time the Bruin women advanced to the NCAA meet as a team was in 1998 and '99.

The Bruin men's team has been hit hard this season with injuries to top runners, but could qualify one or more individuals from the Regional meet to the NCAA Championships. Senior Bryan Green qualified for the NCAA last season and true freshman Ben Aragon has also been running well for the Bruins during the 2001 campaign.

Pac-10 Championships/Saturday, Oct. 27/Scottsdale, AZ
UCLA's women's cross country team placed fourth and the Bruin men's squad was sixth, atthe 2001 Pacific-10 Cross Country Championships, held Saturday (Oct. 27) on the Pavilion LakesGolf Course 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 in men's, won both team titles. In women's team scoring, the Cardinal won with 27 points, followed by No. 11 Arizona (64), No. 7 Arizona State (79), No. 22 UCLA (107), No. 13 Washington (109), Washington State (155), USC (168), Oregon (210) and California (259). The Bruin women are hoping to pair theirfourth-place conference finish with a strong NCAA West Region Qualifying effort to qualify as a team to the 2001 NCAA Championships. In 2000, the Bruin 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) and California (192). In 2000, the UCLA men also placed sixth at the conference meet.

In the women's 6000m individual race, the winner was Stanford's Lauren Fleshman (20:08.1). UCLA's top finisher was junior Elaine Canchola, who placed 16th, with a time of 21:43.8. The Bruin women had three other runners in the Top 25 - sophomore Valerie Flores (19th, 21:52.7), freshman Carolyn Shea (20th, 21:53.5) and freshman Alejandra Barrientos (23rd, 22:03.9).Barrientos has been UCLA's top runner all season, but her training has recently been hamperedbecause of the flu.

Rounding out the UCLA's top seven women's runners were sophomore Lena Nilsson (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),' Peterson said. 'After being sick, Alejandra (Barrientos) is still rounding into form and this was Lena's (Nilsson) first major race. And even though we didn't run our best race, we did finish ahead of Washington, a team that is nationally-ranked ahead of us. Over the next two weeks, we are just going to continue to improve, get well and getstronger. We are looking for an even better performance at the NCAA West Regional in two weeks.'

In the men's 8000m race, the individual winner was Stanford's Grant Robison (24:04.0). The Bruins' top runner was Green, who placed 18th in a time of 25:11.7. Green, the No. 1 UCLA men's runner, has also just recovered from the flu and continues in his quest to qualify as anindividual, for the second consecutive season, to the upcoming NCAA Championships.

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

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

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