At NCAA West Region Cross Country Championships, UCLA Men Place Fourth

Nov. 13, 2004

At the 2004 NCAA West Region Cross Country Championships held Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno, the UCLA men finished fourth in the team standings and the Bruin women placed sixth.In the men's team standings, No. 2 Stanford won with 49 points, followed by No. 8 Arizona State (68), No. 6 Cal Poly-SLO (86), UCLA (114) and Portland (140). The men's 10,000m race was won by Stanford senior Ryan Hall (30:07). It's the UCLA men's highest team finish since 1996 (when the Bruins also placed fourth).

Stanford won both the men and women's team titles. In women's competition, No. 1 Stanford placed first with 29 points, followed by No. 7 Arizona State (45), No. 17 UC Santa Barbara (92), Idaho (140), No. 25 Washington (143) and UCLA (151). The women's 6000m race was won by Cardinal senior Alicia Craig (20:03).

Individually, the Bruin men were led by senior Jon Rankin. UCLA's leading runner all season, Rankin earned All-West Region honors by placing sixth in a time of 30:30. The UCLA women were paced by sophomore Alison Costello. She earned All-West region honors for the second consecutive season, finishing 22nd (21:21).

The top two teams in the women and men's competition (there are nine regions across the U. S.) automatically qualify for the upcoming 2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships, held at Terre Haute, IN, Monday, Nov. 22. At-large teams and individual selections for the upcoming NCAA Championships will be announced on Sunday and posted on the NCAA website (www.ncaa.org).

UCLA Men
The Bruin men had three All-West Region runners. Joining Rankin were fellow seniors - Erik Emilsson, who placed 12th (30:43) and Ben Aragon, who finished 20th (31:02). Also running for UCLA were - sophomore Austin Ramos (28th, 31:13); freshman Michael Haddan (55th, 31:58); freshman Kyle Shackleton (67th, 32:16) and junior Nick DeFelice (70th, 32:21).

'We have a chance to make it in as an at-large team to the NCAA, but we would be one of the last teams accepted,' said Peterson. Peterson explained that if Michigan State and Ohio State run well today in the Midwest Region, it would help the Bruins' chances of qualifying as an at-large team. On Oct. 1, at the Notre Dame Invite, UCLA finished 10th, ahead of 12th-place Michigan State, and on Oct. 16 at the Pre-NCAA Invite (Terre Haute, IN), UCLA placed 13th, ahead of 15th-place Ohio State (ranked No. 29 in the U. S.).

'This is my proudest day in five years of coaching the men's team,' Peterson said. 'This is our highest-team finish in eight years. Jon Rankin once again proved to be as tough as any runner in the Western region. Through four miles today, he had a 40-meter lead on the entire field. At that point, the top five runners passed him, but he did a good job of staying with the lead pack and securing an automatic bid to the NCAA --his first appearance in the NCAA Championships.

'We've known all year we needed leadership from our seniors,' Peterson said. 'Today the three of them not only earned All-Region honors for their efforts, but as a trio they ran aggressively and intelligently throughout the race. They are responsible for leading our team to this highly respectable finish.'

2004 NCAA West Region Championships
Nov. 13, 2004
Woodward Park
Fresno, CA (Fresno State)

MEN
Team Standings (10,000m/Top 5 of 21 teams)
1. Stanford 49, 2. Arizona State 68, 3. Cal-Polo SLO 86, 4. UCLA 114, 5. Portland 140.

Overall Individuals (Top 6 of 151 runners)
1. Ryan Hall, SU, 30:07; 2. Robert Cheseret, UA, 30:12; 3. Neff Araia, SU, 30:16; 4. Aaron Aguayo, ASU, 30:23; 5. Forest Braden, Boise State, 30:28; 6. Jon Rankin, UCLA, 30:30.

UCLA Individuals (7)
6. Jon Rankin, 30:30; 12. Erik Emilsson, 30:43; 20. Ben Aragon, 31:02; 28. Austin Ramos, 31:13; 55. Michael Haddan, 31:58; 67. Kyle Shackleton, 32:16; 70. Nick DeFelice, 32:21.

WOMEN
Team Standings (6000m/Top 6 of 28 teams)
1. Stanford 29, 2. Arizona State 45, 3. UC Santa Barbara 92, 4. Idaho 140, 5. Washington 143, 6. UCLA 151.

Overall Individuals (Top 5 of 199 runners)
1. Alicia Craig, SU, 20:03, 2. Amy Hastings, ASU, 20:14, 3. Anita Siraki, SU, 20:17; 4. Desiree Davila, ASU, 20:36; 5. Teresa McWalters, SU, 20:37.

UCLA Individuals (7)
22. Alison Costello, 21:21; 28. Olga Aulet-Leon, 21:29; 30. Ashley Caldwell, 21:32; 36. Jenna Timinsky, 21:39; 39. Allison Hall, 21:42; 40. Alejandra Barrientos, 21:42; 71. Sarah West, 22:20.

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