Ramos Paces Bruin Men at USA Cross Country Championships

Feb. 14, 2005

Last weekend (Feb. 12-13), six UCLA cross country runners, three men and three women, ran at the 2005 USA Cross Country Championships, at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, WA. Rain on Friday created a muddy course for the more than 600 runners who competed in six championship races in Vancouver, located near Portland, OR.

The Bruins had three runners in two competitions on Sunday. Freshmen, Drew and Kyle Shackleton, ran in the Junior Men's 8km and sophomore Austin Ramos participated in the Open Men's 12km.

Ramos placed 24th (out of 84 runners), in a time of 39:13.8. 'Austin ran like a veteran,' said Todd Arnold, UCLA volunteer assistant distance running coach. 'He's only 20 (Ramos was the youngest of the top 24 finishers), but he finished with and beat many older, experienced runners. It's just a matter of time before Austin will be one of our nation's top young distance runners.' The USA Men's 12km champion was Nike's Dathan Ritzenhein (36:59.9).

In the Junior competition, D. Shackleton placed 14th (out of 58 runners), in a time of 26:18.5 and K. Shackleton finished 21st (26:40.3). The winner was Galen Rupp, Portland, OR (25:13.9).

'I'm proud of the way Drew ran,' said Arnold. 'This was his first race in a UCLA uniform and it's a great start to his Bruin career. He ran tough - he raced every step of the way and battled runners throughout.

'Kyle is very fit, but has been training through a hip problem,' Arnold said. 'Had he been healthy, he would have competed for a Top 10 finish. Running in mud is very grueling and with his injury, it was a testament to his toughness.'

Last fall, Ramos and K. Shackleton were top runners for the Bruin varsity. In NCAA West Region competition, Ramos (28th, 31:13/10,000m) and K. Shackleton (67th, 32:16/10,000m) helped UCLA place fourth in the team standings and at the Pac-10 Championships, Ramos was 21st (25:06/10,000m) and K. Shackleton 51st (26:11/10,000m) as the Bruins finished fifth. D. Shackleton redshirted last fall.

The top six finishers in the open and junior races will form the U. S. team that will compete in the upcoming 2005 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, March 19-20, at Saint Galmier, France.

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