Rothenburger Leads UCLA Women at USA Cross Country Championships

Feb. 14, 2005

Last weekend (Feb. 12-13), six UCLA cross country runners, three women and three men, 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.

UCLA Women
In Saturday's Junior Women's 6km race, the Bruins women were led by freshman Monika Rothenburger, who finished 15th (there were 52 runners), covering course in 23:13.3.

Also running for UCLA were - freshmen, Claire Rethmeier (18th, 23:29.4) and Olga Aulet-Leon (22nd, 23:57.4). The USA Women's Junior Champion was Colorado's Elizabeth Pasciuto(21:50.1).

'Monika ran an even race,' said Todd Albert, UCLA volunteer assistant distance running coach. 'She didn't go out hard at the start, but moved her way through the pack throughout the race. She ran a smart race. 'Claire had been battling through injures all last fall,' Albert said. 'For her first race, she performed well on this course. Olga took the lead early and ran aggressively at the start. She ran tough, hung on and had a respectable finish.'

Last fall, Aulet-Leon ran for the Bruins at the NCAA Championship (UCLA's No. 4 runner), the NCAA West Regional (UCLA's No. 2 runner/28th, 21:29/6000m) and the Pac-10 Championship (UCLA's No. 4 runner/23rd, 21:50/6000m). Rothenburger represented UCLA at the NCAA and Pac-10 Championships (UCLA's No. 3 runner, 21.49/6000m). Rethmeier redshirted last fall in cross country.

The top six finishers from last weekend in the USA 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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