Caldwell and Ramos Earn All-American Cross Country Honors at Nationals
Nov. 21, 2005
Juniors Ashley Caldwell and Austin Ramos were both named All-Americans on Monday after impressive performances at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, IN. Caldwell placed 16th overall, while Ramos finished 48th to end the season on a high note.
Stanford won the women's title, while Wisconsin captured the men's championship. Northern Arizona's Johanna Nilsson won the women's individual title, while Wisconsin's Simon Bairu was the men's champion.
Caldwell, who has had a stellar season, finished 16th in a time of 20:13 to earn her second cross country All-American honor. She was the fourth-best finisher from the Pac-10 Conference.
Caldwell was the No. 1 runner for the Bruins all season with several top-five finishes. Last weekend in Tucson, AZ at the West Regional Championships, Caldwell finished fourth in 20:12.5 to earn a ticket to the National Meet and All-Region honors. At Pac-10's in Palo Alto, CA, Caldwell placed fourth running 20:55 to earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors. Caldwell has also finished in the top-five at the Sundodger Invite (3rd, 21:04) and the Roy Griak Invite (4th, 21:05), and placed eighth at the Pre-NCAA Invitational (20:29). She was also named to the Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention team for her work in the classroom.
'We knew both of our athletes were strong enough to run right in the front of the field, and Ashley did just that,' said Head Cross Country Coach Eric Peterson. 'She put herself in the exact competitive position that we asked her to. It wasn't until the 4000m mark where she really lost contact with the front pack and fell back to about 25th place, but she rallied over the final kilometer to move up to 16th. Ashley has had quite a comeback success story from where she was last year (98th overall) to this year and we are just so excited and happy for her.'
'It was great to finish in the top-20 and return to the same course from a year ago and finish so much higher,' said Caldwell. To be among the elite runners is inspiring because I know I have one more year on this course and next year I plan on being in the top-10.
This championship marked the first time since 1998 that the Bruin women had not fielded a team at NCAA's, but UCLA still saw success today.
'Coming out here alone I was a little apprehensive at first without my team, but the coaching staff and our trainer and Austin have been great,' added Caldwell. 'It was like our own little team, and I'm so excited for next year's men and women's teams because there is so much more to see.'
Ramos was the last athlete to earn All-American honors at Nationals as he placed 48th in a time of 24:15. This is the first All-American accolade of his career.
'Austin ran the way we wanted him to early on - running aggressivly and putting himself in a good position to finish strong,' said Peterson. 'He gave himself the best chance to have a great race. At every split time, he was running fast and his final time was his best. We are so pleased with how he ran because he lost contact with the top pack of guys and got discouraged, but he held on and ran a fast overall time. It's great to see him get rewarded for his efforts by earning All-American honors because this was one of the better fields we've seen.'
Ramos has been the men's No. 1 runner all season and earned All-Region and All-Pac-10 honors with a ninth-place finish at the West Region Championships (30:24) and a fifth-place finish at Pac-10's (24:23). Ramos won the Suddodger Invite (24:00), finished sixth at the Roy Griak Invite (24:21) and placed 15th at the Pre-NCAA Invitational (24:06). Last Thursday, he was also named the Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention team.
'During the race, I didn't feel like I was running too well,' said Ramos. 'I was hoping to run a little better then I did, but compared to last week, I moved up on my regional ranking. I got All-American and I was the last one to get it, but after feeling like a bad race, I feel happy.I'm excited for next year and being able to take away the experience of competing here today was worth more then anything I've accomplished today.'