Cross Country Heads to Eugene, OR for Bill Dellinger Invitational

Sept. 26, 2007

The UCLA men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Eugene, OR on Saturday for the first major meet of the season, the Bill Dellinger Invitational. The meet features 30 collegiate teams from six of the nation's nine regions and top conferences such the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Conference USA, Mountain West, Pac-10, Western Athletic and West Coast Conferences.

The women's 6,000-meter race starts at 9:15 a.m., and the men's 8,000-meter race follows at 10 a.m. Last year, the men finished sixth, while the women were eighth.

The invitational's 15-team men's field features seven teams ranked in the USTFCCCA top-30 - Wisconsin (first), Oregon (third), Washington (30th), Cal Poly (22nd), Portland (11th), UCLA (21st) and Alabama (17th) - and will be joined by Colorado State, Duke, Georgia, Marquette, New Mexico, Ohio State, Utah State and UTEP.

The women's race features five top-30 ranked teams - No. 4 Arkansas, No. 15 Georgia, No. 21 Colorado State, No. 17 Washington and No. 18 BYU. Other teams slated to compete include Marquette, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon State, Portland, UCLA, Utah State, UTEP and Wake Forest.

Men's Team

The men's team moved from 22nd in the pre-season poll to 21st this week and will look to move up in the national standings as a strong team has been assembled to compete against stiff competition in Oregon.

All-American Austin Ramos will compete in his first race of the season after redshirting in 2006. Kyle Shackleton, the 2006 team MVP, also will make his 2007 debut as both will lead the team on the course this weekend.

Backing up Ramos and Shackleton will be senior Henry Hagenbuch, juniors Drew Shackleton and Laef Barnes, and sophomores Marlon Patterson, Marco Anzures, Jake Matthews and Alex Crabill. Freshman Evan Watchempino, who has had a strong opening to his UCLA career, will round out the Bruins' 10 competitors on Saturday.

Women's Team
The Bruin women will send nine runners to Eugene with senior Claire Rethmeier and junior Olga Aulet-Leon leading the way. Also competing this weekend are juniors Ciara Viehweg and Lauren Jirges, sophomores Nicole Pennes and Hannah Roeder and freshmen Cobbie Jones and Shannon Murakami. Annie Adams, who recently rejoined the team, will also compete.

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