Cross Country Ready To Compete At Pac-10 Championships
Oct. 29, 2008
The UCLA cross country teams will travel north to Eugene, OR this Friday for the Pac-10 Championships, hosted by the University of Oregon. The women's race will begin at 2:25 pm, with the men's to follow at 3:25 pm on the Springfield Country Club.
The men's team is ranked 13th in the country, their highest team ranking under head coach Eric Peterson. They head to Eugene with high expectations for a top-three team finish behind favorites Oregon and Stanford. Last year, the men posted their best team finish under Peterson's tenure at head coach (4th) and are looking to improve on that this Friday.
The Pac-10 Conference boasts five nationally ranked teams including No. 1 Oregon, No. 2 Stanford, No. 24 Washington and No. 24 California, in addition to No. 13 UCLA. Oregon (1st) and Stanford (3rd) are ranked ahead inthe region with UCLA at the No. 4 spot.
Friday's race will be a battle, but the Bruins have been running some of their best team races this season and are ready for the challenge.
Leading the way are seniors Laef Barnes and Drew Shackleton. Both men have traded running at the No. 1 spots for the Bruins throughout the season, and both will be looking for all-conference honors on Friday.
Also competing for the men's squad at Pac-10s are junior Marco Anzures, junior Alex Crabill, senior Mike Haddan, freshman David McDonald, sophomore Kent Morikawa, junior Marlon Patterson, sophomore Jun Reichl and sophomore Kevin Sullivan.
On the women's side, the Pac-10 Conference has four nationally ranked programs - No. 1 Washington, No. 2 Oregon, No. 15 Arizona State and No. 18 Stanford.
Leading the way for the women is freshman Katja Goldring, the No. 1 runner for the Bruins all season long. Goldring will be in definite contention for all-conference honors. Also key to the women's race are fellow freshman Shelby Buckley, sophomore Shannon Murakami and senior Lauren Jirges. This foursome of women have been competing well throughout the year and have been UCLA's top runners during the season.
Last year, the Bruin women finished a disappointing 10th overall in the team race, but have come a long way since the 2007 season and are primed to finish higher after much improvement. Friday's meet also gives the Bruin women a chance to pick up 2.5 points towards the Lexus Gauntlet competition. If UCLA finishes ahead of USC, the Bruins will earn 2.5 points. If USC finishes ahead of UCLA, then the Trojans get the points.