UCLA Women Preseason Ranked No. 24 in First Cross Country Poll

Sept. 3, 2003

Eric Peterson's UCLA women's cross country squad enters the 2003 campaign preseason ranked No. 24 in the U. S., according to the first poll released Wednesday by the Women's Cross Country Coaches Association.

In 2002, the Bruin women qualified as a team to the NCAA Championships (tied for 25th) for the second consecutive season and have qualified for the nationals four of the last five years. The Bruins return every major runner from last season, led by senior All-American Lena Nilsson and junior Alejandra Barrientos, who in 2002 earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors.

In the preseason poll released on Wednesday, the Bruins were the third-highest ranked team in the Pac-10. Stanford, the defending conference champion, was No. 2, followed by No. 19 Arizona State and No. 24 UCLA. Washington was one of 11 teams receiving votes for the Top 30.

'Our commitment is continued growth and improvement,' said Peterson, entering his 10th season as head coach of the Bruin women's team. 'We've shown over the past five years that our program is among the nation's elite. With the development and maturity of our roster, we expect this level of success to continue.'

The Bruin women and men's teams will train this week at Mammoth Lakes. The season's first competition is Saturday, Sept. 13, traveling to San Diego's Balboa Park for the Aztec Invitational.

FinishLynx / NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY NATIONAL POLL(Conducted by the Women's Cross Country Coaches Association)

2003 Preseason Poll/September 2, 2003Ranking Team (first place votes) Points1. Brigham Young (13) 3902. Stanford 3713. Notre Dame 3584. Colorado 3515. Villanova 3306. Providence 3297. Wake Forest 3038. Georgetown 2969. Columbia 27110. Northern Arizona 26411. North Carolina 25512. Michigan  25313. Michigan State 22714. North Carolina State 21615. Arkansas 21216. Duke 17517. Missouri 16818. Indiana 16619. Arizona State 15120. Virginia 12821. Penn State 12222. Boston College 11823. Wisconsin 10324. UCLA 8525. William & Mary 7926. Colorado State 7727. Marquette 6028. Texas A&M 4229. Southwest Missouri State 2430. West Virginia 21

Other Teams Also Receiving Votes: Cornell 18, Washington 17, Auburn 15, Baylor 12, Toledo 11, Minnesota 10, Dartmouth 5, Weber State 5, Yale 4, Kentucky 2, Florida State 1.

Voting panel consists of the nine elected regional representatives and four at large members of the Women's Intercollegiate Cross Country Coaches Association. Compiled by Jesse Rosen of 1201 Yale Place, #1001, Minneapolis, MN.For more information, please e-mail jjrosen@aol.com or FAX 414/747-2489


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