UCLA Opens 2005 CC Season at CS Fullerton Invitational on Saturday

Aug. 29, 2005

Eric Peterson's UCLA women and men's cross country teams open the 2005 collegiate season on Saturday (Sept. 3) at the CS Fullerton Invitational, held at Craig Regional Park. The men's 8K race begins at 8:30 a.m. and the women's 5K race starts at 9:15 a.m.

UCLA Women
From the 2004 squad that advanced to the NCAA Championships (27th-place), placed sixth at the West Region and fourth at the Pac-10 Championships, the Bruins return six of their top seven runners. Experience and depth will be the keys to this season's Bruin women's cross country squad - led by seniors, Jenna Timinsky, Allison Hall and Sarah West; juniors, Alison Costello and Ashley Caldwell and sophomores, Olga Aulet-Leon, Monika Rothenburger and Claire Rethmeier.

Costello was UCLA's No. 1 runner last fall, set the school record in the 3000m steeplechase (10:31.34) last spring and in 2004 was the U. S. Junior Cross Country Champion; Caldwell last fall was UCLA's top runner at the NCAA Championships and as a sophomore in 2003-04, earned All-American honors on three occasions; Timinsky has run on three consecutive Bruin cross country squads that have qualified for the NCAA Championships and Hall in 2004 was named UCLA's 'Most Improved Cross Country' runner.

Although just sophomores, Aulet-Leon, Rothenburger and Rethmeier picked up valuable experience in 2004-05 as true freshmen. At the 2005 USA Cross Country Championships, held Feb. 12-13 in Vancouver, WA, Rothenburger was UCLA's top finisher (15th, out of 52 runners, 23:13.3/6km), followed by Rethmeier (18th/23:29.4) and Aulet-Leon (22nd/23:57.4). Last fall, Aulet-Leon and Rothenburger were 'Co-Most Outstanding Freshmen Cross Country Runners' and Rethmeier redshirted.

Incoming freshmen on the roster include Gabrielle Bournes (Long Beach Poly HS), Lauren Jirges (Cypress HS), Lindsay delaMontaigne (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS) and Ciarra Viehweg (San Francisco/St. Ignatius HS).

A mix of experienced veterans, with a group of up-and-coming talented young runners, will lead UCLA this fall. The Bruins do lose their top three performers from last year's squad (all seniors, All-American Jon Rankin, Erik Emilsson and Ben Aragon) that had solid showings at both the West Region (fourth-place, ties best team finish since 1996) and Pac-10 (fifth-place, highest placement since 1997) Championships.

Returning for the Bruins in 2005 will be - seniors, Martell Munguia and Nick DeFelice; juniors, Austin Ramos and Micky Cobrin; sophomores, Mike Haddan and Kyle Shackleton and redshirt freshmen, Drew Shackleton and Matt Stollenwerk.Munguia last spring in track qualified in the 800m to the NCAA Outdoor; DeFelice has been a cross country contributor since his freshman season of 2002; Cobrin is a two-year cross country runner and Ramos has an impressive showing last February at the 2005 USA Cross Country Championships. Running in the men's 12km, Ramos finished 24th (out of 84 runners) in a time of 39:13.8 (he was the youngest of the top 24 placements).

Haddan and the Shackleton twins lead the Bruins pack of talented returning young runners. Haddan last fall was named the Bruins' 'Most Outstanding Freshman Distance Runner' and the Shackleton twins ran well last February at the USA Cross Country Championships. Competing in the Junior Men's 8km, Drew placed 14th (26:18.5, out of 58 runners) and Kyle finished 21st (26:40.30).

A freshman who could make an impact this fall is Laef Barnes (Nine Mile Falls, WA/Mead HS). In 2004 he ranked No. 3 in the U. S. in high school cross country and in track, he was the national prep indoor leader in the mile (4:12.00 in 2005). Another freshman on the roster is Ryan Gordon (Pacific Palisades/Brentwood School).

Looking Ahead
After the CS Fullerton Invite, the Bruins will travel to Mammoth Lakes for altitude training. The next major competition will be Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle, WA.

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