Bruin Cross Country Set to Compete at Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday

Sept. 19, 2006

Eric Peterson's UCLA cross country teams will head to St. Paul Minnesota on Saturday, September 23 for the 21st Annual Roy Griak Invitational to take on some of the top cross country teams in the country. This will be the first meet of the season with both the men and women's teams fielding a full competitive squad.

Both the men and women opened up the season on September 1 with dual meet victories over UC Riverside, but this will be the first true test for the teams. The Roy Griak meets always attracts some of the toughest teams in the country and this year will be no different as eight men's teams and five women's teams ranked in the top-30 in the nation will be competing.

Men's Team
The men's Gold Race will begin at 9:20 am (PST) on Saturday. The following is a list of teams competing: Air Force, Arizona State (No. 20), Arizona (No. 8), Baylor, Bowling Green, Bradley, Colorado State, Cornell, Delaware, Drake, Eastern Washington, Iowa (No. 27), Iowa State, Kansas (No. 10), Kansas State, Liberty, Loyola, Marquette, Michigan State (No. 28), Minnesota (No. 23), Missouri, Navy, Nebraska, Northern Arizona, Oklahoma, Princeton, South Dakota State, Southern Utah, UCLA, Utah Valley State, Virginia (No. 26), Wichita State, Wisconsin (No. 1), Xaiver.

Heading to Minnesota for the Bruin men will be senior Henry Hagenbuch, juniors Mike Haddan and Kyle Shackleton, sophomores Laef Barnes, Ryan Gordon and Drew Shackleton, and freshmen Alex Crabill, Jake Matthews, Marlon Patterson and Kevin Sullivan.

'We are looking forward to the first counting weekend of the cross country season,' said Head Coach Eric Peterson. 'Our team is coming off of one of the best high altitude training camps we've ever had. The improvement of the Shackleton twins, coupled with the leadership of Haddan and Barnes is really what will help our team succeed this season. All of these older guys have cross country racing expereince and we are very eager to get them out there and see what we can do.

We have a lot of young guys racing this weekend without a lot of cross country experience at this point, but are fit and enthusiastic to get an opportunity to represent UCLA this weekend.

This is a meet that features a national class field and we feel we are well prepared for the challenge.'

Women's Race
The women's Jack Johnson Gold Race will get underway at 10:10 am (PST) and will include the following teams: Air Force, Arizona State (No. 9), Arizona, Baylor (No. 13), Bowling Green, Bradley, Delaware, Drake, Eastern Washington, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Liberty, Loyola, Marquette (No. 18), Michigan State, Minnesota (No. 16), Nebraska, Northern Arizona, Oklahoma, Rice, South Dakota State, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Utah Valley State, Virginia (No. 26), Wichita State, Xaiver.

Heading to St. Paul are seniors Ashley Caldwell, Allison Hall and Jenna Timinsky, juniors Claire Rethmeier and Monika Rothenburger, sophomores Olga Aulet-Leon, Allie Bohannon and Lauren Jirges, and freshmen Nicole Pennes and Hannah Roeder.

'This team has a lot of strong senior leadership and experience,' noted Peterson. 'This meet and our next meet will put us against some of the top teams in the country. We can't wait to get out there and race and see where we are at this point of the season and how much we have improved from last year.

Caldwell has had tremendous progress over the last 18 days while we were training in Mammoth and is ready to get out and run.

The two biggest surprises so far this season have been Lauren (Jirges) and Allie (Bohannon), as both have showed incredible improvement from where they were at the end of the track season until now.

Claire (Rethmeier) has been our most steady runner in the time we have been together and we are just eager to get out there and test this team against some tough competition.'

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