Kyle Shackleton Leads Men's Cross Country to 14th-Place Finish at Pre-NCAA Invite

Oct. 14, 2006

Junior Kyle Shackleton ran an impressive 24:08.9 at the Pre-NCAA Invitational to finish 25th overall as the Bruins placed 14th as a team on Saturday in Terre Haute, IN.

Shackleton has been UCLA's No. 1 performer all season and today was no exception. His performance rivals last season's run by Austin Ramos (24:06), who finished the 2005 season with All-American cross coutry honors. Shackleton is on track to earn his first All-American honors based on his performance today.

Junior Mike Haddan was the No. 2 runner for the Bruins on Saturday, finishing 63rd in a time of 24:35.9. Sophomores Laef Barnes (76th, 24:44.1) and Drew Shackleton (87th, 24:48.0) and freshman Jake Matthews (155th, 25:14.8) rounded out the top-five runners for UCLA.

'Our front four athletes continue to run at an extremely high level,' noted Cross Country Coach Eric Peterson. 'All of these guys ran under 25 minutes and it's really impressive. Kyle had a great run today and if he continues to run at this level, he will end up with his first All-American honor.

'We had a 40-second gap between the top-four, which is better then it's been, but not where we need to be. We thought today would be the day our freshmen would step up and strengthen the back end of the team, but we had some bumps along the way. Marlon (Patterson) tripped and went down, and was able to get up and recovered well, but was pretty much taken out of the race. Its a lot for a freshman to absorb and it was a missed opportunity, but it was out of his control.

'Jake came through with a strong fifth man finish for us. I was proud that he was able to finish in that position for the team and maintain a respectable finish.

'We're two weeks away from Pac-10's and we remain optimistic because we see that the pieces are there for us to come together and be the kind of competitive team that we know we can be. We feel great about the leadership of the team and the way the guys have been running, but we just need one or more of these freshmen to be mature and be able to handle the 8k and 10k distances we are going to face the next month.'

UCLA will send a few runners to the CSUF Titan Invite next Friday, but the majority of the team will be off as they prepare for the Pac-10 Championships and post-season races.

Team Results (top-5 of 36 teams)
1. Colorado, 75 points; 2. Florida State, 141 points; 3. North Carolina State, 152 points; 4. UCSB, 229 points; 5. Georgetown, 274 points; 14. UCLA, 406 points

Individual Results (top-5 of 243 runners)
1. Martin Fagan, Providence (23:30.3); 2. Robert Cheseret, Arizona (23:36.2); 3. Robert Curtis, Villanova (23:43.6); 4. Obed Mutanya, Arizona (23:44.6); 5. Andrew Lemoncello, Florida State (23:45.8)

UCLA Results
25. Kyle Shackleton, 24:08.9; 63. Mike Haddan, 24:35.9; 76. Laef Barnes, 24:44.1; 87. Drew Shackleton, 24:48.0; 155. Jake Matthews, 25:14.8; 185. Marlon Patterson, 25:30.4; 223. Alex Crabill, 26;01.8.

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