Cross Country Opens 2007 Season on Friday in Reno

Aug. 28, 2007

Eric Peterson and the UCLA cross country teams will open up the 2007 season on Friday night as they compete at the Nevada Twilight Cross Country Classic in Reno. The meet features Boise State, Humboldt State, Nevada, Sacramento State, UC Davis, UCLA and UC Riverside.

The team has been spending the week in Mammoth Lakes for altitude training, but will head to Reno on Friday to compete. After the meet, the teams will head to Lake Tahoe to continue training.

'This is the opening weekend for cross country across the nation and we are very excited to get going,' said Peterson. 'It's very convenient to compete at this meet since we're only three hours away in Mammoth. We are looking forward to starting the year off with a good, competitive meet.'

Leading the way for the Bruin men will be juniors Laef Barnes and Drew Shackleton, along with sophomores Alex Crabill, Jake Matthews, Marlon Patterson and Kevin Sullivan. Austin Ramos and Kyle Shackleton will not compete as they will most likely open up at the Bill Dellinger Invite in Oregon (Sept. 29). Senior Henry Hagenbuch is a meet day decision as he tweaked an ankle during training.

'The older guys are going to take the lead for us this weekend. This meet will also give our sophomores the opportunity to gain more valuable competitive race experience.'

Several freshmen will debut for UCLA this weekend including heralded recruits Fawad Khan, Kent Morikawa, Dylan and Spencer Knight and Evan Watchempino.

'Friday will give this group of freshmen the opportunity right off the bat to compete and show they can contribute.'

On the women's side, the team will be led by junior Olga Aulet-Leon as Allie Bohannon will also be held out until later in the season. The team will also look for results from juniors Lauren Jirges and Ciara Viehweg as a predominantly young, fresh-faced team will take to the course.

Newcomer Shannon Murakami and redshirt freshman Cobbie Jones will also look to make an immediate impact for the team on Friday.

'We will be counting on new faces to step into a significant scoring position on this team. We are looking for athletes to take responsibility and help lead this team early.'

The men's race will begin at 7:00 pm. The women's portion of the race will be held after the completion of a high school boys section, and will run at 8:30.

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