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Cross Country Announces 2021 Schedule, Opens Season in Arizona

Feb 4, 2021
Munir Kabbara (photo by Jesus Ramirez)

Live Results -- Arizona Invitational

LOS ANGELES – UCLA Cross Country has announced its tentative schedule for the 2021 season, as outlined by Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Avery Anderson. The cross country team will compete simultaneously with UCLA's track & field program during the indoor track season.
 
The cross country team is set to compete in a pair of regular season meets in Arizona to kick off the 2021 slate. The squad opens at the Arizona Invitational on Friday, Feb. 5 at the Rolling Hills Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz. UCLA will then travel back to Arizona a second regular season meet on Friday, Feb. 19. More information on this competition will be provided when additional information becomes available.
 
Postseason competition begins on Mar. 5 at the Pac-12 Championships, which are set to be contested in University Place, Wash. The 2021 NCAA Championships are scheduled for Monday, Mar. 15 in Stillwater, Okla.
 
2021 UCLA Cross Country Schedule (*subject to change)

  • Friday, Feb. 5 – Arizona Invitational (Tucson, Ariz. – Rolling Hills Golf Club)
  • Friday, Feb. 19 – Regular Season Meet (Details TBD)
  • Friday, Mar. 5 – Pac-12 Cross Country Championships (University Place, Wash.)
  • Monday, Mar. 15 – NCAA Cross Country Championships (Stillwater, Okla.)

 Meet Preview – Arizona Invitational
The Bruins open their 2021 cross country campaign at the Arizona Invitational at the Rolling Hills Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz. The competition is hosted by the University of Arizona. The men's 8k competition is set to commence at 2:45 p.m. PT, with the women's 6k capping the day at 3:30 p.m. PT. UCLA will see its first action on a cross country course since the 2019 NCAA Championships (Nov. 23).
 
2021 Roster at a Glance
UCLA's women's and men's squads will boast an impressive combination of veteran leadership and young talent this season.
 
The UCLA women are led by seniors Paige Carter, Kira Loren, and Marisa Villegas, whose combined experience should prove invaluable in this unpredictable season. Alyssa Bautista and Gwyn George each have multiple years under their respective belts at UCLA, while sophomore returners Emma Tavella looks to build upon a freshman campaign that saw her win her debut race against UC Riverside (Aug. 31, 2019). The women's team has added several talented freshmen to the mix, including 2019 CIF Division 1 State XC champion Carlie Dorostkar (San Diego) and fellow Nike Cross Nationals qualifier Savannah Scriven (Rancho Palos Verdes).
 
The Bruin men look to reload last year after losing 2019 NCAA qualifiers Colin Burke and Garrett Reynolds to graduation. Juniors Darius Riley, Munir Kabbara, and Chris Weiland figure to lead a fairly young squad, full of breakout potential. Redshirt freshmen Peter Herold and Mason Ratkovich enter the 2021 season looking to build upon true freshmen campaigns in which they both competed unattached in a pair of meets. UCLA also boasts a strong contingent of local freshmen. Jake Parker (Torrance) and Ronan McMahon-Staggs (Long Beach) finished second and 11th at the 2019 CIF State Meet, respectively, Michael Mireles qualified for Nike Cross Nationals.
 
2019 in Review
The Bruins look to improve upon a 2019 campaign that saw them qualify three runners for the NCAA Championships: Christina Rice, Garrett Reynolds, and Colin Burke. Rice earned All-America honors after finishing 37th overall in the 6k competition, crossing the line with a time of 20:44. Reynolds and Burke finished 84th and 121st, respectively, in their final races as Bruins. The UCLA men finished fourth at the 2019 Pac-12 Championships and eighth at the NCAA Regional Meet. The women's squad took eighth and 11th in the postseason meets, respectively.