Cross Country Heads Back to Tucson for Dave Murray Invitational
LOS ANGELES – UCLA Cross Country is headed to Tucson, Ariz., for the Dave Murray Invitational on Friday, Feb. 19. It will be the team's second and final regular season meet ahead of the Pac-12 Championships on Mar. 5.
Meet Preview – Dave Murray Invitational
The Dave Murray Invitational will be the Bruins' second-consecutive meet in Tucson, Ariz. The meet is hosted by the University of Arizona and will be contested at Rolling Hills Golf Club. The men's 8k kicks off the day bright and early at 9:00 a.m. MT/8:00 a.m. PT and the gun for the women's 6k is set to go off at 9:45 a.m. MT/8:45 a.m. PT.
Scouting Report – UCLA's Opponents
The Bruins will be one of five teams toeing the line on Friday, as UCLA will be joined by Pac-12 foes Arizona, Arizona State, and California, as well as New Mexico State from the Western Athletic Conference. UCLA's men's and women's squads took team victories over Arizona and Arizona State at the Arizona Invitational on Feb. 5. Cal and New Mexico State are both set to make their team debuts on Friday. The Bruin men and women are ranked highest among those teams appearing on the most recent United States Track & Field and Cross Country Regional Rankings.
Bruins in the Rankings
The UCLA women jumped three spots in the most recent USTFCCCA West Region rankings and checked in at No. 8 on the regional list. The men's squad is currently ninth in the West Region.
Last Time Out – Arizona Invitational (Feb. 5)
The Bruins opened the 2021 season with a bang at the Arizona Invitational, earning team victories in the men's and women's races. The men's 8k saw the Bruins sweep the first five spots for 15 points on the day. Freshman Michael Mireles earned the individual win on his debut, crossing the line with a time of 25:15.3. Fellow first-year Ronan McMahon-Staggs took the runner-up position, while redshirt freshman Peter Herold, junior Munir Kabbara, and freshman Anthony Stone rounded out UCLA's scoring five. The Bruins would, ultimately, place all eight runners in the top 15. The UCLA women also secured a team victory, placing five runners in the top nine to secure 23 points in the 6k. Sophomore Emma Tavella led the way with a second-place finish and a time of 21:51.6. Senior Paige Carter was the Bruins' second runner, taking fourth place overall with a time of 22:18.9. Sophie Scott, Savannah Scriven, and Kira Loren went 7-8-9 to wrap the Bruins' scoring group.
The Bruins have already reaped the benefits of a strong core of young runners that make up a sizable contingent of the men's and women's racing squads. Five of UCLA's racing nine from the Arizona Invitational were freshmen or redshirt freshmen: Mireles, McMahon-Staggs, Herold (redshirt), Parker, and Wilbur. Two true freshmen toed the line for the Bruin women in Tucson – Scriven and Ashley Johnson.
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 aforementioned postseason meets, respectively.