Cross Country Introduces Complete Freshman Class
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA Cross Country program announced today the full incoming class of freshmen who will join the program for the upcoming season. The team is adding four women and four men in the class of 2025.
The class includes multiple top performers from recent California and Oregon State cross country meets, as well as a Brooks PR qualifier on the track side. The range of this class is also evident, with several runners boasting experience from the 400m up to 3200m on the track.
Audrey Allen – Orinda, Calif. – Miramonte HS
Audrey Allen becomes a Bruin an impressive four years at Miramonte High School, where she picked up a 20th-place finish at the State Meet in 2018 and a seventh-place showing in 2019. Her junior cross country season saw her win 11 of the 12 meets in which she raced, including the Asics Clovis Cross Country Invite, which saw her post a 5k PR of 17:49.2. She also secured a victory at the 2019 NCS Section Meet, clocking a three-mile time of 17:27.2. The 2021 track season saw Allen notch personal-best times in the 1600m (4:58.48) and 3200m (10:26.06). She also boasts relay experience, running legs on Miramonte's 4x400m and DMR squads this past season. As a sophomore in 2019, Allen picked up six individual victories across the 1600m and 3200m.
Mia Kane – Portland, Ore. – Lincoln HS
Mia Kane arrives in Westwood with a pair of top-20 OSAA 6A State Meet performances for Lincoln HS in Oregon. Her most recent cross country season in 2019 saw her secure seven top-10 finishes ahead of a 19th-place showing at the State Meet. She went on to compete at the NXR Northwest Regional Championships, crossing with a 5k time of 18:23.8. She also competed at NXN in 2019, finishing 97th overall with a time of 19:21.1 on the 5k course. Kane earned five top-three finishes during the 2018 cross country season, including a third-place finish at the Portland Interscholastic League Championships. She went on to finish 10th at State that year and advanced to NXR Northwest Regionals for the first time. Kane has experience running collegiate track distances from her high school training in Oregon, boasting PRs of 4:38.92m in the 1500m and 10:07.32 in the 3000m.
Siena Palicke – Yorba Linda, Calif. – Yorba Linda HS
Local product Siena Palicke is officially a Bruin after an elite career at Yorba Linda High School. Her junior cross country season in 2019 saw her pick up eight top-five finishes, including victories at the Great Cow Run, Century Conference Preview, and CIF-SS Subsection Meet. She secured a third-place finish at the Southern Section Finals with a three-mile time of 17:41.4 and went on to finish fourth at the 2019 State Meet with a 5k PR of 17:57.3. She improved 21 spots from a 25th-place finish at State in 2018. Palicke doubled at the 2021 Crestview League Finals, earning a victory in the 800m (2:14.98) and a third-place finish in the 1600m (5:21.08). She earned a PR in the 1600m during the 2019 track season, clocking a lifetime-best time of 4:54.20 at the Crestview League Finals (4:54.20).
Anna Weirich – Palo Alto, Calif. – Harker School
Two-time CIF State XC qualifier Anna Weirich is headed to Westwood after competing for Harker High School in San Jose, Calif. She capped her 2019 cross country season with a 19th-place finish at the State Meet, a performance that finished off a junior campaign that saw her finish in the top five in eight of the 10 races in which she competed. Weirich owns a 1600m PR of 4:51.71, set at the 2021 California State Track & Field Championships. Earlier in the year, she ran a lifetime-best time of 10:46.84 in the 3200m during the Sundown Track Series. Weirich owns experience up and down the middle/long distance start list, toeing the line in the 400m, 800m, 1500m, 1600m, mile, 3000m, and 3200m during her time at Harker.
Mateo Bianchi – Laguna Beach, Calif. – Laguna Beach HS
Laguna Beach native Mateo Bianchi is staying local as he begins his UCLA career. Bianchi is coming off a shortened 2020 cross country season that saw him earn victories in each of his three races, including a win at the Sunset League Finals with a three-mile time of 15:59.6. His junior season in 2019 included a second-place finish at the CIF-SS Finals and a 10th-place showing at the CIF State Meet. It was the second top-20 finish at State in his career, as he secured 18th place on the 5k course in 2018. Bianchi picked up a couple of PRs this past track season in 2021, going 4:11.82 in the 1600m for Laguna Beach at the Meet of Champions and securing a time of 9:02.03 at the California State Track & Field Championships. As a sophomore in 2019, he finished fourth in the 3200m at the CIF-SS Division 3 Finals (9:25.62).
Patrick Curulla – Livermore, Calif. – De La Salle HS
The 2019 CIF North Coast Section Champion in cross country is headed to Westwood. Patrick Curulla ran 14:55.2 on the three-mile course to win the section title as a junior in 2019. He posted top-12 finishes in each of his eight cross country races in 2019 and went on to finish eighth at the 2019 CIF State Meet, clocking a time of 15:15.0 on the 5k course. Most recently, Curulla picked up six individual or relay victories in his senior track season, including an undefeated stretch in the 1600m. He won all four of his 1600m races in 2021, including a victory at the Tri-Valley Track Championships, which saw him post a personal-best time of 4:17.54. He finished fifth in the 3200m at the Dublin Social Distance Fiesta, securing a personal-best time of 9:10.18. Curulla competed in four races in a shortened spring cross country season in 2021 and earned victories at three meets. He posted a personal-best three-mile time of 14:46.2 for a victory at the Tri-Velley Cross Country Meet of Champions.
Ewan Macfarlane – Palos Verdes, Calif. – Palos Verdes Peninsula HS
Ewan Macfarlane is set to don the four letters after a senior cross country season that saw him win each of Peninsula's three dual meets. He won four races as a junior in 2019, including a victory at the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic, an event that saw him notch a three-mile PR of 14:39.3. Macfarlane went on to finish sixth at the CIF-SS Finals and took 13th place at the State Meet, crossing with a 5k time of 15:24.9 at Woodward Park. He improved 17 spots from the previous season at State, as he finished 30th overall with a time of 15:49.0 as a sophomore. The 2021 track season saw Macfarlane earn an individual victory in the 800m, 1600m, and 3200m during the course of the year. He earned PRs in all three events, as well, going 2:03.76 in the 800m, 4:25.36 in the 1600m, and 9:28.89 in the 3200m.
Ajani Salcido – Rocklin, Calif. – Jesuit HS
NorCal product Ajani Salcido is set to toe the line for the Bruins following an elite prep career at Jesuit High School. He most recently ran a lifetime-best 3200m time of 8:46.32 at the 2021 Brooks PR Invitational, good for third place overall at the meet. Salcido's monster performance at Brooks PR capped a 2021 season that saw him earn 11 individual victories, including a double in the 1600m (4:09.95) and 3200m (8:56.57) at the Dublin Distance Fiesta. He also notched a PR of 4:07.81 against Delta High School earlier in the season. Salcido won all seven of his cross country races in the shortened 2020-21 season, including a victory against Pleasant Grove that saw him run a 5,000m PR of 14:55.0. As a junior in 2019, Salcido became the CIF-SJS XC champion with a time of 16:21.0 on the 5k course. He finished no lower than seventh overall in cross country that season.