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Cross Country Opens Season with Tri-Meet in Mammoth

Aug 30, 2021
Sophomore Anthony Stone (photo by Howard Lao)

Mammoth Lakes, Calif. – UCLA Cross Country is kicking off its 2021 campaign with a tri-meet in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 1. The action gets rolling with the women's 4k race at 7:30 a.m. PT, with the men's 6k following at 8:00 a.m. PT.  
 
Meet Preview
The Bruins will take on local opponents UC Riverside and UC San Diego on Wednesday. The race is set to commence at the Mammoth Recreation Facility. There is no live results link for the meet, but results will be posted to uclabruins.com and distributed to participating institutions following the conclusion of the meet.

*The meet was supposed to be held at Shady Rest Park, but races have been moved due to fire safety concerns. 
 
Veteran Returners
Team Captain Darius Riley was the Bruins' second runner at the Dave Murray Invitational and scored for the team in 38th place at the Pac-12 Championships (Mar. 5). Redshirt sophomore Peter Herold returns after a 2020 campaign that saw him finish in the Bruins' top three in each of the team's three competitions. Herold earned a victory in the 8k at the Dave Murray Invite (Feb. 19) with a time of 24:42.3. Senior Munir Kabbara is back for the Bruins after scoring in all three races last season, including a fourth-place finish in the team's sweep 1-5 sweep at the Arizona Invitational (Feb. 5).
 
Emma Tavella returns for the Bruin women after finishing as the team's top runner at the Arizona Invitational (Feb. 5) and Dave Murray Invitational (Feb. 19). Team Captain Gwyn George is back after scoring at the Pac-12 Championships (Mar. 5) as the Bruins' second runner and the 67th place finisher overall. True sophomores Savannah Scriven and Ashley Johnson toed the line in each of the team's three meets in 2021. Sophomore Carlie Dorostkar looks to make an immediate impact in 2021 after missing the 2020 season due to injury. Dorostkar was the 2019 CIF State Division 1 champion in cross country.
 
Freshman Phenoms
The UCLA women's squad signed a quartet of talented freshmen in Audrey Allen (Orinda, Calif.), Mia Kane (Portland, Ore.), Siena Palicke (Yorba Linda, Calif.), and Anna Weirich (Palo Alto, Calif.). Allen finished seventh at the CIF XC Meet in 2019 and won 11 of her 12 races as a junior at Miramonte High School. Kane is a 2019 NXN qualifier and notched a pair of top-20 OSAA 6A State Meet performances for Lincoln High School. Palicke finished fourth at the State Meet in cross country in 2019 and owns a lifetime-best 1600m time of 4:54.20. Weirich finished in the top five in eight of her 10 cross country races as a junior and has track experience in the 400m, 800m, 1500m, 1600m, mile, 3000m, and 3200m.
 
The Bruin men also picked up four elite newcomers in Mateo Bianchi (Laguna Beach, Calif.), Patrick Curulla (Livermore, Calif.), Ewan Macfarlane (Palos Verdes), and Ajani Salcido (Rocklin, Calif.). Bianchi earned victories in each of his three cross country races this past season and took second place at the 2019 CIF-SS Finals. Curulla picked up the 2019 CIF NCS title ahead of an eighth-place finish at the State Meet. Macfarlane won each of Peninsula High School's three dual meets this past season and finished 13th overall at the CIF State Meet as a junior in 2019. Salcido is coming off an elite prep career for Jesuit HS, as he won the CIF-SJS title in 2019 and recently ran 8:46 for two miles at the Brooks PR Invitational.
 
2021 UCLA Cross Country Schedule

  • Wednesday, Sept. 1 – UCR-UCSD-UCLA Tri-Meet (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.)
  • Thursday, Sept. 23 – Dellinger Invitational (Eugene, Ore.)
  • Friday, Oct. 15 – Nuttycombe Invitational (Madison, Wisc.)
  • Saturday, Oct. 16 – Highlander Invitational (Riverside, Calif.)
  • Friday, Oct. 29 – Pac-12 Championships (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Friday, Nov. 12 – NCAA Regionals (Sacramento, Calif.)
  • Saturday, Nov. 20 – NCAA Championships (Tallahassee, Fla.)

"2020" Season in Review
The Bruins impressed on the men's and women's sides in a shortened 2020 campaign, a season that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and took place earlier in 2021.
 
The Bruin men earned a team sweep at the Arizona Invitational (Feb. 5) to kick off the season, led by an individual victory from Michael Mireles in his collegiate debut. The squad went on to earn its second victory of the year at the Dave Murray Invitational (Feb. 19), with Peter Herold earning a fourth-place finish on the 8k course. The team earned a fifth-place finish at Pac-12 Championships, with freshman Anthony Stone crossing as the Bruins' top runner in 28th place.
 
UCLA's women's squad also earned team victories at the Arizona Invitational and Dave Murray Invitational, with Emma Tavella and Paige Carter crossing as the Bruins' first and second runners, respectively, in both races. Kira Loren led the Bruin charge at the Pac-12 Championships in her final collegiate race, finishing 66th overall as the team finished 10th.
 
Last Time Out – 2019 Mammoth Opener
The Bruins last opened their season in Mammoth with a dual meet against UC Riverside on Aug. 31, 2019. The Bruins enjoyed a sweep of the first 10 positions in the men's 5k competition and secured the first six positions in the women's 5k. Colin Burke (16:16.06) and Garrett Reynolds (16:16.31) went 1-2 for the Bruin men while Emma Tavella (15:05.63) pulled away from the field to take the victory in the women's race by almost 12 seconds.