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Women's Cross Country Qualifies For NCAA Championships
By: UCLA Athletics

November 16, 1998

LOS ANGELES - Eric Peterson's UCLA women's cross country team and Bruin senior Mark Hauser have qualified to participate in the upcoming 1998 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 23 in Lawrence, KS.

The women qualified as an at-large team after placing fifth last Saturday at the NCAA Western Region Qualifying meet in Fresno. Arizona won the women's race with 78 points, followed by second-place Stanford (80) and both those teams were automatic qualifiers. Third-place Washington (110), fourth-place Oregon (118), fifth-place UCLA (164) and sixth-place Arizona State (176) were all selected as at-large teams. It will be the first time since 1988 the Bruin women have qualified as a team for the NCAA cross country championships.

The women's individual champion over the 5,000m course was Arizona's Amy Skieresz, in a time of 16:26. UCLA's top finishers were sophomore Kelly Cohn, from Stockdale HS in Bakersfield, in 18th place (17:36), junior Christina Bowen, from San Ramon HS in Danville, in 25th place (17:53), and sophomore Julie Ott, Uni. of San Diego HS, in 29th (17:56).

Along with Cohn, Bowen and Ott, also competing for the Bruin women at the NCAA Championships will be -- freshman Elaine Canchola, from Nordoff HS in Ojai; junior Kara Barnard, from Pacific Palisades HS; junior Melinda George, from Chatsworth HS and senior Nicole Luque, from Canyon HS in Anaheim, or sophomore Katie Nuanes, from Santa Ana HS in Santa Margarita, who missed the Western Regionals with a hip injury.

Hauser, a senior from St. Augustine HS in San Diego, placed seventh overall in the men's 10,000m race, in time of 30:46. He qualified for the upcoming NCAA Championships as an individual. This will be the fifth consecutive season UCLA has had a men's runner in the NCAA cross country meet. Mebrahtom Keflezighi represented UCLA from 1994-97 and won the men's title last year.

The men's team race in Fresno was won by Stanford with 37 points, followed by Oregon, with 65. Stanford and Oregon automatically qualified for the NCAA championships. The Bruin men placed ninth, with 212 points. The winner of the men's race was Arizona's Abdi Abdirahman, in a time of 30:06.

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