Sept. 7, 1999
LOS ANGELES - In 1998, UCLA head coach Eric Peterson guided the Bruin women's squad to a berth in the NCAA Championships, UCLA's first team appearance in ten years. From that squad, the Bruins return all seven of their top runners. UCLA should be one of the top teams on the West Coast this fall.
Leading the way will be senior Christina Bowen and junior Kelly Cohn. Bowen last spring in track qualified for the NCAA 3000m (9:25.59, personal-best) and in cross country last fall was UCLA's top finisher at the Pac-10 and its No. 2 finisher at the Western Regional meet. Cohn last spring in track scored in two events (5000m, 10,000m) at the Pac-10 and in cross country was UCLA's top finisher at the NCAA Championship and Western Regional meets. Cohn was named UCLA's most outstanding cross country runner for 1998. Bowen and Cohn also earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic cross country honors.
Joining Bowen and Cohn as top returners are seniors Kara Barnard and Melinda George, juniors Julie Ott and Katie Nuanes and sophomore Elaine Canchola. Last fall, Barnard was UCLA's second finisher at the NCAA, and Ott was the Bruins' No. 2 finisher at the Pac-10, while George, Nuanes and then-true freshman Canchola ran and contributed to the Bruin cause in every major '98 meet. George was a second-team Pac-10 All-Academic cross country honoree, and Barnard joined Bowen and Cohn as honorable mention selections.
Also contributing this season will be junior Gina Donnelly and sophomores Ysanne Williams, Alynda Franco and Kelly Grimes. Williams last year as a true frosh earned All-America honors at the NCAA Outdoor, running on UCLA's 4x400m relay that placed third (3:29.41, school record). Last summer, she also won the 800m at both the USA and Pan Am Junior meets.
Newcomers in 1999 include sophomore Kate Vermeulen and freshman Lena Nilsson. Vermeulen last year as a redshirt freshman at West Virginia qualified as an individual for the NCAA cross country championships and won the mile at the NCAA Indoor, while also earning All-American honors at the Indoor on the Mountaineer distance medley relay (fifth). Nilsson has run a 4:19 (1500m) and competed in the European Junior meet last summer in both the 800m and 1500m.
UCLA's only significant loss from 1998 is Nicole Luque, who as a senior last fall, ran for the Bruins at both the Western Regional and NCAA Championships.