Oct. 11, 2003
SAN DIEGO - Eric Peterson's UCLA men and women's cross country "B" squads on Saturday (Oct. 11) won the team titles at the Triton Classic, hosted by UC San Diego on the school's north campus athletic fields.
Individually, the Bruin men were paced by junior Jon Rankin (Spring Valley/Monte Vista), who won (25:26.3) the Div. I 8K race and the UCLA women were led by junior Carmen Winant (Philadelphia, PA/Germantown Friends), who placed fourth (22:42.5) in the Div. I 6K event.
The Bruin "B" team won the 8K Div. I title with 28 points, ahead of second-place UC Irvine (34), third-place Pepperdine (78) and fourth-place San Diego (100).
Rankin's individual win was his first cross country race of 2003. A mainstay for the Bruin men's distance corps since his freshman year of 2000, Rankin has recovered from a right foot injury that has bothered him since last spring.
In all, UCLA had five runners in the Top 10. Joining Rankin were - sophomore Martell Munguia (Sacramento/Wood Creek) in third-place (25:54.1); sophomore Mohammed Qazi (West Torrance) in fifth-place (26:19); junior Reggie Oronoz (Pasadena/Loyola) in ninth-place (26:33.4) and junior Puneet Mahan (Norwalk) in 10th-place (26:36.8).
"It was great to have Jon (Rankin) back in the lineup today leading our team to victory" said Peterson, in his fourth year coaching the UCLA men's squad. "He's been very eager in practice to rejoin the squad on a competitive level. He showed today how tough he is by coming out and putting a strong effort into his first race of the season."
In the first major meet of the 2003 campaign featuring the nation's top teams at full strength, the Bruin men's varsity and the No. 12 UCLA women's varsity squads, on Oct. 18 at Waterloo, IA, will run in the 2003 Pre-National Cross Country meet, hosted by Northern Iowa. The men (two seeded 8000m races) and women's (two seeded 6000m races) courses, on the Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course/Byrnes Park, are a preview of the upcoming 2003 NCAA Championships, hosted on the same courses on Nov. 24 at Waterloo, IA.