September 15, 1998
Bob Larsen's UCLA men's cross country team and Eric Peterson's Bruin women's squad on Saturday (Sept. 19) will compete at the Aztec Invitational, hosted by San Diego State. Competition will be held at Balboa Park in San Diego. The women's 5K race will start at 8:30 a.m. and the men's 8K course will begin at 9:45 a.m.
The Bruin men will not take some of their top runners, as they will stay in Los Angeles over the weekend to train for the Bruins' upcoming meet on Sept. 26 at the Minnesota Invitational. The UCLA women's team will travel a complete squad to San Diego.
Last Saturday, the Bruin men and women competed at the UC Irvine Invitational, held at Central Park in Huntington Beach. In the men's division, Arizona won with 34 points, followed by Northern Arizona (56), Arizona State (103), Cal Poly-SLO (119) and UCLA, in fifth place with 134 points. The Wildcats also won the women's title, with 51 points, followed by UCLA in second-place with 81.
Arizona's Abdi Abdirahman won the men's 8,000m race in a time of 24:44. UCLA's top finishers were senior Mark Hauser (fifth -place, 24:59) and sophomore Paul Muite (12th-place, 25:16).
"We're still not at full strength because of injury and illness, so I thought we ran pretty well," said Bob Larsen, in his 20th season as the UCLA men's head coach. "Hauser has been slowed with foot and knee problems and he ran well. Muite is in good shape and ran the best race of his life." Hauser, Muite and junior Will Bernaldo (Achilles injury) are not running for the Bruins at San Diego.
The UCLA women were paced by four runners in the top 20--sophomore Kelly Cohn (eighth-place, 18:13), junior Christina Bowen (13th-place, 18:28), junior Kara Barnard (15th-place, 18:41) and true freshman Elaine Canchola (18th-place, 18:49). Arizona's Amy Skieresz won the women's 5,000m race with a time of 17:14. "Two of our top runners did not run well and we still placed second," said Eric Peterson, in his fifth season as the Bruin women's coach. "Arizona is one of the top teams in the nation and we beat Northern Arizona (third-place), another good squad with talented runners. I think when we get all of our runners competing at a higher level we can compete with the top teams around the U. S."