Cross Country Squads To Run At Long Beach State Invitational This Weekend

Oct. 4, 1999

LOS ANGELES - Eric Peterson's UCLA women's cross country team, rated No. 18 in the nation and Bob Larsen's Bruin men's team will compete Saturday (Oct. 9) at the Long Beach State Invitational, held at El Dorado Park (East) in Long Beach. The men's 8000m race will start at 9 a.m. and the women's 5,000m contest begins at 9:45 a.m. The El Dorado Park (East) course is the same site for the upcoming 1999 Pacific-10 Championship meet, held Oct. 30.

The UCLA women's varsity will send a complete squad to Long Beach, while the Bruin men may only send a few individuals and not compete for the men's team title.

Running for the Bruin women will be seniors, Melinda George, Kara Barnard and Jessica Matthews, juniors, Kelly Cohn, Katie Nuanes and Gina Donnelly and sophomores, Kate Vermeulen, Elaine Canchola, Alynda Franco, Gina Turpel, and Jaclyn Nolan. Vermeulen, a transfer from West Virginia who won the mile at the 1998 NCAA Indoor, has been slowed with tendinitis in her right knee. The Bruins will be without senior Christina Bowen who has not run yet this fall because of a back injury.

Franco led the UCLA women's 'B' team last Saturday (Oct. 2) in the college division at the Stanford Invite. The Bruins placed fourth with 137 points. The team winner was the Stanford 'B' team (26), followed by the Brigham Young 'B team (84), Victoria B. C. (136), UCLA and San Jose State in fifth place with 170 points.

Franco paced the Bruins by finishing sixth over the 5000m course in a time of 18:10. UCLA had four runners finish in the top 51 placements. Behind Franco, UCLA was led by George in 17th place (18:34), Donnelly in 24th (18:54), freshman Stefani Clark in 39th (19:18) and Matthews in 51st (19:27). Also running for the Bruins were sophomores, Melissa Peralta (53rd, 19:33) and Bridget Hatch (86th, 20:02).

Looking ahead, the Bruin women and men will compete on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Pre-NCAA Championship Invitational, held at Bloomington, IN and hosted by the University of Indiana. On Nov. 22, the Uni. of Indiana will host the 1999 NCAA women's and men's cross country championship.

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