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Cross Country Weekly Release
By: UCLA Athletics

September 1, 1998

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Bob Larsen's UCLA's men's cross country team and Eric Peterson's Bruin women's squad open the 1998 collegiate cross country season on Saturday, Sept. 5 at the CS Fullerton Invitational. The meet will start at 8:45 a.m. at Carbon Canyon Park, located in Brea.

Both UCLA's men's and women's squads have been training in Mammoth for the last week.

Larsen's men's team returns three of its top five runners from last year's squad that placed fourth in the Pac-10 and seventh at the Western Regionals.

The Bruin men will be led by senior Mark Hauser, from St. Augustine HS in San Diego. As a senior in track last spring, Hauser earned All-American NCAA Indoor honors, running the opening leg on the Bruins' distance medley relay that placed seventh and he also placed 14th in the 3,000m. At the '98 NCAA Outdoor, Hauser placed 15th in the 5,000m and at the Pac-10, he was second in the 1,500m and seventh in the 5,000m. In cross country last fall, he was UCLA's No. 2 runner, placing 11th at the Pac-10 and eighth at the Regional, just missing qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

Peterson's women's team returns six of its top seven runners from 1997, when the Bruins placed fourth at the Pac-10 and fifth at the NCAA Western Regional.

The Bruin women will be led by sophomore Julie Ott, from Uni. of San Dieog HS, and junior Melinda George, from Chatsworth. Last spring in track as a true freshman, Ott placed 12th at the NCAA Outdoor 10,000m (personal best 34:58.20, No. 3 in school history) and at the Pac-10, she was fourth in the 10,000m. In cross country last fall, Ott was UCLA's No. 2 runner, placing 20th at the Pac-10 and 24th at the Regional.

George is one of the most improved distance runners in the Pac-10. As a junior last spring in track, she qualified for the NCAA Outdoor in the 3,000m. At the '98 Pac-10 meet, she was sixth in the 5,000m and and ninth in the 3,000m. In cross country last fall, George placed 36th at the Pac-10 meet and 47th at the Regional as the team's No. 5 runner.

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