Aug. 30, 2004
Eric Peterson's UCLA women and men's cross country teams open the 2004 collegiate season on Saturday (Sept. 4), running in the USF Invitational. The University of San Francisco will host the event, starting at 9:15 a.m. at Golden Gate Park.
UCLA's women's cross country team in 2004 enters the upcoming campaign as one of the top collegiate distance corps in the U. S.
Last fall, the Bruins automatically qualified as a team to the NCAA Championships and placed seventh, the Bruins' highest national finish since 1985 (sixth-place). It was UCLA's third-consecutive NCAA bid and the Bruins' fifth in the last six seasons under 11th year head coach Eric Peterson. Also in 2003, the Bruins placed second, behind national champion Stanford, at the NCAA West Region and third at the Pac-10. At the Stanford Invite, UCLA became the only team to beat Stanford during the regular season.
From that highly-successful squad, the Bruins return five of their top seven runners - sophomore Ashley Caldwell, sophomore Alison Costello, junior Jenna Timinsky, senior Carmen Winant and junior Allison Hall. Also returning is junior redshirt Alejandra Barrientos, a leader of the Bruin distance corps since she arrived at UCLA as a heralded freshman in the fall of 2001.
Caldwell in 2003-04 earned All-American honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track; Costello last year as a true freshman won the U. S. Junior Cross Country title and ran in the World Junior Championships; Timinsky in cross country last fall earned All-West Region; Winant and Hall ran for the Bruins last fall at the NCAA, West Region and Pac-10 cross country meets and Barrientos, who qualified in the 1500m this spring to the NCAA Outdoor, was a leader on two Bruin cross country teams that competed at the NCAA Championships in 2001 and '02.
"Ashley, Alison and Jenna are our top returners from last year's team and Carmen and Allison are veterans who have run in big meets throughout their careers," said Peterson, who last fall was the women's West Region cross country Coach of the Year.
Following the USF Invitational, the Bruins will train at Mammoth Lakes, preparing for the Sept. 25 Stanford Invitational.