Nov. 12, 2009
The UCLA cross country teams will travel to Oregon this Saturday to compete at the NCAA West Regional as spots to the NCAA Championship will be on the line. The top two teams will automatically qualify for Nationals, while at-large team bids and individual spots will also be up for grabs.
The men's team will send seniors Marco Anzures, Alex Crabill and Marlon Patterson, junior Jake Matthews, sophomores Spencer Knight and David McDonald and freshmen Mohamed Abdalla and Zack Torres. Only seven athletes can compete in the race, so one of the above athletes will not run.
Anzures was UCLA's No. 1 runner at the Pac-10 meet, earning second-team all-conference honors. Patterson has been the top Bruin finisher in two meets this season, while Crabill has also had a turn at the No. 1 spot earlier in the year. All three men will be in the hunt to run in the No. 1 spot during the race.
Last season, the men placed sixth as a team and qualified with an at-large bid to NCAAs. This season, the men will look to return as a team, or at the very least, qualify a few athletes as individuals. The men are ranked seventh in the region.
Murakami has been UCLA's top performer all season long and is coming off of an all-conference performance at Pac-10s two weeks ago. She will look to lead the women to a higher finish then in 2008 (17th) and qualify as an individual to Nationals. The Bruin women rank 15th in the West Region.