Oct. 13, 2007
The No. 19 Bruin men's cross country team finished a solid eighth overall at the Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, IN on Saturday as senior Austin Ramos led UCLA with his 15th-place finish (23:38.1). The meet features many of the top teams in the country and is a good indication of how the NCAA Championship race plays out.
Northern Arizona won the team title with 124 points, while UCLA posted a score of 251. They were just one point shy of seventh (Portland, 250).
"I'm excited about some of the victories that we picked up today," said head coach Eric Peterson. "We beat some very good teams today, even though we placed eighth which was below our team goal of the top five. We beat some teams that are strong like Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Florida State and Louisville. We are optimistic about the coming post-season. We continue to confirm that we are both talented and deep.
"Every race broke a course record today. The conditions were nearly perfect for running. We had a lot of athletes run lifetime-bests in an 8k race so that's pretty exciting.
"The area that we still need to improve on is not going out faster, but establishing an early racing position closer to the front pack. We need to be among that front pack to be successful. We are still a little tentative but when we fix that we will be a better team. We will work on that between now and the post-season.
"The Western Region is arguably the strongest region in the country. It's very deep and you can see that in the races today. We are really excited about Pac-10's in two weeks."
UCLA Individual Results (261 total runners)
15. Austin Ramos, 23:38.1; 47. Kyle Shackleton, 24:07.3; 50. Drew Shackleton, 24:09.3; 54. Laef Barnes, 24:10.4; 85. Jake Matthews, 24:26.0; 116. Alex Crabill, 24:45.7; 164. Evan Watchempino, 25:06.6.
Team Results (top 5 of 38)
1. Northern Arizona, 124 points; 2. Iona, 136 points; 3. California, 157 points; 4. Virginia, 203 points; 5. Alabama, 207 points; 8. UCLA, 251 points.
Three other Bruin runners competed in the open race with freshman Kent Morikawa finishing 12th overall in a time of 24:54.4. Sophomore Marco Anzures was 18th (25:00.4) and senior Henry Hagenbuch was 23rd (25:07.4).