Nov. 12, 2007
Bruin harriers Austin Ramos, Drew Shackleton and Kyle Shackleton have individually qualified to run at the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday, November 19th in Terre Haute, IN. The trio earned their spot at Nationals after finishing 17th, 18th and 21st, respectively at the West Region Championships over the weekend.
It will be the second NCAA Championships for all three as Ramos competed as an individual in 2005 and the Shackletons ran with the men's team at last year's meet. Ramos was an All-American in 2005 finishing 48th overall and Kyle (58th) and Drew (85th) were UCLA's No. 1 and 2 runners last season.
"These three athletes have been leading us all season long, but the consistency they've demonstrated throughout the season put them in a position at regionals to earn the opportunity to go on and compete at the national meet," said head coach Eric Peterson. "It'll be the second opportunity for all of them to participate in the NCAA Championships since they've been at UCLA and I am excited to go back to the Championship with these three great distance runners.
"I believe that if they run up to their potential, they all have the capability of earning All-American honors. Although it's a little bit different focus running as an individual rather then as a team, we are going to work hard this week making the adjustments in their focus and have them be ready to be aggressive and compete hard next Monday."
The Bruins had hoped to qualify as a team for NCAA's, but when the NCAA selection committee announced the at-large teams, UCLA was not a part of that list. Although UCLA is ranked No. 21 in the country, their seventh-place finish at West Regions will hold them out of the NCAA Championships.
"It was disappointing to see the list of accepted entries and not see our team included in the field. I know that we're a great team this year, and we competed throughout the season doing the things we needed to do to get ourselves into a position to qualify for NCAA's, but we came up short at the regional meet.
"Losing to ASU by one point put our team in a vulnerable position in the selection process. We're going to learn from this and move forward. Fortunately we have a young team with eight of our top 10 guys returning next season along with several other young, talented runners. Our future is very bright and although we are disappointed, we are so thrilled that Austin, Kyle and Drew will get the opportunity to race again and hopefully earn All-American honors."