"We are excited to see that our men's cross country team's strength and ongoing development has been recognized," said UCLA Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Mike Maynard. "Coach (Forest) Braden has done an excellent job of assembling and coaching this team. Our student-athletes are talented and motivated for the upcoming season. Our men's team finished 13th last season at NCAA's, and we are hopeful for even a higher finish this year."
In the West Region rankings, the Bruin men are second, while the women are ranked seventh.
UCLA returns six of its seven runners from last year's NCAA Men's Championships, including its top two finishers in Lane Werley (25th place) and Dustin Fay (86th). On the women's side, four of the Bruins' top seven from the NCAA Regional Championships return, including Top 50 finishers Bronte Golick (38th), Kelsey Smith (45th) and Annie Mooney (46th).
"We have one of the best teams that we've ever had here, for both men and women, and as one complete group, men and women combined, it's a special team," said cross country coach Forest Braden. "We always know how good we are, but it's nice to get that recognition. Rankings don't really mean anything; it only matters what you do at the national meet. But it's always nice to have that expectation from others because we hold ourselves to that same expectation and higher."