SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – The UCLA cross country team swept both races and top honors Saturday morning in the Bruins season debut at the Mustang Challenge held at Central Park.
The women’s team started off the morning with an impressive showing, placing 11 runners in the top 15 to easily outdistance LMU, 20-51. The Bruins top seven all finished in the top nine.
Junior Annabel Clark placed fourth with an 18:01.39 while a pack of Bruins crossed the finish, taking places sixth through 12th. Junior Elle Sanders was sixth with an 18:25.55 and followed by junior Sierra Vega (18:29.42), sophomore Lyndsey Mull (18:31.83), sophomore Jen Owen (18:33.36), freshman Paige Tennison (18:34.30), Nicole Evans (18:38.73) and sophomore Kelly Brooks (18:43.39).
Rounding out the UCLA finishers were senior Amber Murakami (14th, 18:44.35), senior Kristina Rivera (19th, 18:54.49), junior Paisley Pettway (22nd, 19:05.28), freshman Aliya Shirif (25th, 19:13.58) and senior Caitlin Schmitt (27th, 19:21.25).
The men were also as dominant, racing past Cal State Fullerton, 20-53. Sophomore Sergey Sushchikh won his season debut with a time of 24:50.11 on the 8K course.
Redshirt sophomore Nathaniel Cushing-Murray finished third in a time of 25:08.61. Senior Patrick Douglas was fourth, crossing the line at 25:10.16, just ahead of teammate, freshman Michael McCabe’s 25:10.39.
Junior Jacob Wood also claimed a top-10 finish at seventh overall with a 25:19.99. Rounding out the top-seven for the Bruins was freshman Austin O’Neil (11th, 25:46.24) and senior Zack Torres (14th, 25:50.23).
The Bruins will return to the trail on Friday, Oct. 4, at the NCAA Preview held on the Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacramento.