LOS ANGELES – The UCLA cross country team will host its lone meet of the season as it welcomes rival USC and Cerritos College to the Dual at the Rose Bowl. The meet is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 11, with the women starting things off in the 6K at 9 a.m., and then the men running an 8K at 9:45 a.m. The event will be held at the Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena.
“We are looking forward to running in our backyard and to showcase both men’s and women’s teams,” coach Forest Braden said. “I am excited to host USC and hopefully create an annual meet that is highlighted by the inclusion of USC and one that celebrates our rich tradition by honoring different cross country teams from the past each year.”
The women will face the Trojans in a dual format while the Cerritos squad will participate as well. The men will square off against Cerritos and welcome the Bruin alumni in an open event. An era will be celebrated as the team of the 80s under Coach Bob Larsen will be recognized in an 11 a.m. banquet in the Brookside clubhouse.
Coach Larsen, a member of numerous hall of fames, spearheaded the rise of the Bruin cross country program. Larsen took over a UCLA men’s cross country program that had never won a Pac-10 title. In his first year (1979), he directed the Bruins to a third-place Pac-10 finish and 15th at the NCAA meet.
He led UCLA to two conference and NCAA District 8 titles (1980/1981) and six NCAA appearances (1979, 15th; 1980, 5th; 1981, 5th; 1982, 9th; 1983, 20th and 1985, 12th; highlighted by national fifth-place finishes in 1980 and 1981.
The meet will be held on the Brookside Golf Course. The women’s 6K race will feature three loops around the course and a turn to the finish while the men’s 8K event will be four outside loops and a turn to the finish.
“The course will simulate a conference or regional course and will provide valuable experience for our runners,” Braden added. “I expect them to run tough and do their best.”
The Trojan women are coming off a 17th place finish at the NCAA Inter-Regional Jamboree this past weekend and have competed in three events in 2013. The Falcons of Cerritos College are coming off a 7th place finish at the San Diego Invitational. The men’s squad finished third.
UCLA is coming off an impressive performance at the NCAA Inter-Regional Jamboree this past weekend, with both teams claiming wins at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento. Kelsey Smith took top honors for the women in the 5K while Sergey Sushchikh won the men’s 8K race.
The Bruins will be tested next weekend as they head to the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in Madison. The event is slated for Saturday, Oct. 19.