Tuesday, May 22

UCLA cross country gaining speed in time for Pac-12 Championships

The weekend marked the Bruins’ last chance to refine their strategy before they host the Pac-12 Championships this coming weekend, and the results were promising.

UCLA entered Friday’s Titan Invitational with both the men’s and women’s sides ranked in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Coaches’ poll for the first time in years.

The men are currently ranked 15th, while the women’s 24th place ranking is their first visit to the top 30 since 2004.

After both teams took second in Friday’s meet, those rankings are unlikely to fall this week. The men were only edged out by Mesa Community College, while the women fell short of San Diego State.

Although only a portion of the team made the trip to Cal State Fullerton for Friday’s meet, limiting UCLA’s scoring potential, the competition was highlighted by several strong individual performances.

Freshman Nick Hartle took first in the 8k among attached runners, coming in with a time of 24 minutes, 48.2 seconds. Senior Alec Govi and freshman Sean Davis rounded out the top eight for the Bruins, coming in fifth and eighth, respectively.

Freshmen led the way on the women’s side as well, with new Bruin Lyndsey Mull taking third in the 5k with a time of 18:05. Senior Danielle Low came in shortly after, with a seventh place finish and a time of 18:23.5.

Even coach Forest Braden got in on the winning action, competing as an unattached runner and placing first overall in the 8k with a time of 24:06.7.

UCLA will need to continue its streak of success if the Bruins want to hold their own in the talented field of competitors at the Pac-12 Championships, which will feature nationally ranked teams on both the men’s and women’s side.

Compiled by Liz Schneider, Bruin Sports senior staff.

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