The UCLA cross country team is headed to Wildcat territory as Arizona hosts the Pac-12 championships Friday.
The last time UCLA brought the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships to Westwood was when the men’s team won in 1981.
Of the five races that made up the 2016 campaign, both the men and women put on strong performances in each event. Of the 10 total events, UCLA tallied five top-10 finishes this season.
In her first year on the team, freshman Claire Markey produced a strong start to her UCLA career. Markey finished 24th with a time of 22:22 at the Griak Invitational. At the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, she led the Bruins with a 25th-place finish at 20:41.3.
In addition to Markey’s 25th-place finish in Wisconsin, sophomore Julia Rizk placed 67th with a time of 21:05.3. At the Griak Invitational, Rizk led the women’s team with a 23rd-place finish with a time of 22:22.
On the men’s team, junior Daniel De La Torre had the fastest run at the Nature’s Bakery Nevada Twilight Classic with a time of 15:55, and has followed up with more high-place finishes. At the Bronco Invitational, he paced the Bruins with a fourth place finish, posting a time of 23:44.
While De La Torre was in Sunnyvale, California, for the Bronco Invitational, redshirt senior Ferdinand Edman and others were in Wisconsin. There, Edman placed 10th overall with a time of 24:02.9, and at the Griak Invitational, he placed in the top 10 as he crossed the finish line in 25:21.
Last season the men placed fifth and the women finished ninth overall at the Pac-12 championships in Colfax, Washington – Colorado took the conference crown.
This year, the Pac-12 has a national-best seven women’s teams and six men’s teams ranked in the top 30 heading into the championship meet, which is more than any other national conference.