The Bruins just missed out on the podium to finish out their regular season.
No. 25 UCLA men’s cross-country finished fourth overall at the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals meet in the White 8K.
Racing head-to-head against other top-30 schools such as No. 4 Portland, No. 10 Air Force and No. 13 Purdue, the men’s team placed higher than five teams ranked ahead of them going into the weekend, losing only to No. 2 BYU, No. 12 Washington and No. 8 Syracuse, respectively.
Junior Garrett Reynolds and redshirt junior Colin Burke led the Bruins, earning 25th place and 30th place, respectively, with times of 24 minutes, 15.5 seconds and 24:19.1.
“We believe in the group of guys we have right now on the team,” Burke said. “Our goal this year has been to put our best foot forward to the regional meet in early November, and we’ve been working to improve throughout the season to be at our best then.”
The women’s team, currently unranked, defeated both No. 18 Ole Miss and No. 25 Florida State in the Cardinal 6K race to finish 11th in the field.
The team was led by sophomores Erika Adler and Christina Rice, who placed 24th and 26th, respectively, with times of 20:44.6 and 20:46.0.
“We sat down ahead of time as a team hoping to come out at least halfway in our field, around a top-17 finish,” Rice said. “After that, we just tried to see how close we could get to 10th place.”
Though placing first overall is always the goal, assistant coach Devin Elizondo stressed the importance of the roles that both Rice and Burke played for the women’s and men’s teams, respectively.
“We’re very proud of the effort that (Rice) and (Burke) put in. Those No. 2 spots are really important,” Elizondo said. “That’s big when you look at everyone else’s No. 2s – (Rice and Burke) stack up as well as anybody else in the country.”
UCLA also sent a team of runners to compete at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational this weekend, with the women’s team finishing ninth overall.
The women’s team was led by freshman Gwyneth George, who recorded a time of 21:19.2 in her first 6K race to finish 40th overall. She was trailed by freshman Alyssa Bautista, who finished 46th with a time of 21:23.4.
The men’s team also sent a trio of runners to compete at Santa Clara. Redshirt sophomore Tyler Janes led the team with a time of 24:27.9 in the 8K to finish 31st overall.
The Bruins will have a two-week break before starting their postseason Oct. 26 with the Pac-12 cross-country championships at Stanford, California.