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UCLA men’s, women’s cross country qualify for NCAA championships

By Aubrey Yeo

Nov. 17, 2014 1:32 a.m.

UCLA cross country has been running a race for 29 years. This past weekend, it finally crossed the finish line.

For the first time since 1985, both of UCLA’s men’s and women’s cross country teams were able to qualify for the NCAA championships.

A breakout performance on Friday at the NCAA West Regional – where the No. 17 men placed fourth in a field of 29 and the No. 27 women placed fifth in a field of 34 – was followed by an announcement on Saturday that both teams were selected to a field of 31 that would be competing at nationals.

“To know all the hard work paid off is an awesome and accomplishing feeling,” said redshirt senior Meghan Marvin. “We were all after the race crossing our fingers hoping that we made it in. … We all got really excited and continued to hope that we would get in, and then we did. Words can’t really describe the feeling.”

There were more reasons for UCLA to celebrate, with five runners receiving U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Region honors as a result of their performance at the meet.

On the men’s team, sophomore Ferdinand Edman placed 13th with a time of 29:53, redshirt junior Lane Werley finished 16th with his timing of 29:56 and junior Nick Hartle came in 22nd with a 30:01 to qualify for regional honors.

Redshirt seniors Kelsey Smith and Marvin also qualified for regional honors with their 20:33 and 20:40 race times to finish ninth and 14th respectively.

“It was really surprising for me, I wasn’t expecting that at all. My goal was to be top 25, top 35 maybe,” Marvin said. “Before you knew it, I was top 15 the whole way, finished strong and it was a really, really awesome feeling going across the line.”

The Bruins will officially conclude their season on Nov. 22 at Terre Haute, Ind., when they compete in the final meet of the year, the NCAA championships.

Compiled by Aubrey Yeo, Bruin Sports senior staff.

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