UCLA cross-country debuted the majority of its roster this weekend, with the men’s and women’s teams earning second and fourth place, respectively, at the Stanford Invitational.
The Bruins also sent a team of runners to The Master’s University XC Invite in Santa Clarita, California, where the women’s team took first place with six top-20 performances.
UCLA sent its top runners to the Stanford Invitational to race against Pac-12 rivals such as Washington, Stanford and Arizona State on the same course that will host the Pac-12 championships.
The women’s team, led by sophomores Erika Adler and Christina Rice, finished fourth behind Stanford, Adams State and Washington. Adler and Rice finished ninth and 12th, respectively, in the women’s 6K.
“I think we (raced) really well – we were looking for a top-five finish and got fourth,” Rice said. “We beat out Arizona State and a couple other Big West teams that we really wanted to beat so we’re super happy with how we placed as a team.”
The men’s team was led by junior Garrett Reynolds, who finished fourth in the men’s 8K with a time of 23 minutes, 58.7 seconds – a collegiate PR. Reynolds was one of five UCLA athletes to finish in the top 20, helping to lead the team to a second-place finish behind Stanford at the meet.
“I think (the race plan) was perfect. Our goal coming into the race was to get out there and compete as well as we could,” Reynolds said. “We knew Stanford was ranked highly both in the NCAA and in the West, and we’re all walking away very satisfied with how we performed.”
At The Master’s University XC Invite, the Bruins were headlined by freshman Gwyneth George, who led the women’s 5K with a time of 18:13.3.
George finished second among Division I runners and was one of six Bruins to finish in the top 20. This was also George’s cross-country debut, as she had only run track and field in high school.
Competing for the men’s team in Santa Clarita, redshirt junior Arturo Sotomayor and redshirt sophomore Tyler Janes finished first and second among Division I runners in the men’s 8K with times of 25:08.9 and 25:20.9.
“The goal for the women at the Master’s invite was to see how many we could put in the top 20,” said assistant coach Devin Elizondo. “Last year, we had (four) women, and this year we were able to put six in there.”
The Bruins’ next races are Oct. 13 at the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals meet and at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational.