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UCLA cross country set personal bests at Dellinger Invitational

Redshirt junior Peter Herold runs with the group. Herold placed fifth at the Dellinger Invitational, which helped UCLA men’s cross country place third overall in the meet. (Courtesy of UCLA Athletics)

By Grace Whitaker

Sept. 29, 2022 2:03 p.m.

Sometimes personal bests do not always translate into first place.

Despite 12 runners each accumulating individual fastest times throughout the race, UCLA cross country placed third and seventh in the men’s 8,000-meter and women’s 6,000-meter races, respectively, in the Dellinger Invitational in Eugene. The Bruins competed against 11 other teams, including fellow Pac-12 competitors Oregon, Oregon State, and Washington State on Friday.

Avery Anderson, the director of track and field and cross country, said the number of personal records the team accumulated this weekend shows the athletes’ determination to improve.

“That’s a tremendous testament to them and the work they’ve been putting in,” Anderson said. “And the fact that we had a really good training camp leading up to then.”

On the men’s side of the race, the blue and gold accumulated an average time of 24:07 and was led by redshirt junior Peter Herold, who finished in fifth place with a time of 23:49.8.

Herold said he enjoys his place as a leader on the team.

“It’s been a great role to hold,” Herold said. “I know any one of these guys can be right there with me.”

To accompany Herold’s fifth-place run, five of the Bruins’ eight men’s runners broke their own personal records. Nevertheless, Herold said personal records were not the main goal when the team hit the trail.

“This was definitely more of a race where we want to compete, rather than worry about times of PRs,” Herold said. “Just more about trying to show the work we put in and compete against some of these other big schools.”

On the women’s end, seven UCLA runners out of eight athletes competing ran their personal fastest times, led by senior Emma Tavella, who placed 12th with a time of 20:30.4.

This race came three weeks after the Bruins’ first-place finish at the Mammoth-UCSD Dual. During that race, both UCLA men and women placed first overall, marking their first sweeping finish since the same race during the 2021 season.

In the men’s event Friday, the Bruins had three runners in the top 10 and five runners in the top 30. Herold said he is proud of the grouping of his team throughout the run, but there is still room for growth.

“That (the team’s grouping) can be even more improved,” Herold said. “If we can get our fourth and fifth-place guys closer to us, that’ll improve our team score a lot, and that’s how we’re going to beat better schools.”

Anderson said the team is going to continue to improve and maintain its health as they head into the rest of the season.

“Our focus is going to be on staying healthy,” Anderson said. “Continue to train well and train healthy and stay healthy.”

UCLA will continue its season with an upcoming meet Oct. 15 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

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Grace Whitaker | Sports senior staff
Whitaker is currently a senior staff writer on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball and cross country beats and a contributor on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats.
Whitaker is currently a senior staff writer on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball and cross country beats and a contributor on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats.
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