March 27, 2006
By Pete Cushman
SCU Outdoor Track
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The Santa Clara track team capped off a week of school finals with a slew of personal bests and more school records at the Hornet Invitational at Sacramento State.
The Bronco women kicked off the meet with a victory in the distance medley relay. Their time of 12:23.83 was good enough for a school record and a 15-second gap on second place. Freshmen Noelle Lopez and Anna Wheatley, along with juniors Shannon Bell and Carrie Pogorelc competed for the Bronco DMR team. The Bronco women battled closely with host school Sacramento State for much of the race before Shannon Bell threw down a 5:07 anchor in the 1600-meter leg to run away from the Hornets.
"It was good to see the women run a school record in the DMR," said assistant coach Felipe Montoro. "But it was more important and fun to see them compete with and beat some very well established programs."
Wheatley also competed in the open 400-meter event running a school record and season best 1:00.97. Pogorelc also competed in the open 400, winning her heat in a time of 1:04.97.
Freshman Whitney Porter and Senior Kiley Strong each ran a smart race to help them finish 1-2 respectively in their heat of the 1500-meters. Strong and Porter sat comfortably in the middle of the pack before breaking to the front with a quarter to go. Strong and Porter each managed to gap the field by over 20 meters in the final lap. Porter crossed the line in 4:56.38, while Strong finished in 4:58.50. Each was good enough for personal records.
Sophomore Chris Gumbs highlighted the 3,000-meter field for the Bronco men with a personal best of 8:51.34. Gumbs battled with the chase pack for the bulk of the race before breaking away from a small group of competitors in the final 600 meters. He continued to trade places with four in his pack, before finding another gear to break free down the homestretch. His effort was good enough for 17th place overall, and over ten seconds under his previous best.
"Chris ran an aggressive and tough 11-second pr," said Montoro. "He ran great, and he is well on his way to running much faster later this season."
Sophomore Mike Delaurenti used a late race surge to shoot by several competitors in the second heat of the 1500-meter race, placing well in the heat, and 24th overall. He covered the metric mile in a personal best 4:04.11. Freshman Dan Smith competed in his first collegiate 1500-meter race, running 4:13.61.
Freshman Ben Snyder ran a gutsy performance in the 800-meter event, running a season best of 2:03.59. Snyder made a move towards the front as he approached the bell lap, and managed to push in the middle of the race before fading to the middle of the pack in his heat.
"The coaching staff is confident that all of Ben's hard work will pay off in the last part of the season," said Montoro. "Ben walked on and earned his spot on the roster this spring, and has shown the type of commitment, dedication, and sacrifice to be competitive and successful at this level. He has a bright future as a Bronco."
The Broncos return to competition this Friday at the Cal/Nevada Championships in Fresno, Calif.