April 9, 2006
By Pete Cushman
SCU Athletic Department
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Johnny Mathis Invitational at San Francisco State served as more evidence that personal bests and school records are the standard for the Santa Clara University track program.
Competing in the fifth meet of the season, the men and women combined for 15-personal bests including one new school record under ideal conditions at the Johnny Mathis Invitational at Cox Stadium.
Sophomore Michael Delaurenti became the first ever Bronco to break the 15 minute barrier for 5,000 meters, running 14:57.23 over the 3.1 mile race. His time was good enough for sixth place overall, and a 12-second improvement from his previous best, which he set at the same meet last season. Sophomore Christen Gumbs sat on the shoulder of Delaurenti for nine laps in an attempt to get under the barrier as well, but was unable match Delaurenti when he gapped the pack in an attempt to chase down the lead group. Gumbs was able to hang on for a personal best 15:12.01, which placed him ninth overall.
"Mike ran the best 5k anyone ever has at Santa Clara, and it's great to finally see someone under 15 minutes," said assistant coach Felipe Montoro. "Chris' effort showed me that he is on his way to joining Mike under that barrier very soon."
Sophomore Andrew Blumel gave a lesson on even splitting a race with his personal best 15:35.73, a 13 second improvement. Blumel, competing in the second heat of the 5k, rarely deviated from his 75 second quarters en route to his 18th place finish overall.
Freshman Jay Cadwell continued to show big improvements over 800-meters, running a season best 2:01.24. His effort and flawless race execution earned him a heat victory, and a four second jump from his previous best. Junior Omar Ahmad made his 2 lap debut in the same heat as Cadwell, coming in second with a time of 2:03.54.
The women got a preview of their future in the 5,000-meter event, with three freshmen placing in the top 10, all with personal bests. Noelle Lopez led the charge with a 5th place finish overall at 18:00.00. Whitney Porter and Anna Wheatley worked together close behind in 7th and 8th place respectively. Porter covered the 12 and a half lap race in 18:20.28, while Wheatley ran 18:22.11.
"It was impressive to see the freshmen women compete so well in the 5k, especially considering this was Whitney and Anna's first attempt at the distance on the track," said Montoro. "It obviously bodes well for the future."
Senior Kiley Strong and freshman Veronica Vazquez teamed up in the metric mile and 800-meter event, helping each other to personal bests in both. Vazquez trailed behind the leader of her heat by 20 meters as they approached the bell lap of the 1500-meter race, with Strong following close behind. Vazquez began her kick as she rounded the turn and was able to reel in the heat leader with over 200-meters remaining. She continued her charge, and crossed the line in 4:50.70. Strong followed close behind in a personal best 4:53.78.
After a one hour meet delay, it was Strong's turn to take a stab at a heat victory in the 800. With a similar gap on her with 250-meters remaining, Strong began a big fight to the finish, passing the lead runner on the final turn. She finished in a personal best of 2:24.32. Vazquez finished second in the same heat, running 2:25.56.
"It's obviously great to see Veronica and Kiley get PR's," said Montoro. "I think I'm more pleased to see how well they raced. They were competitive, and fought for wins, and that's what is most important." The Broncos return to action this Friday at Long Beach State.