May 9, 2007

Bronco Track Team Heads To Davis For Division I Independent Championships

May 9, 2007

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara track team heads to Davis this weekend for the Division I Independent Championships with high hopes for some school and personal bests. 17 runners will make the trek up to Davis for the final meet of the season for Tom Service's squad. The meet serves as a championship event for Division I schools that compete in conferences without conference championships.

The 2007 DI Independents feature Chicago State, UC Davis, North Dakota State, Utah Valley State, South Dakota State, Northern Colorado, New Jersey Tech, San Francisco, Portland, Cal State Bakersfield and Central Arkansas. The event takes place on May 12 and May 13 and it will be treated in the same manner as an NCAA event.

"We have been training all year to peak for this event," said Service. "It should be a very good meet with teams coming in from all over the country. We have been trying to stay sharp with light practices this week and we need to make sure we are healthy going into this weekend."

The team will have runners in six events on the women's side and four events on the men's side. Service and the team set qualifying standards for this event so 18 Broncos will make the trip to Davis.

For the women, senior Carrie Pogorelc will be the team's lone entrant in the 400 meters. Her best time for the season of 62.34 came on March 24 at the Hornet Invitational. Freshman Shanthi Blanchard will be performing in both the 800m and the 1500m on Saturday. She holds the best time of the year for SCU in the 800 with a 2:23.16 at the Johnny Mathis Invitational on April 7 and she will be looking for a school record in the 1500m. Sophomore Veronica Vazquez currently holds the record in the 1500 at 4:42.68, but Blanchard's best time is right behind that at 4:48.32.

Vazquez will not be competing in the 1500 this weekend, but will instead focus her energy on the 5000m race. She also holds the school record in that event, setting it on April 7 with a time of 17:40.39 at the Johnny Mathis Invitational.

Junior Adriane Puetz will join Vazquez in that race. Her top finish this season was a time of 18:02.84, set on March 30. Freshman Anne Murphy-Hagan is also expected to run in the 5000m, despite being slowed by a knee injury.

Junior Danielle Miller will look to top her season best of 11:35.50 in the 3000m steeplechase, while seniors Blossom Marimpietri and Lauren Swigart will compete for the first time in the 10,000 meters.

For the men, the Broncos will have four runners in the 800 meters, showing the depth of the sprinting corps. Freshman Tony Dipre and junior Chris Furnari lead the way in that race as they have the top two times this season at that distance. Dipre ran it in 1:55.73, while Furnari had his best race last weekend at the Sacramento State Open with a time of 1:56.02. Joining Dipre and Furnari at the distance are sophomore Jay Cadwell and junior Omar Ahmad.

Freshman John Laughlin, who has also run the 800 this season, will be the team's lone entrant in the 1500 meters this weekend. He ran a time of 4:06.95 earlier this season.

The Broncos most consistent performer this season, junior Mike Delaurenti, will run in two races, looking to break his own school records. He will start with the 3000 meter steeplechase. Two weeks ago, he set the school record with a time of 9:19.88 at the Steve Scott Open on April 28. He will also compete in the 5000 meters. He set the school record (14:46.17) on April 7 at the Johnny Mathis Invitational.

"Mike has really come on this season," said Service. "He is a very hard worker and you can see that his work has paid off. His success has been a huge positive for us this year."

Freshman Stephen Koch will join Delaurenti in both races hoping to achieve personal bests. The 5000m field will be completed by juniors A.J. Blumel and Chris Gumbs and freshman Alex Harkins.

"We hope to have some good performances this weekend," said Service. "Everyone should be at their peak and hopefully we will earn some personal bests and some school records."

For the complete list of entrants, click here.