May 14, 2007
DAVIS, Calif. - The Santa Clara outdoor track teams concluded the season this past weekend at the Division I Independent Track and Field Championships on the campus of UC Davis. Mike Delaurenti and Stephen Koch starred for the men in the distance races, earning team points for the Broncos, while seniors Blossom Marimpietri and Lauren Swigart finished strong in the 10,000-meter race on the women's side.
Santa Clara was making it's first appearance in the Division I Independent Track and Field Championships, in only their third year of competition as a D-I program.
On the men's side, Delaurenti and Koch pulled off successful "distance doubles" over the weekend, running the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Saturday followed by the 5,000-meters on Sunday. In a very tactical race on Saturday, Delaurenti was forced to lead and set the pace for most of the race, and managed to open a gap on some of the top steeplers in the region. Koch, meanwhile, remained steady in the chase pack, and by the race's final turn, both runners put themselves into scoring positions, with Delaurenti ending up fifth in a time of 9:21.11, and Koch sixth with a time of 9:30.21, bringing valuable points to the men's team.
The duo returned the following day for their second distance race, the 5,000 meters. Underneath a scorching sun, Delaurenti and Koch were faced with an unusual two-heat final setup, but still managed to make strong showings. Delaurenti, in the first heat, once more ran with the lead pack, and finished in a very respectable eighth place, right on the scoring cusp with the second heat still to run. Koch, in the second race, stayed with the top performers for much of the event, and ended up in ninth place in the final standings with a time of 15:32.96, just nipping Delaurenti, who settled for 10th with a time of 15:34.68.
Chris Furnari (2:00.52), Jay Cadwell (2:00.82), and Omar Ahmad (2:04.86) all raced in the 800 meters, but failed to qualify, while freshman John Laughlin (4:10.63) also raced in the 1,500-meter race. Juniors Chris Gumbs (15:50.13) and A.J. Blumel (15:55.68) also raced in the 5,000-meter event.
For the women, Marimpietri and Swigart concluded their SCU track careers with solid efforts in the 10,000-meter race. The two seniors also became the first SCU women's runners to race the 10,000 meters, executing their game plans well with Swigart finishing 10th at 38:13.40, and Marimpietri 14th at 39:19.86.
Junior Danielle Miller, although battling a fast pace set by the leaders in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, still finished 10th with a time of 12:04.51.
In the 5,000-meter race, Veronica Vazquez (16th - 18:43.63), Adriane Puetz (21st - 19:02.55), Annie Murphy-Hagan (28th - 19:36.78) all took part, but failed to qualify. Freshman Shanthi Blanchard, although leading and setting the pace in the 1,500-meter race, also failed to qualify, finishing the heat 16th with a time of 4:54.13.
With a strong recruiting class and further experience under the belts of the veterans in 2008, the Broncos look confidently into the future and look forward to next season.