Bronco Express

April 18, 2001

Bronco Express
The most comprehensive coverage of Santa Clara University Cross Country

Warrior Invitational Santa Clara Cross Country visited Turlock and Cal State Stanislaus for the Warrior Invitational. Michael Helms was the bright spot for the Broncos as he won the 1500 meters. Mike led the race from the gun and set a PR in breaking 4 minutes for the first time. The team put an emphasis on the middle distance races after its strong showing at 5000 meters one week earlier. Chris Spicer and Toby Lopez made their season debuts in the 5000. Mike Wall and Dom Ricci spent Easter at home and missed the meet. Heath Packard has an IT band injury that flared up after his 1500 last Saturday.

Chris Spicer and Toby Lopez were greeted with a small field that gave neither much support. Both tried latching on early to running companions. Chris paid a heavy price in holding a fast early pace before dropping hard after the first 1000 meters. Toby started in another fashion by holding a slower pace by hanging with two other competitors. By 1500 meters, Chris was alone in his pursuit and Toby already dropped his companions by the same point. Chris faded from his goal pace but came back in a flying last 600 to break 17 minutes. Toby's next closest competitor was teammate Spicer and he ended up lapping one of the two runner that he hung with for the first 800. Both look forward to racing again with hope of improving their times with others to push them in their efforts. Michael Helms led teammates Thomas Chapman and Ricky Brackett in the first heat of the 1500 meters. Thomas remained at the tail end of the chase pack through the first half of the race with Ricky falling back into another group just behind Thomas.

Helms opened up a gap after 300 meters and extended it through 1000 meters. Racing against the clock and hitting 3:13 at 1200 meters, Mike pushed and held pace to the finish. Mike crossed the line uncontested and nailed the first sub four in Santa Clara history. Thomas got caught in no man's land in the third lap and could not muster the speed to catch the runners he lost contact with. Ricky fell in with a group that moved to catch Thomas over the last 300 meters. Ricky held on, but could not improve his position. Ben Gauen and Mike Richmond led the Broncos in the second heat. Ben surged to the front group and pushed the pace. Mike settled in after solid first 400. His pace became slower than goal pace despite the comfort level. Mike picked up the last half to finish strongly. Ben tried and could not get his pace to quicken as held a consistent pace over the middle third. He faded slightly over the last third and held to third spot for his heat.

Mike and Ricky came back to race the 800 with a fresh Michael Neumann. Mike put together a solid effort in running his first collegiate 800. A conservative first 400 allowed room to move up in the field in the third 200, but others regrouped and held their ground as they carried Mike home. Ricky hit his first 300 on pace before the fatigue of his earlier effort began taking its toll. His exhaustion brought him home in a tired second lap. Michael ran a separate heat from the other two and moved strongly throughout his first 200. Michael began tying up and showed the struggle of his effort in pushing hard. He held well by overcoming one runner with a good kick in the last 100 meters.

The Mission Harriers will regroup and head to Long Beach for the next weekend. After a hard week of training, the team was flat for the Stanislaus meet. Only Mike Wall is entered in the 1500 and all others will be racing the 5000 for the Long Beach meet.

800m (unofficial)
Michael Helms 2:02.6
Michael Neumann 2:11.9
Ricky Brackett 2:12.9

1500m (unofficial)
Michael Helms 3:59.8
Thomas Chapman 4:11.7
Ricky Brackett 4:15.2
Ben Gauen 4:20.9
Mike Richmond 4:34.8

5000m (unofficial)
Chris Spicer 16:50.2
Toby Lopez 18:00.5