Bronco Express

Sept. 12, 2000

USD Invitational
The Broncos' opener was a solid effort for the returning runners who guided the team to a victory over the field. Charlie Brenneman and Mike Helms led the Mission Harriers for their best ever team performance at Morley Field. Eight Bronco runners bettered the time of Santa Clara's fifth place finisher from last year. Last year's squad was the Mission Harriers first victory at USD. This year's victory is the second victory in a row over the host Toreros on their course. But, the margin put a scare into the team as USD's newcomers put them into contention with Santa Clara throughout the meet.

The start of the race saw Antonio Lopez get out to a 15 second lead at the mile over the field. The field was already thinned out with Charlie Brenneman and Mike Helms holding the next two spots at the mile mark. The two Broncos closed to within ten seconds of the lead with a mile to go, but could not get any closer. The duo cruised home dropping Brennan Taylor of USD from a close pursuer to a fading challenger. Stephen Moore and Thomas Chapman combined with freshman Ben Gauen to cross the mile mark in a large pack within ten seconds of the duo of top Broncos. The trio pushed forward in the second mile with a 20 second drop for their split from the first mile due to Antonio Lopez, lead runner from USD, going off course. Stephen Moore had the strength to run a last mile that moved him into sixth place. Ben Gauen moved into position as the Bronco's fourth man and crossed the line as the school's #5 performer at Morley Field. Thomas Chapman came across the line sealing the team victory for Santa Clara. Although four seconds off last year's time, Thomas looked much more relaxed in his race this year.

Sophomore Dominic Ricci and redshirt sophomore Adam Lowry had significant improvements from their freshmen debuts. Adam and Dominic were within one second of each other in the first two mile splits. Freshman Chris Spicer ran within fifteen seconds of the sophomores at the first and second miles, but closed within 10 seconds by the end. All three closed tremendously on the Toreros' #5 runner and Dominic getting by him in the last 500 meters. Sophomore Mike Richmond started with freshman Rickey Brackett as both stayed side by side for the first half of the race. Mike moved up in the field and caught freshman Kevin Edwards after the second mile. Kevin was able to hold off Mike in the last mile. Rickey fell off the pace of Mike Richmond after a mile and closed well in the last 500 meters. These three Broncos were surrounded by bookends of unattached freshmen Heath Packard and Michael Wall. Heath led the group and Michael closely trailed. Michael Neuman and Toby Lopez rounded out the Bronco contingent. Toby led Michael by a slight margin for the first two miles. But Michael caught and moved up to Toby's side going up the last hill. Michael extended his lead in a spirited kick at the finish while Toby showed improvement by over one minute from last season.

The Broncos came off their first week of training together before the meet. The Broncos' conservative start paid dividends. The team's second miles were twenty seconds faster than their first miles and the Broncos came from behind against USD and put them away in the last mile. With only one freshman in the top seven, the Bronco veterans will have the rest of the season to push the newcomers to reach the team's goals and improve their fitness. The Broncos will travel to UC Davis in two weeks and test themselves for the first time over 8000 meters.