April 22, 2002

Bronco Express

April 22, 2002

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Mission Harriers returned from Long Beach with success from both the women and men. Good weather helped the performances that were run in blustery winds. Michael Helms was seventh in the 1500 meters and won his heat of the 800 meters. Ben Gauen finished sixth in the 5000 meters. Milena Basile and Robin Bell took honors for the Broncos with their fourth and fifth place finish in the 5000.

The Bronco women all came back from Long Beach with big performances and PR's. Katie Hansen ran extremely well in a well paced effort and 12 second improvement from her first 1500 at Mathis Invite. Following Katie's example in another heat, hard charging Chrissie Moreno battled fatigue from her early pace, but finished with an eleven second drop from the Mathis Invite.

Katie doubled in the 800 and ran a very even paced race. The killer B's of Basile and Bell battled on the track in the 5000 meters. Running stride for stride with Jessica Dahlberg (Cal Poly SLO, #2 individual finisher in Big West XC 2001), Jill Field and Amy Sas from University of Minnesota (2001 NCAA XC Championships 25th place team, captain and #7 runner respectively). They formed a pack for half the race. But the Mission Harrier duo pushed a pace that took its toll as they slowed over the last two kilometers. Robin fell back in the same fashion as she did at the Mathis Invite, but surged by two runners in the last 150 meters to close within a second of Milena. Both finished with 5 second PR's.

Ben Gauen led a large contingent of Mission Harriers in the 5000. Both Ben and Kevin Edwards attempted to match their Mathis Invite times and came up short as the last two kilometers wore them down. Stephen Moore, in his first ever 5000 meters on the track, finished just under a minute behind Ben. Stephen sprinted by Kevin over he last 150 meters while PR settings from Dominic Ricci, Chris Spicer, and Mike Richmond occurred within a 15 second block behind Stephen and Kevin. Another minute back, Mike Neumann with a strong kick outpaced Dominick Guidera and a fatigued Toby Lopez as all three hit PR's.

Mike Helms led the Broncos in the 1500 meters with his first sub four clocking of the season, and third of his career. Thomas Chapman and Ricky Brackett joined Mike in the fast heat as the three were able to be pulled through the first 800 meters. Ricky began fading from the pack and Thomas clung tightly to its backside. Mike held ground and moved up to seventh position.

In the 800 meters, Mike Helms and Mike Wall used their stature to run well. In a heat with 20 contestants, bodies went flying to the outside lanes from the jostling for position. Both hit slower than expected 400 splits, but were able to move well in the last lap through the giant field. Helms eventually moved up to fifth spot at the 600 meter mark and bided his time. He shot through the remaining four as they spread out over the backstretch to win by over a second. Wall finished strongly with optimism for a PR next weekend in Chico.

Women's results
800 meters
2:31.89 Katie Hansen
1500 meters
5:08.05 Katie Hansen
5:14.44 Chrissie Moreno
5000 meters
18:20.04 Milena Basile
18:21.52 Robin Bell

Men's Results
800 meters
2:00.02 Mike Helms
2:03.12 Mike Wall
1500 meters (unofficial)
3:59.2 Mike Helms
4:04.0 Thomas Chapman
4:10.9 Ricky Brackett
5000 meters
15:23.16 Ben Gauen
16:20.22 Stephen Moore
16:21.63 Kevin Edwards
16:22.89 Dominic Ricci
16:26.90 Chris Spicer
16:34.77 Mike Richmond
17:33.49 Mike Neumann
17:37.66 Dominick Guidera
17:43.79 Toby Lopez